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Summary

In the realm of Isodoro, just two things stand between Alliance lands and the spears and muskets of the orcish hordes: the wizards of the Order and constant infighting amongst the orcs themselves.

In the Alliance capital, young Wit has just been promoted from apprentice to full wizard - and saddled with the very unglamorous task of traveling to a distant iron mine to inspect it for fraud. Worse yet, he's partnered with Wa'llach, a drunken dwarven prisoner who's killed more people than most plagues.

Yet those skills are about to become very handy.

For the lord who runs the mine doesn't intend to let Wit get anywhere near it. And across the border, orcs who've hated each other for ages are starting to work together - and to strike into Alliance territory.

It looks like a conspiracy. Smells like one, too. And if it isn't stopped - either by Wit, or by the mysterious clan of orcish rangers that patrols the frontier - the entire Alliance Alliance will blow apart like an orcish death-stick.

A Western-infused epic of outlaws, treachery, treasure, and the frontier, Students of the Order is the first in a new series from a USA Today best-selling author and Audie nominee for Best Fantasy Novel. 

©2020 Edward W. Robertson and Sam Lang (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Students of the Order

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good first book

I haven't read anything by E. Robertson before and this was a good book. The story was engaging enough to keep me listening to the end and the performance by Michael Kramer was excellent as always.

I do have one tiny criticism and it involves minor spoilers. The final battles and fates of the villains have a lot of lead up ... then end it maybe one or two sentences. I had to re-listen to a chapter 3 times before I actually found the fate of one bad guy. maybe a bit more description on the big battles in the next book?

and I will be getting the next book. So good over all.

5 people found this helpful

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Bland

This is pretty much the most generic fantasy tale I've ever experienced. Every aspect of the worldbuilding feels like someone read 100 fantasy books and took the average. It also feels like the author deliberately tries to confuse the reader by introducing way too many named characters at a much to high frequency.

Michal Kramer performance is as always amazing, but in no way can I recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Loved the exciting new world of possibilities

So much background was touched upon that I’m sure there will be 3 to 6 more stories to get lost in

4 people found this helpful

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Quite confusing and scattered

I feel like the story was decent, but I tracking the different elements and plots on top of plots got quite confusing. And it wasn’t particularly complex subject matter. It was quite humorous though, and quite funny in places.

3 people found this helpful

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good book but it has some problems.

this book is good but it has a problem with pacing, literally leaving one moment with high stacks, for one with none ruining a general deal of the book, the end was a bit anticlimactic for my taste. in the end it just fault like this book was rushed and because of that there were a lot of plot holes .

2 people found this helpful

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after 10h nothing has yet to happen

so after 10h in and i still didn't know what to make of it and it don't get better. it's 3 book smashed in to one, one a bout a orc kid 1 about 2 ppl traveling a 1 about a wizards office. slow, boring an a waste if time. you get no connection with the storys or the ppl.

1 person found this helpful

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Suprisingly good.

It has three main story lines teo of which are so string the third is good very good but not as strong and sometimes even confusing.

1 person found this helpful

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Incoherent fantasy

The narrator is competent and it's not too difficult to distinguish characters but has to struggle with the content. The problem is that this seems to be 3 books in 1, 2 of which are not mentioned in the book synopsis, and half-way through there seems to be little connection between them, except that they're set in the same universe. Therefore it doesn't logically fit together and drags because it makes everything very slow. Setting the book into different parts rather than jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint would have been more logical and allowed for a better flow of the storyline.

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different enough to be interesting and entertainin

a fun twist on the middle earth monster human interaction the characters are a little underwhelming the story line is interesting and I'll be listening to the next installment

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very good fantasy book

good well written story looking forward to book two in the series, lot happening good intertwined stories

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  • Phx17
  • 02-01-21

Tedious and lacking heart

Robertson’s newest series has some unique concepts and characters, but ultimately served up many of the features that soured me on his Cycles of Arawn and Galand series. This is a series with dragons, orcs, and dwarves. Slight twists, like Orc Jodi as one of the two MCs and the existence of muskets, didn’t do much to separate this from every other (and better) medieval fantasy series. Creative cussing (“all the gods!” uttered a lot) exists alongside occasional F bombs. The magic system is the book’s most unique concept, but seemed flawed and not fully thought out. This book also couldn’t decide if it wanted to be YA (teenage humor, in particular, not to mention the cover/Title) or adult (Mallach the dwarf is a backstabbing, alcoholic, @sshole and there are some triggering parts about slavery and child prostitution and some graphic violence).

The biggest negative is tedium. With action, fun, or personality, I can forgive things like confusing plots and magical inconsistencies, especially in a first book. But, this story dragged. At least in Cycle of Arawn we got the Dante/Blays banter; here our two MCs proceed separately for 3/4 of the book (almost to 17hrs). Orc Jodi’s storyline follows the usual “from tragic beginnings, and thru endless training montages and setbacks, a hero will rise” path. Wizard Wit’s storyline is the “preternaturally gifted wizard who will conveniently survive impossible situations” path. Like Robertson’s Cycle books, there’s way too many hours spent on the journey- and by that I mean the literal journey, traveling here and there. Also like the Cycles, young adepts enter an order of wizards with mysterious ways and dubious morality, and my eyes rolled at the way Wit’s friends just went along with the Order’s nonsense. Like Cycles, I found myself not really liking the MCs, as they seemed quick to do bad things to accomplish their goals, with little guilt. It’s never a good sign when the most interesting characters are the side characters, like Mallach the dwarf and wizard adepts Menteger and Fanial.

As for Kramer, he’s a solid narrator, but it can be hard to tell when he’s doing female voices... and the females had gender neutral names (Shane, Menteger, Fanial), so I had to concentrate to figure out who was speaking or acting. Also, his difficulty with female ranges led to repeats from other books. Menteger sounds just like Navani Khollin and there’s a character that sounds like the Sword Nimi voice from Way of Kings- very distracting.

Ultimately, this book took 23hrs to set the stage for a drawn out, convoluted “conquer the world” conspiracy arc, but didn’t invest me in the MCs, the confusing plots, or the sparse action. I will not proceed further with the series and will instead re-listen to Theft of Swords (starting the Riyria trilogy) which has a much better balance of medieval fantasy, action, and fun banter between two stellar MCs.

41 people found this helpful

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  • Rainbo Tims
  • 22-12-20

So good! Fantasy Novel from Orc Perspective? What!

I have to say I enjoyed every minute of this book and I am now very disappointed it's over.. hurry with the next one please.
This has multiple story lines but not too many...
Most books that have several main story lines, I usually have one that I like a lot more than others, and find myself wishing it would get back to the story line I liked...
Bare with me here...
This book was incredible in that by the end of every chapter I wouldn't want it to switch, and it kept happening all the way through like each story kept topping the other chapter by chapter and I enjoyed every story line.

I would say that I really really enjoyed the fresh ideas and the exploration of how a orc child/warrior could also grow up proud of his heritage, guess I always figured they didn't care.

Kinda reminded me of Riyria Revelations in that it was just fun all the way through!!!
I would highly recommend for fantasy readers of any age.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Corbin
  • 26-03-21

Seriously debated returning.

I have 9 EWR books finished in my library, and 1 on pre-order at the moment.

I am caught up with Stormlight Archive and have listened to Michael Kramer for 100+ hours.

So why didn't I like this?

1. it had an identity crisis: is it YA? is it VERY adult? YES.
2. whiplash PoV changes.
3. moments of brilliance either too short lived or too far from each other with ambien in between
4. The 2 intertwining story arcs are at the same time dependent on and oblivious of each other, depending on which chapter you're on...occasionally provides some fun insight but usually felt like "wait, what?
5,6 and 7: PoV transitions break yo neck

I struggled, guys. I've got 73 titles and I would not recommend this.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Tegveer
  • 05-02-21

Underwhelming

Only bought this book since the same author wrote the Galand Cycle. Honestly it was brutal getting through this, everything doesn’t tie together well. This book made Kramer’s voice sound boring.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Mizark
  • 01-01-21

Excellent! Refreshing Magic Systems

I don't normally write reviews, because I suck at trying to explain things, so I just do the star rating thing. This story however is amazing and I felt I had to write something. I just listened to it twice in a row.

The story and characters are what you would expect from Ed, well thought out and engaging. I've not read any of Sams work but I'm happy to meet him and can't wait for them to put out book 2.

The magic systems are very interesting and refreshing. Nice to see some out of the box stuff here.

I liked how the story went back and forth between the Orcs and Humans, and how each of their stories developed and then came together.

2020 ended great thanks to this listen!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 21-12-20

Another great book by EWR.

I’m not familiar with the co-author, but I have very much enjoyed Mr Robertson’s other series. This one has started out very promising. He has built an interesting world and great characters.

If you like his “Cycles” series you will like this too, though this book is not connected to those stories as far as I can tell. Definitely worth a credit.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ephraim
  • 14-02-21

Disappointing Collaboration

I had high hopes for this book with Mr. Robertson being a part of it. It was anything but exciting though. The magic system is underwhelming and not well outlined for what it can and cannot do. The worst part is the characters. The wizards apart from Wit are bizarrely unlikeable. The story reads more like people just going about life and you're stuck being a diary almost with no point even though you figure they will obviously come together somehow. When they do the story is mildly better but that means sitting through 80% well-written but dull and pointless build up to get 20% of "Oh maybe it'll be good now" to then have the story end. So you never actually get to the good part.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Sailfish
  • 13-01-21

Wizards behaving badly

Edward W. Robertson and Sam Lang crafted an interesting tale where human wizards who possess the power of mind control look to extend their will from their current area of influence to greater reaches using machinations, intrigue and subterfuge. Few have the will or capability to stand against them but for a few young adepts who resist the wizards influence and entreaties and seek a more compassionate means to administer order. This is also the story of the warrior-like orcs who are being raided and enslaved by a strong band of raiders and a small cadre of gifted orcs called No Names who seek to stop them.

The above is a punishing brief description of the outline of the novel since there are layers of other events occurring simultaneously that both enrich the story and, regrettably, often weigh it down. The authors limit their world-building and exposition quite well but then overdo their character building such that the listener is too often required to suspend the forward flow of the story to listen to what seems like mini-tales and experiences of most of the 1st tier characters. This is furthered by the wizard mind augury ability suddenly pulling characters away from the here and now and vicariously recalling their target's memories, often without any clue to the listener, causing one to worry that the audio may have skipped forward or had been a flaw in the recording process.

Still, the mastery of Michael Kramer's oratory skills minimized the frustration over these sections keeping the listener paying attention until the bit of disorientation passed and the mainline story continued.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Bruce
  • 13-05-21

An Awkward and Juvenile collaboration.

I had high hopes for the first few chapters. Then the 20th and 21st century slang began to show up. Profanity and sex started appearing as if it were added in after the fact. I don't object to profanity and sex, it just seemed extreme in the Young Adult sort of "Kids on their own" settings. English named characters made me stop and think "Wait... what?" Somewhere after about 10 chapters the Orc Children meet the Egg-fruit Trees. It just went on and on and on. It was like a moral heavy children's cartoon teaching about sharing. At that point I realized this book was not for me. I think it is was a Young Adult book where the author got Edward W. Robertson to help out with and they managed to cobble it together for publication to adults. I could be totally wrong, that is just my opinion. If you are a critical adult reader and MORE teen-agers in Wizard School is NOT what you were looking for.... Skip this awkward, juvenile collaboration and read Edward W. Robertson's many other novels.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth Kirkland
  • 24-12-20

Great story

Edward w robertson. has created some fun characters who go on a wild adventure with a weird legal twist. Really enjoyable!

4 people found this helpful