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The Axe and the Throne

(Bounds of Redemption #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,881 ratings  ·  175 reviews
It is a fool's errand and Tallos knows it, but against his own better judgment and the pleading of his wife, Tallos has committed himself to a voyage north. His lifelong friend's eldest sons are said to have been taken by Northmen, a raiding people ill-reputed for their savagery. The boys are already dead, Tallos knows, and in that dark place of grim reasoning he wishes on ...more
Kindle Edition, 538 pages
Published January 17th 2016 by JayHenge (first published October 15th 2014)
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Steven I find his assertion that his writing is so subtle and deep that many readers would be put off to be grossly inaccurate. He is anything but subtle in …moreI find his assertion that his writing is so subtle and deep that many readers would be put off to be grossly inaccurate. He is anything but subtle in his nuances. In fact, it is more akin to being repeatedly beaten over the head with a 2x4 than subtle and sophisticated. I am not so sure I agree with assertion that you can be good and absolutely evil as well.(less)
Tara Woods Turner The sexual content is implicit, not explicit. I've read far worse in a romance novel. I am also on the squeamish side and I can tell you there's not n…moreThe sexual content is implicit, not explicit. I've read far worse in a romance novel. I am also on the squeamish side and I can tell you there's not nearly enough sexual contest to justify you missing this addictive read.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,881 ratings  ·  175 reviews

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Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
The author saw fit to comment on my original review criticizing my perspective as disingenuous to which I reply- sir I find your claim on page 437 of Axe and The Throne that “all reviews are greatly appreciated” disingenuous.

I’ll also leave this here: authors- don't respond to reviews

An author that needs to put a foreword in their novel suggesting that "thin-skinned readers will be quickly offended" with a condescending suggestion that they continue to read instead of "throwing the book down in
Mar 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Why so many favorable ratings? I just cannot understand this unless someone is spamming these lists.

And I really cannot understand the people who say "the writing was not bad, but..." The writing is bad. Period. Writing, as all communication, is a two-person effort and the harder the writer works, the easier things are for the reader. Nothing about this guy's writing drew me in. I could not begin to live the world in the book, no matter how many times I picked it up. Having come directly from P
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not for me. A quarter in and I can't find a plot.

Also I was tricked into thinking this book was higher in acclaim than it is because it was a "sponsored ad" made to look like it was in the top ten on BestFantasyBooks. It wasn't. It was mischievously squeezed between #5 and #6
May 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobooks, dnf
Forced myself to the 50%. It was hard. Lives to the disclaimer, but not in the way it wants to.
Mostly dull a boring stretch that tries to be ASOSIAF.

I hope Mr. Ireman the best, because the writing from sentence to sentence has potential. I'm just sad about its flaws.
Tori Crandall
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Axe and the Throne has been a delight in every sense. So much character building takes place. It is vastly detailed, but gracefully so. Ireman has made me feel like this world is right next door to me (however, I can remember places within the world, but what do they call this world overall?). I love the glimpses of magic that creep up in the story. There's endless amounts of stomach turning, heart stopping, jaw dropping, oh my god I'm closing the book before I poo myself cause I can't belie ...more
Jessica Augustsson
This novel is firmly in the high fantasy genre, and if you enjoy detailed world building and Game of Thrones style tales, this is definitely for you. I enjoyed it very much and would be pleased to recommend it to others. I am also extremely intrigued as to what comes next. :)
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was difficult to get into at first, as it was difficult to keep all of characters straight. It was more than worth the effort! I found the story engaging & very well written. I can't wait to see where the author is going with this! Top notch! ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you like world building and character building, then this is the book for you. The characters are awesome, the complexities the characters develop and the characteristics that develop are true to form.

This builds, and builds and builds. And as soon as it starts to boil up, you are left wanting a whole lot more. I mean that, it may seem frustrating, but to be honest. I do not know how this could have simply ended any other than this......

You must read the second book. Yes you have to because y
Thomas King
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful Read

Not only does every character have an amazing amount of depth, but there seems to be a genuine surprise around every corner. I recommend this to anybody who is into fantasy, and can't wait for the second book!
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good read

I like the characters and their individual flaws. The anti heroes are some the best I've seen. I can't wait for the next book.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Josh by: Paid reviewer
Shelves: bad-writing
My interest in the grimdark genre has led to me reading some pretty poor fiction, but I think The Axe and the Throne takes the cake. Poorly developed and paper-thin characters. The writing is terrible. The dialogue is wretched. By the middle of the book I had to glance back at the condescending 'warning' the writer felt so compelled to include, giggling in disbelief to myself. 'A challenging read'? Challenging in a sense, sure: I'd rather be strapped to a chair while Stephen Hawking's text-to-vo ...more
Tara Woods Turner
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my freaking goodness!!

This book was absolutely amazing and I devoured it in three days! I'm surprised no one has mentioned the glaring Game of Thrones similarities but that may be because we're all thinking what no one wants to ask out in the open...Did Ireman just out-Martin Martin?? I'm not prepared to determine whether we have a pretender or a contender but I will say this book had me hooked from the beginning and never let me go. And the three major surprises near the end will leave you b
Jul 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Disappointed that I stopped reading after 130 pages or so.
Could not get any traction. The writing was pedestrian and almost like watered down fan fiction for a Game of Thrones universe.
I honestly could not keep track of the northmen who were so bland that there was no distinguished way in which they spoke or acted.
Larry Kenney
Jul 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-fantasy, grimdark
I wanted to like this book, but ultimately was unable to to so. Every character seems to make the worst possible assumptions and act on them in every instance. I'm all about the grim in grimdark, but this was just a little too much. ...more
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So happy I found this book. Dark, unrelenting and beautiful. I can't wait for more, I will be reading a second time. ...more
Justin Sinclair-smith
Feb 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
While I understand most tastes vary, for me brevity is the most desired quality in a book. I rated this book low because of its convoluted nature. For the plot alone this book would have been better served at three hundred plus pages instead of over five hundred. Like Game of the Thrones it had multiple POV's and so far in my opinion, only Mr. Martin can pull that style of writing off.

First of all there is too much internal or self-dialogue in this book which seems to replace scene and location
Matthew Gagnon
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It can be somewhat amusing, reading the reactions to this book. I feel a bit like Goldilocks.

On the one hand, there are some mystified fools who picked up a work of unapologetic Grimdark, and then seemed to be shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that it was... a work of unapologetic Grimdark. These folks rated the book very low, and expressed their horror that it contained brutality, sexual exploitation of women, The Patriarchy, and was dark, and violent. These people should be ignored and not taken seriousl
Jun 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I was really looking forward to this book because of the high reviews, but upon reading the first page I became irritated, and things went downhill from there.

'WARNING: The Axe and the Throne is not intended for mass consumption. It is a challenging read, both in complexity and content...It is a limited audience that enjoys making sense of what others consider merely frustrating...'

Ok. That's slightly obnoxious. But I thought at least it had to mean the book was good, because who would preface
John Sullivan
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great new epic fantasy for adults! The best I've read in years, and a relief to know that there are still those taking risks with their concepts and writing in Epic Fantasy. It's not YA, it's undoubtedly controversial to many people who like their characters and worlds to be fiction within fiction - but this is very real, and true to the times and scenarios of the world, while still being epic, of course.

I love this book, I can't wait for the sequel and I'll be a fan of this author for ever m
Gillian Lamar
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great. I'm an epic fantasy buff and found this story to resonate with me in a similar way as Joe Abercrombie's The First Law. The story was great, the characters are awesome, and it's written in a way that you would expect from seasoned fantasy. I would highly recommend and can't wait for the sequel.
jennifer Simons
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As I am sure many fellow readers are wary of self-publications I am as well. After signing up for Kindle unlimited I found it easier to risk a free book. None however were as good as The Axe and the Throne.
Nathan French
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really enjoyed this book. the characters were so beautifully flawed and perfect, deeply layered, I just hope the 2nd book comes soon. I stumbled across this book as a recommendation on a fantasy site and what a wonderful and painful surprise, now I have to wait on the next in the series...
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

Well written, good characterization, looking forward to the rest of the series. The author is destined for big things!
The transition between characters was well done.
Billy Oliver
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I've read in a long time

If you're a fan of Martin you'll definitely enjoy this book. Like in song of ice and fire there are quite a few characters to follow and none are black and white in terms of character. Highly recommend! Can't wait for the next book
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterfully written with incredible attention to detail and character development yet remarkably fast paced and suspenseful.
A joy to read.....
Craig Scott
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May be a first time author but do not be fooled. The writing is extraordinary and the story fascinating. I love Fantasy and very much look forward to the rest of the series.
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Editing review after second read:

As stated above, I've read this book twice now, and I have to say, the second read was eye opening. It is brilliant. There is so much depth, both in the characters and in the plot, full of hidden gems and woven with mastery, that it begins to get into A Song of Ice and Fire territory. Yet whereas the later books in Martin's series took me weeks to finish, I blitzed through The Axe and the Throne so quickly on my first read that I did not fully appreciate it.

Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. What's really sad is that I almost didn't pick it up because of some of the scathing reviews. What's really upsetting is that many of the terrible reviews are pathetic - obnoxious people being pretentious and overboard on their criticism.
Shame on me for getting caught up in the few bad reviews, but I actually expected this book to be terrible. The title isn't very clever, it took a little bit to get into the story, and the story hopped around so much that it was diffi
Stephen Richter
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
I have been waiting for the next author who has been influenced by George RR Martin and Steven Erikson. This book, first self published but now picked up, has that influence. Some parts dragged being the first book in series, that is sometimes normal for book ones. There is enough there to expect the writing to get stronger.
Kaustubh Dudhane
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Never underestimate your children’s capacity for impudence, should you ever have any."

Source: Iryna Kuznetsova |

This is one fucked up novel! Borderline frustrating yet highly imaginative and creative. There are multiple perspectives from various characters. At least, sixteen of them! All of them have multiple layers. One cannot figure whether they are good or evil. One can at least fathom that they are humane. I have liked Cassen and Titon the senior. However, my favorite is
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M. D. IREMAN was diagnosed as 'left-brained' early in life due to a troublesome affliction: an affinity for math and science. The stigma of his condition followed him from primary school into college, where he earned a scholarship to the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. Against the pleas of his doctors, he gave up his scholarship to pursue a different calling, and has been building Sci- ...more

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