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The Man with the Golden Torc (Secret Histories #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  8,137 Ratings  ·  360 Reviews
For ages, Eddie Drood and his family have kept humanity safe from the things that go bump in the night. But now one of his own has convinced the rest of the family that Eddie's become a menace, and that humanity needs to be protected from him. So he's on the run, using every trick in the book, magical and otherwise, hoping he lives long enough to prove his innocence...
ebook, 416 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Roc (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Five stars stands for awesome, and that's what this book is! I loved it. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it as much as the Nightside series, but boy was I wrong.

This book takes my love of James Bond spy movies and supernatural stories and makes a wonderful hybrid, but it has Simon R. Green's own stamp and spin on it. He incorporated all the humor which will make me laugh out loud, the angsty moments, and some thrilling/scary/downright horrific moments as well.

I loved Eddie! Although
Dan Schwent
Edwin Drood is a member of the legendary Drood family, a family dedicated to protecting humanity from threats. At least, that's what he thought until he was declared rogue and had the entire familly on his trail. Now, with Molly Metcalf, infamous witch, in tow, Edwin must find out the sinster secret at his family's heart. The only people that can tell him: the people he's been fighting against his entire adult life...

The Man With the Golden Torc is typical Simon Green. You have monsters, action,
Executive Summary: Overall I’m pretty underwhelmed. I was hoping for something to take the place of Mr. Green’s Nightside series, but this just didn't do it for me.

Audio book: This is the first book I've listened to by Stuart Blinder. I thought he was pretty good. He does several voices and accents that helped move along what could often be a rather slow plot.

Full Review
A friend of mine introduced me to Simon R. Green with his Nightside series a few years back. I didn't read a lot back then, b
It's like the Nightside books, except that nearly half of the weird stuff presented actually had a purpose! So, despite the fact that the protagonist spent more time congratulating himself for being clever and bad-ass than he did actually being clever or, y'know, halfway competent, I'll be looking for the sequel. Perhaps in that one the protagonist won't be so ridiculously overpowered that the text of every fight scene could be replaced by "OMG WE'RE GOING TO DIE -- but wait, I had this handy-da ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Another where I'd like to have either a "half star" or 10 star system. I was torn here as there are 4 star books I've liked better but I believe it rates more than 3. So...3.5+ equals a 4 star rating I guess.

The book is good, it's recognizably Green I believe if you've read any Nightside. Eddie (or Shaman Bond) puts me in mind of John a bit, but maybe a bit more openly a "good-guy". Any of you who've read my reviews will know That would appeal to me a bit more than the other.

Eddie is a "good son
The Flooze
Edwin Drood has more gadgets than you can imagine: golden armor, a portable door, a self-aiming gun with never-ending bullets, and much more.

But he also has more problems than you can shake a stick at. He's the supernatural answer to James Bond, and he's just been declared rogue. Now everyone (including his family) wants him dead, while all Eddie wants is the truth.

It took about 50 or 60 pages for this book to hit its stride. But once it did, it was unstoppable. The pace was fast, the lead cha
Espen Jensen
Dec 25, 2015 Espen Jensen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A good plot and decent setting backed by disinterresting and seemingly disinterrested characters and a strangely disjointed and chaotic storytelling.

I came to this book knowing that it is a part of long list of books set in the same world, and I've been longing for some good urban fantasy which i can really sink my teeth into. So naturally I was eager and hopeful. I guess this teaches me not to get my hopes up.

The plot itself actually has quite a lot going for it, it's both interresting and not
Overall, I liked this book very much. It was more substantive than his Nightside series (which I also like, but not quite as well). It wasn't quite as dark, also. It felt a bit more like a combo of the action in his Deathstalker space opera with the horror/dark fantasy of the Nightside books. More humor, a very likable protagonist and a fun new premise to explore. There were a few of his classic divergences into long descriptions of the weird creatures he's imagined without any real impact on th ...more
Nov 30, 2011 Nick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In the future, I will stick to Jim Butcher's 'The Dresden Files' for my hard-boiled urban fantasy needs. Not that there's not room in the genre for a novel with cars that eat people, or anything.
Ben Babcock
After discovering Simon R. Green through his Nightside series, I was looking forward to this new series. While The Man With the Golden Torc is occasionally entertaining, overall I was underwhelmed.

The culprit in this case is a repetitiveness on the part of the author. He reuses certain phrases often, and it's not clear whether this is done intentionally, for the sake of irony, or if he's just not that inventive. Also, is this book supposed to be set in the same universe as the Nightside series?
Nov 12, 2011 Crescendo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a is how story unfolds : we have our softhearted and naive agent/killer with a long list of gadgets to start with - indestructible golden armor, hand-watch to turn back time, auto aiming gun with unlimited bullets and portable door. He meets a series of almighty bad guys who happen to have weapons to counter his gadgets, but not to worry, our hero just keeps finding bigger and better gadgets - super-powerful shaman from another dimension, badge to confuse the whole universe ...more
C.T. Phipps
Simon R. Green and I have a special connection. Well, no, actually we don't but it's weird how he seems to write the books I want to write and always has ideas I thought I came up with first. Either way, the Secret Histories series has been compared to Esoterrorism a few times so I thought I'd give it a try and see if it was any good. It is.

Shaman Bond, the alias of Edwin Drood, is the greatest secret agent in the world. Sort of. Edwin Drood doesn't work for any government but his family of fo
Read: March 2016

Rating: 3.5/5 stars (rounded down to 3/5)

The Plot: Eddie Drood is a member of a large supernatural family who work undercover for the good of the country, protecting it from all paranormal and other dimensional threats. Suddenly Eddie finds himself declared an enemy of the family who begin to hunt him down. Now he must figure out how to stay ahead of the other Droods and why his family now want him dead.

I am a huge fan of Simon R. Green’s work; I love the Nightside series and the
Feb 20, 2015 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure I'd like this. I usually dig my heels in and resist "humorous" fantasy novels. They're not my cup of cocoa. Smart and funny is great; I have a weakness for really clever puns. But I'm not usually willing to offer the same suspension of disbelief to a book written with the primary intent of being comical as I am a more grounded book with a sense of humor. And I'd heard of Simon R. Green's books primarily as humor.

Well, The Man with the Golden Torc was funny - from the title on thro
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
This was a funny book but with a good plot and interesting world but the first quarter read like a comic book farce and was a little too out there for me to get into it. I really didn't like the protagonist very much and I almost stopped there but then the story got a little better as the real story of the book came out. I began to like the character better although it began to read like Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz or the Phantom Tollbooth but not nearly as good. What I mean is that ...more
3.5 stars. Good paranormal thriller about Eddie Drood, the black sheep of a massive family that quietly protects the world from the supernatural. I was completely surprised by all of the turns this one took! *still boggled* This isn't rated higher because there was an awful lot of exposition that felt unnecessary and at times unending.
Dec 21, 2011 Emy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I think this series may be the third one to make the grade for both me and my husband (the only other two to have managed that are the Dresden Files and The Laundry). This is much harder to do that you'd think!! For this book, making the grade needed a hero with faults, a heroine who is not a cypher or a squealer, and to tread the fine like between too little action to be plausible, and so much that it fails to have a story or plot beyond the action. Personally I also liked the English humour, L ...more
Mar 02, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was at C2E2, sitting in on a panel that had Simon Green, Mary Robinette Kowal, and some other authors I didn't know. At the time Mary was the only author I had heard of, and Green was just as unknown to me as the rest.

After the panel was over some penguin PR person made an announcement that there would be free books at some booth out on the show floor, and this was one of the books. I, being the thrifty bibliophile that I am, of course wanted all of the free books I could get my hands on, whe
Jan 30, 2016 Errrrrrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me regret learning how to read. If I am ever simultaneously blinded, deafened, and have all my fingers severed the first thought to cross my mind will be, "Well, at least I won't ever have to read/listen to/read in braille The Man With the Golden Torc. Got that going for me at least."

Eddie Drood manages to transcend the traditional over the top character by being an over the top version of an already over the top fictional character (James Bond), and ultimately the book comes acro
Shayan Kh
3.7 stars.

What can I say? I think people here already summed up this book pretty good: James Bond with magic.

It is pretty much like a mix of GI joe and Nightside. Almost a typical Simon R. Green book. ( I haven't read the deathstalker series yet.) It tends to get repetitive a little after you read one of his series. But I just love the concepts he uses in his books. Like the Confiuselum, I just love picturing these things, and Mr. Green delivers every time.

If you are a fan of his works, and yo
Jun 01, 2013 Aivel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, when i first picked this book I was kinda excited, they claim it was James Bond dropped in the supernatural world and base on the opening paragraph, I was expecting snarky humor galore - just the way I like my urban fantasy novel. Well I was wrong on both counts, his only semblance to James Bond is the fact that he is a secret agent and that his cover name is Shaman Bond and the snark I was looking for? it stopped on the first paragraph. Aside from that there are lots of filler scenes as in ...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
I'm a huge fan of the Nightside series, so I was looking forward to reading the first book in Simon R Green's Secret Histories series.

Eddie Drood - aka Shaman Bond - is an agent of good who comes from an ancient and very powerful family. The Drood family protect the world from supernatural threats that humans have no idea are going on around them. They also have golden torcs around their necks that turn into full body armour. He's good at his job as a field agent, but when he's attacked and labe
Patrick Hayes
I good idea gone horribly wrong with padding. This is a 398 paged fantasy novel that could remove everything between pages 102 through 277 (that would be Chapters 8 through 17). The story is about mankind being protected since Roman times by a magical family, the Droods, who wear magical golden torcs that cover their bodies in golden armor. The Droods have prevented wars, stopped supernatural beings, and alien invasions (yes, this novel dips occasionally into that genre, and it shouldn't have). ...more
Patricia Burroughs
This was highly recced to me, urban fantasy, I think, but very British? We'll see!

I'm back. Listened to it, found it highly entertaining! From the titles in the series to Eddie Drood's alternate name of Bond, it's clear that these books owe a bit to James Bond, international spy with all sorts of fun and ridiculous weapons. And it works.

Sidebar: I have always been annoyed by titles like Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series--It's In His Kiss, The Viscount Who Loved Me, The Duke And I, even though I lo
Jan 06, 2012 Naiya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
His name is Drood. Edwin Drood.

Cover name: Shaman Bond.

His whole life, he’s been taught that his only reason for being is to protect mankind and maintain order in a world saturated with magic, super-science, aliens, and monsters. Around his throat, Eddie wears a magic torc–it’s retractable armor and an invisibility cloak all rolled into one. But trouble is stirring–there are evil powers that want to take the Drood family down, and a traitor in the family. So when Eddie is summoned home from the
May 30, 2011 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, don't read this review if your'e likely to get influenced by my opinions. I know a few books that have been ruined for me as a reviewer highlighted errors I would normally have missed - and as such made me dislike the book. Make up your own mind really.

Still, if you want to know read on...

This was an interesting read, and I found the whole story captivating and worth the effort. It was fast paced, had what I thought was an original, innovative idea and was well written. It was one of
Jan 24, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book a bit of a sceptic, I mean its not everyday you get a main character who refers to himself as Shaman Bond in Public, and is actually called Edwin Drood, and the fact that the series as a whole seems to like making word plays of big James Bond titles.

The overall story that unravels here was however very good, and while its often the people around Eddie who are often in more danger than he is, the story holds up a good amount of tension and suspense. Some of the twists of the s
Diane ~Firefly~
Wow, that was a thrill ride. This book is almost non-stop action taking place over only a couple of days. I always wondered how the people survived intense times like that. I think I'd need about a 6 month vacation to recover.

What I enjoyed:
* Eddie/Shaman is a great lead character. He is the rebel of the family (whose mission is to protect the world) and has his own sense of justice and a good sense of humor.
* Molly is awesome. She can hold her own and is delightfully wicked without being evil.
JJ DeBenedictis
This is an incredibly cheesy book, much like the old James Bond movies it emulates (although without the gratuitous sex.) It's not a skillfully-written novel, but once you get into it, it's good fluffy fun.

That said, I found it hard to get into. The plot and character motivations make little sense for the first hundred pages, and there's some very repetitive strings of events. For example, there's a car chase where discrete clumps of baddies attack the protagonist and are vanquished, one by one,
Oct 15, 2009 D.K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't recall that I've ever read a book that even came close to the number fight sequences in this book. How, Simon R. Green managed to write a solid story with likable characters amidst the mayhem is a surprise to me.

Edwin Drood a loyal but rebellious member of the Drood family as always thought of himself as fighting the good fight. After receiving a mission from the head of the Drood family, Edwin expected danger. What he didn't expect was to be called a rogue agent and to be hunted by his
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Simon Richard Green is a British science fiction and fantasy-author. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester. His first publication was in 1979.

His Deathstalker series is partly a parody of the usual space-opera of the 1950s, told with sovereign disregard of the rules of probability, while being at the same time extremely bloodthirsty.

More about Simon R. Green...

Other Books in the Series

Secret Histories (10 books)
  • Daemons Are Forever (Secret Histories, #2)
  • The Spy Who Haunted Me (Secret Histories, #3)
  • From Hell with Love (Secret Histories, #4)
  • For Heaven's Eyes Only (Secret Histories, #5)
  • Live and Let Drood (Secret Histories, #6)
  • Casino Infernale (Secret Histories, #7)
  • Property of a Lady Faire (Secret Histories #8)
  • From a Drood to a Kill (Secret Histories, #9)
  • Dr. DOA (Secret Histories, #10)

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