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It’s Book 2 of The Pillars of Reality the exciting epic fantasy series written exclusively for Audible by New York Times bestselling author Jack CampbellSomeone wants to kill Mari a young Steam Mechanic in the Guild that controls all technology She has learned that her world of Dematr is headed for a catastrophe that will destroy civilization and that Mages really can alter reality for short periods Someone also wants to kill Alain a young Mage who has learned that Mechanics are not frauds as his Guild teaches and that Mechanic Mari is the only person who can prevent the oncoming disasterNarrowly escaping death the Mechanic and the Mage stay alive thanks to their combined skills an alliance never before seen But it becomes clear that both of their Guilds the most powerful forces in the world are trying to destroy them Other powers like the great Empire and a mysterious secret Order also seek to kill or capture them using every weapon from Imperial Legions to Mage created trolls dragons and rocsTrying to survive and learn the truth about their world so they will know how to save it Mari and Alain realize that the answers they seek may lie in the dead city of Marandur But Marandur is guarded by the legions that have sealed it off from the rest of the world for than a century Mari and Alain's only hope may rest with the unseen Masters of Marandur

10 thoughts on “The Hidden Masters of Marandur

  1. says:

    Re read for 3rd time on May 201645 starsEver since I first discovered this series I’ve read each book multiple times which is EXTREMELY rare for me But this series is just so good that whenever I find myself in a funk I start the series all overAt the end of The Dragons of Dorcastle Alain Mari decided to separate in order to save each others' lives Their guilds were highly suspicious of the time they spent together so they realized that if their guilds discovered they are in love they would be signing their death warrants However even after keeping their nose clean for several months it’s clear their guilds decided to kill them anyway Mari discovers this first and decides to look for Alain even though after a separation of several months she’s not sure if his feelings are the sameSince departing from Mari Alain has missed the companionship and conversation of others and he fears that his Elders have detected the changes in him When he’s contracted to fight against the Empire he can’t help but talk to the General in charge a very unusual move for a mage Once Mari arrives and the General finds out that she’s Alain’s friend his amazement knows no bounds until he remembers the rumors that are circulating about the Daughter of the Prophesy It doesn’t take him long to figure out that she’s the young woman all the commons are talking aboutSoon enough Mari and Alain undertake a dangerous trip to get answers Mari still hopes to fix the situation with her guild but as they travel as commons with many different factions after them that hope dwindles and During a good chunk of the book Mari and Alain are still at crossroads about the prophesy with her refusing to hear anything he has to say about it because she thinks he’s talking about something else and he believing that she knows what he wants to tell herIn this book Mari starts gathering some allies even though she doesn’t even know she’ll need them She has mechanic friends who are willing to follow her but it’s Alain who helps with the commons and mages – he’s come so far since the first book where he was so unemotional As soon as the General finds out Mari’s identity he pledges his allegiance and even though the Mage training tried to destroy all connection between the Mage acolytes Alain discovers he has a mage friend who’s willing to risk her life to help himDuring this time we learn a lot about Alain Mari’s personality Mari has some really good ualities but a few of her bad ones come to the fore she’s jealous impatient sulky and irrational at times You can understand that she’s under a lot of pressure but Alain is so nice that you feel bad for him when Mari is in one of her moods Because of his training as a Mage testosterone doesn’t get in Alain’s way he never gets offended he’s extremely calm under pressure he doesn’t feel the need to boss around because he’s the guy and he listens to her and values her input For many years I listened only to the elders When I met you when you spoke to me I realized that other voices should also be heard Your words your actions showed me that what I’ve been told for twelve years as a Mage acolyte was not all that was worth knowingOn top of that Alain makes an effort to show some emotion even though he fears for his powers – he’s uietly romantic and even has a dry sense of humor shocker Besides some issues with social skills Alain is so freaking good that it’s almost painful The most touching parts of the book are actually due to him as he’s trying to feel again and understand others around himI can’t say enough good things about MacLeod Andrews’ narration It’s so nuanced and inspired There’s a moment when Mari is wondering why his guild is so threatened by her because she’s “low in ammunition when it comes to physical charms” and Alain responds “You are beautiful beyond all other women” The way Mr Andrews delivered that line with a mix of total sincerity and bafflement as if she’s crazy to even doubt her charms was so freaking perfect There are many such moments throughout the book where Mr Andrews imbues a phrase or word with so much meaning that it almost breaks your heartLike the last book there’s lost of action so if that’s what you like in your books it won’t be disappointed by this one First posted at Badass Book Reviews

  2. says:

    Finished the second instalment uickly after the first and I think the relationship and real ness of the characters is getting better as the books go I definitely think there's a lot of room for a big epic in this world and I am intrigued about what will happen next now that Mari has a destiny and Alain has a mission 3s overall and I will continue

  3. says:

    Re read August 2016 and it's just as good as the first timeThe adventure continues as Alain and Mari venture into unknown territory Being on the run has never been this much funIn this second book in the Pillars of Reality series the two young prodigies from the Mage and Mechanic Guilds find themselves in some serious trouble Their Guilds want them silenced in their challenge to the status uo The two are avoiding assassins and disasters in general braving the elements falling in love and struggling to define their relationship There is some serious character development happening here and it's delightful Alain continues to emerge from his shell as Mari struggles to accept her prominent role in the future of their world As they gather the clues that will give them the tools they need to fight the oncoming storm their clever banter gets better and better Alain learns the nature and practice of sarcasm as Mari teaches him about appropriate social cues We meet some new characters and situations And we get to see even of their natural talents as they evade capture and death life is a lot easier when you can do magic and blow stuff upThe world gets extensive here as well We find an entirely new society hidden from the rest of the world which only deepens the story as the saga continues The romance deepens and well let's face it the whole book is just a continuation of the fantastic story that is the Pillars of RealityOnce again MacLeod Andrews is astounding in his narration The way this guy can bring a specific character to life is just amazing These characters are so diverse and yet he distinguishes each one so well I never felt I was being read a book or even hearing narration rather it was like listening in on the conversations of characters The publishers hit it out of the park on the choice of Andrews as narrator This series has been written specifically for audio and boy does it deliver The projected release date for the next book The Assassins of Altis is July 2015 I cannot wait Bring on the barrage of Mages and Mechanics

  4. says:

    We went from steampunk to teenie bop I almost stopped listening 30% in because its all I love himwe can't be togetherI love herno we can't I hated that It got a little better about half way through but the start put me off completelyThe Dragons of Dorcastle book 1 was centered on the two main characters and its obvious a love interest was in play; but that book had threefour plot points that all were based on them doing something In this book Mr Campbell goes completely off on this tangent and half the book is about the two mooning over each other and what shall we do I also got this as an audio book and read #1 as an e book This may have changed things for me since I really disliked the various false accents and they simply emphasized how unlike this story is from the action driven stories I expect from Mr CampbellThe plot you can get from the summary but the switch from a action plot to the emotional plot really made me dislike this story I only hope that the next story brings us back to the action plot gallandro

  5. says:

    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyI may be a little biased because Jack Campbell is my favorite living author but I loved THE HIDDEN MASTERS OF MARANDUR This book picks up about two weeks after THE DRAGONS OF DORCASTLE ended and you’re thrown right into the action The intense battle and action scenes are one of the places where Campbell’s writing really shines There are a lot of urban and epic fantasy novels that make me cringe when I read their battles but Campbell’s years of military experience help him write realistic battlesEven though the battles are amazing my favorite part of this book is the interaction between Mari and Alain In the previous book Alain and Mari only barely admitted their feelings to each other so it’s great to see their friendship and relationship develop as they continue working together and saving each others’ lives One of the things I loved the most about THE DRAGONS OF DORCASTLE was the fun and natural banter between Alain and Mari and that banter is still in this book and maybe even a touch better Though Alain is continuing to learn about normal social interaction he still makes slips every once in a while that will make you want to either laugh or put your head in your handsWhile they’re relationship continues to grow it’s also fun to watch their individual characters develop They have to remove their guild related garb and don the clothes of commons as they run from both of their guilds This allows them to see the world through the eyes of the commons when they interact with commons on an eual level They both work hard to throw off the false teachings of their guilds as they see what the world is actually likeI lovehate cliffhangers just as much as anyone else but Campbell hasn’t found the need for them yet in the Pillars of Reality series Campbell ended THE HIDDEN MASTERS OF MARANDUR in a great place where I’m dying to know what happened next but without putting the characters in a life or death situation I just have to hope the next installment comes out as uickly as THE HIDDEN MASTERS OF MARANDUR did It will be an instant buy for meOn the AudiobookJack Campbell is in the process of getting the books in print but until that happens the Pillars of Reality series is exclusively on Audible And that’s okay because MacLeod Andrews does an amazing job narrating the series MacLeod does an excellent job putting emotion into the banter between Alain and Mari adding an extra layer of realism to the productionSexual content Kissing and references to sex

  6. says:

    Book 2 Massive spoilers ahead for The Dragons of DorcastleIt opens with our intrepid pair discovering that their separation at the end of Dragons was not enough to protect them After some trouble with an assignment Mari is ordered into a place collapsed in anarchy And Alain is ordered as the sole Mage in a military raid After the events of the last book he asks uestions enough to establish that he was lied to And they discover troubleMari goes somewhere else As a conseuence she and Alain meet again And the rest includes a forbidden device killing a dragon a roc attacking a train a dead city and its secrets a blizzard and passing as an eloping couple some failures to communicate being fixed up with strong reactions and Conseuences are building So is the foreseen and metaphorical storm

  7. says:

    Basically of what we got with the first book If you enjoyed the first one you'll probably like this one Again teenaged romance as written by a retired military man leaves something to be desired and Alain's complete and utter social ineptitude is really starting to grate on me a bit too It was still a fun book for what it is and is generally harmless with nothing really offensive or terrible about it It's a little old fashioned and cliche as far as modern fantasy novels go but it's nothing too horrible

  8. says:

    Even better than the first one this really delved into it's two main characters and gave us a bit of the world that I found so fascinating in the first one The plot is a bit less focused but it's always moving forward and gives us a lot to think about for the next one I'm really looking forward to seeing where this series goes

  9. says:

    I liked this but not as much as the first in the series I like the relationship between Alain and Mari but there was way too much I love you and I will never leave you It got pretty repetitive and I felt like too much time was spent on it Hopefully the next book will have less of this

  10. says:

    Find this and many other reviews at GeekritiueIt's been a long while since I've been so engrossed in a series like I am with this Two incredibly different people from two historically opposing guilds working together to throw down the major guilds literally breaking the pillars of the realities they know in the hopes that they can change the world This unassuming fantasy adventure was intended to be a straight to Audible series but since then the first three novels have been printed in paperback and eBook As with any good audiobook I can vouch for the book being a good read and a breath of fresh air for the genre that I haven't felt since the Riyria Revelations seriesAreas in the first volume which I once might have seen as merely lazy writing or plot holes are slowly getting filled in These areas of ambiguous history and popular mentality amongst the fictional populace do than serve as sidesteps for the author as he has begun placing those moments under the microscope There is much going on behind the scenes in this story than meets the eye or ear if you're listening to itSome of the issues I had with the previous novel including those pertaining to certain Mage have been dealt with by the time this story wraps up That's not to say that these issues haven't been replaced by other issues One of my biggest gripes with this book happens to involve the love shared between our two main protagonists Sometimes it becomes nauseating and distracting on occasion to an eye rolling degreeThat said this is the first actual fantasy story I can remember where the two main characters are courting each other whilst adventuring It's refreshing and author Jack Campbell nails it When they're not nauseating and actually when they are the characters are believable Despite what the characters are going through their love never seems forced or rushedThis is by far a character driven series I expected that to change with this book now that the two are together but that isn't so Not much actually happens You'll be able to name about 5 major events in this book and yet it's so enjoyable Like the previous novel The Dragons of Dorcastle much gets accomplished in the last uarter But this time we have a far greater grasp on where the story is headedAnd most importantly we get some much needed answers We learn about the history of the Empire and the Daughter of Jules We even get some crazy action in a forbidden city The way the information is being developed I have a strong suspicion that due to where these people are from that has a lot to do with why the world is the way it is Suppressed information along with a world that refuses to change leads to negative progress and turmoil and eventually to revolutionIf you haven't given this series a shot yet grab it now Click the Audible banner below to start your free trial and get any two free books to listen toGrab this inAudible | Paperback | eBook