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  • Saint of Steel Series # 1

  • Paladin's Grace
  • By: T. Kingfisher
  • Narrated by: Joel Richards
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Summary

Stephen's god died on the longest day of the year....

Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind....

From the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Swordheart and The Twisted Ones comes a saga of murder, magic, and love on the far side of despair.

©2020 T. Kingfisher (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Saint of Steel Series # 1

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story, narration gets better

I’m a big fan of T Kingfisher’s work and her paladins so I was overjoyed when I saw that this was being turned into an audio book. I was initially a bit disappointed with the narration as I find her books lend themselves to a more animated reading voice but by the end it had grown on me and I find myself impatient for the next book in the series!

4 people found this helpful

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Incredibly charming

My gateway book to T Kingfisher's works and now, thanks to the audiobook, my partner's as well!

While it's definitely a romance first fantasy second book the world building is a subtle delight to me.
The characters are consistent and understandable - you can quickly get a feel for what they'll do and why, with plenty of fun banter along the way.

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Delightful, witty and more than a little strange

Thoroughly enjoyable, and a perfect match of narrator to novel. I can't wait to treat myself to the next one (and hopefully get a little glimpse of Grace in passing). I adored Swordheart but couldn't get on with the narration of the audiobook, I'm very happy to be enjoying the author's other works in the same world as much as the hard copies.

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fantastic

I love this world and these stories so much and will always return to them, romance adventure magic and murder and really real feeling people

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  • Dragondreamer
  • 25-08-21

Really weird. Also gruesome. Graphic sex scenes.

Narrator does a great job.

Second half of book is better written than first, too much lengthy inner monologues in first half, too many lengthy instances of it repeating the same story over again by the other character to show each perspective.

Um... big trope of traumatized insecure humble kind people finding each other, not a plus or minus as some people love those story lines as much as other people hate them. But if you need to avoid gore, graphic sex scenes or characters reliving past and current trauma(no really, consider this a spoiler free trigger warning as some listeners looking for a fantasy romance are listening to escape the trauma of their real lives and pasts and this may only cause a lot of stress) this isn't for you, that said, if you like gore and broken souls and steamy detailed sex scenes you might love this listen.

Overall I do not like the approach to trauma and the use of trauma as a writing device in this. The story cherry picks serious symptoms of PTSD to fill out character development to make it fit the romance of the story without understanding the realities of trauma and how these cute fictionalized trauma tropes do real life harm to real people by perpetuating and romantacizing false and harmful ptsd stereotypes. The editors really needed a trauma informed sensitivity reader on this.

However i did like that he steamy scenes were all the steamier and romantic because of how consent was woven in by characters.

Overall, it was the narrator and not the writing that made the book decent.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie Vinke
  • 21-04-21

a grounded romantic fantasy for the practical

So, I really enjoy TKingfisher's writing first of all. Her characters and creatures and magic all feel very real and matter of fact. there are small to it's of information like the smell of a place that are given to you that make it feel just a bit more lived in.

When I first started listening to Paladins Grace I actually had to stop for a few days though- not because of the writing being bad but because the Order of the White Rat made me think of a very dear friend I have not seen in almost 10 years and I started tearing up at work. so... yeah a break was needed.

Aside from that, and I'm guessing maybe I would be in the minority choked up about them. But everything else was enjoyable! ( The Order was too- just made me homesick and I wasn't expecting that emotional thing.) I really loved the mystery and murder side plot in this as well as the romance between the two leads.

if you're a bit tired of whistful fluttering damsels or rakish rogues or even firecracker heroines then give this a shot.Because Grace is so relatable and damaged in a real way that I feel like I know her and probably should text her.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ijw
  • 08-05-21

angst

This book is long on angst and short on plot. The universe is interesting, the characters are also. But we spend way too much time on the developing romance and the wounded nature of the couple.

But don't give up on the author! Read Clockwork Boys instead. It is set in the same universe with a meatier plot. There are more characters with diverse backstories.

Or read 'Seventh Bride' instead. It's an excellent story with intriguing characters and plot twists that you can't predict.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Iben Krutt
  • 29-04-21

Pleasantly surprised!

This was my first foray into T. Kingfisher's works and I'm very happy with my purchase. An all-around well-plotted and well-written novel. My favourite element is the death of the god and the ensuing fallout. Such a neat scenario that I haven't seen explored like this before.

Both protagonists were very likable and I found myself rooting for them. However, I stuck around for the rest of the plot and not the romance. The endless misunderstandings were just a little too awkward and juvenile for my taste, so I'm happy that it didn't take up any more screen time than it did.

Despite this, I’m eager to dive into the next instalment of this series – I hear it has nuns and bears!

5 people found this helpful

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  • A Gannon
  • 06-04-22

An offbeat fantasy romance well worth the read.

The lead characters are wonderful and relatable, the other characters are vivid and entertaining. The setting is low-key fantasy but is treated as so normal it almost fades into the background. The plot is very odd, and much of it happens in the background, but it all comes together satisfyingly at the end, and I think the richness of the characters and setting offset that. it is primarily a story about people, healing, and trust.

I feel other reviews have been inaccurate and unfair to this book re: it being a candidate for "romance" status, and its treatment of PTSD. I can't say much about the first except the reviews are correct, it is, and it's very well done. As for the PTSD, I have it, I came out of a situation similar to Grace's in some remarkably gutting ways, and I felt it was handled super well. There was no romanticizing it or glossing over it or any of that. It was a steady, consistent depiction of what those sorts of events do to your sense of self, your confidence, and your belief in a future. (Destroys all of it.) Watching her take steps toward healing was gratifying and heartbreaking in a good way.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ruykann
  • 15-12-21

Romance novel

I feel like I selected a book about a guy struggling with real issues and someone switched it out with an annoying romance novel.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Reviews
  • 05-01-22

not your normal tropes

I found this book to be refreshing and funny. The world is not about to end and some orphan boy or girl is not a long lost king or queen destined to save it. A story about heart break and love. I am looking forward to hearing the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jessica Darling
  • 22-09-22

Good story, just unexpected

This story was a bit of a struggle to get through, mostly because the synopsis was misleading. The synopsis lead me to believe there would be at least one sword fight present. There isn't. This is definitely a love story first, with a character that just happens to be a paladin in a fantasy setting, not a fantasy paladin who falls in love along the way. If you're a fan of romance novels with an interesting premise, cool worldbuilding and a bit of a twisting plot, this is a good one! If you're a fan of high/epic fantasy, give this a pass.
The rest of the series looks like it will expand a bit on the plot hooks left dangling in this book, so maybe that opinion will change as the series marches on.

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  • Sachiko Hirai
  • 15-07-22

Refreshing and Fun Book

The premise is interesting and I love how the Paladins were depicted. I was expecting a pretty grim story considering how it started but there is a healthy dose of humor too that had me laughing out loud.

I bought this on a whim and was delighted by the story. I definitely recommend giving it a try, especially if you like characters that defy archetypes and expectations.

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  • Alex D
  • 09-07-22

Fun, interesting, angst!

The end wrapped things up a little rushed for me, but I loved the main characters and I was all in when the loving finally got on!