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The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn

(Kingdom of Grit #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  161 reviews
"I'm hiring you to steal the king's crown."

Ardor Benn is no ordinary thief. Rakish, ambitious, and master of wildly complex heists, he styles himself a Ruse Artist Extraordinaire.

When a priest hires him for the most daring ruse yet, Ardor knows he'll need more than quick wit and sleight of hand. Assembling a dream team of forgers, disguisers, schemers, and thieves, he sets
Paperback, 784 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Orbit
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Eds_girl yes there is! it's narrated by the author :)…moreyes there is! it's narrated by the author :)(less)
Eds_girl it does get a bit violent near the end of the book if that what you mean as dark? but no I would not say it's a scary book :) …moreit does get a bit violent near the end of the book if that what you mean as dark? but no I would not say it's a scary book :) (less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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TS Chan
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review-copy
ARC received from the publisher, Orbit, in exchange for an honest review.

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn is a commendable adult fantasy debut, by Tyler Whitesides, that is fun, entertaining and has a unique magic system.

Firstly, this book caught my attention because it was tagged as "Perfect for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora, Eli Monpress and Theft of Swords." As these are some of my favourite titles, I simply cannot pass this up. Plus, I could never resist a heist-plot.

Ardor Benn is a ru
4.5 stars

There are flaws in the book, but the overall enjoyment factor was very high, and they didn’t bother me that much.

This is Flintlock Fantasy, similar to steampunk. Magic is created by detonating Grit, a special powder made of various substances that have passed through the digestive track of a dragon. Interesting stuff.

Ardor Benn is a con man (“ruse artist”) who enjoys the game of running a con but still has strong morals. The book opens with him pulling off a con. It’s a great scene that
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, own, dragons
I have known Tyler since we did a joint school visit after the first Janitors book came out. I bought a copy and had it signed to my oldest son, not as a pity buy, but as a, "Hey, I like you, you're fun!" buy. My son liked the book, liked the whole series, in fact, and I liked Tyler and his wonderful wife Connie, so we were all good. When I found out that Tyler's next book would be for grownups, I congratulated him, and he said, "I want you to read it, and I don't want to know what you think abo ...more
The Captain
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: here-be-dragons
Ahoy there me mateys! As ye all know I absolutely adore dragons and thievery. This book combines both! I saw it on Nikki @ thebibliophibian’s post and had to check it out.

So the story follows Ardor Benn, ruse artist extraordinaire, as he goes on his biggest heist yet – to steal the king’s crown! To accomplish this he must assemble a top-notch team. The team includes:

- Raekon Dorrel – he happens to be Ardor’s best friend and deals with logistics, mathematics, and brawn
- Quarrah Khai – a thief who
starts quite strong - and overall the novel has a lot of energy until the end keeping me turning the pages which pretty much deserves 5 stars on its own as I would estimate less than 5% of the books I open today keep me engaged for long- but the mashing of fantasy and sf elements (in an otherwise fairly common buddy-buddy con-men adventure) starts creaking towards the end with the novel getting close to jumping the shark and losing any shred of suspension of disbelief; a strong last few pages sa ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was...a long book. And boy did I feel it about halfway through, wondering where the thread had gone and when we were going to get back to the point. I'll also say that early on this book had me comparing it to The Lies of Locke Lamora, which isn't really fair because 1. in the end they weren't really that similar at all, and 2. Ardor Benn can't hold a candle to Locke Lamora. I have to imagine that the author knew that readers would make this comparison, especially since this is titled so si ...more
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
3.5 stars.

As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

Ardor Benn/Ard who in his own words is a ‘ruse artist extraordinaire‘ because why use a mundane and common term like a con artist or swindler.😂 Is tasked by the elderly Wayfarist (Wayfarism is one of the religions in the book) priest Isle Halavend to steal the royal regalia from the ruler of the Greater Chain (made-up of the islands, Talumon, Dronodan, Strind and Espar wit
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I could attempt to explain the plot to The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn, but I fear I would do it some sort of injustice. Like all the best scams there is a lot going on here. My advice, strap yourself in and just go for it. This is a novel that is all about the ride. I can promise you one thing, there will be much to enjoy. This is a novel that defies anything close to categorisation.

Ardor Benn is all cocksure swagger. As quick of mind as he is of wit, he loves the life of a ruse artist. He m
Dec 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the hazards of the hefty-tome fantasy series is that being pretty good often doesn't cut it. In the case of Tyler Whitesides' Kingdom of Grit series, having about 1,400 pages to go once you've read a mostly fun but flawed opener was too big a mountain for me to climb. 

Curiously, the back cover description ignores the trilogy's most intriguing hook: a magic system based on the properties of dragon excrement. Handlers "cultivate" various substances so that the end product, having passed thr
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted at Erlebnisse:

Um, is it possible to give a book six stars?

Because holy shit, friends.

I have a feeling this review is going to be everywhere, so I do sincerely apologize for that. But I just...sorta...fell completely in love with this book? And after walking for two miles during my lunch break, my mind going over and over the events that transpired between these pages (especially the last, eh, 300 or so), I'm still not sure exactly
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy, at-home
Part of me is glad I put off reading this for so long because now I can binge the whole series! But a bigger part of me is wondering why I didn't read this the second I bought it because it was awesome. I gave it four stars instead of five because some of the characters at the start felt a little flat for me, but by the end I was totally blown away by all the twists and turns that I absolutely didn't see coming. I can't wait to see where the story, and in particular where Ardor Benn himself, wil ...more
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
My favourite ruse/con book of all time. Makes Locke look like a rank amateur. Full review to come.
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would have liked to write something a bit more insightful for this book, something to make it justice because, even if it is not perfect and there were some things that didn’t sit so well with me, it would have deserved a proper review. But when I finished it I wasn’t in the right mood to write it down, and more time pass and more things I am going to miss. So, dear book, I am sorry. But I can at least try to say something about it, and maybe a bullet review would help me out. So let’s start! ...more
Jake is Reading
Nov 03, 2020 rated it liked it
If you love a good ruse, this book is absolutely for you, with almost half the novel describing how Ard and his crew attempt to steal the King’s regalia. The plan is entirely over the top, involving new identities and some costly services, but very entertaining.

I was immediately drawn in by Ard and Raek’s sarcastic banter, and the unique fantasy setting, which has traditional medieval influences, as well as flintlock fantasy and perhaps some Ol’ West vibes.

The other major appeal of this novel
4.75 stars

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn is a page-turning, heist novel set in a world where people use different types of slag (processed dragon feces) for its various magical affects. In this novel we follow Ardor and his group of thieves, mercenaries and con artists as they pull off the ruse of a lifetime to steal the kings regalia.

Plots within plots open up as the story progresses and the story twists and turns and goes in directions you will never see coming. I loved this book. It was f
David S Meanderings)
I was enjoying this one, until I wasn't:/ Probably 2.5 stars. RTC ...more
Thanks to the publisher, Orbit, and Netgalley for the eARC.

"What are you doing here? How did you find me?"
"It was easy," the man replied. "I followed the sounds of utter chaos."

Rating: 5 GLORIOUS stars.

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn might just have overtaken The Lies of Locke Lamora as my favourite heist book and if you know me, you'll know this is big thing.
I picked up The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn because it sounded like it was written just for me - heists, dragons, and a hilarious prot
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really cool heist style fantasy. Reminded me of Locke Lamora in style of fantasy but had more of a comical feel to the dialogue. The world building was alot of fun, especially the magic system, although it did remind me a bit of Mistborns magic system a tad. Good fun fantasy. Ard was a great main character and the number of tricks they pulled and the way they did it was at times surprising, did not predict many of them at all. My only complaint is the length. If it had been on the shorter side 5 ...more
Whitney Jamimah
3 objective stars, 1.5 for my generalized enjoyment of the book, let's round this to a 2 star rating.

What this boils down to for me is that this book should be marketed as at least a YA book if not maybe even a middle grade. I think this book would be PERFECT for someone in 8th grade. If this book was marketed the right way I would have been able to give it a better rating for the age category but ultimately this book read as very juvenile. Is the fact that it is so long allow the powers that b
This book was a bit difficult for me to get into at first, but the payoff was worth it. It’s like a nicer version of The Lies of Locke Lamora, which is one of my favorite books of all time. There’s a lot of complicated world-building thrown at you, mostly about the many uses of dragon poo, but it’s definitely inventive, clever, and intense. Every time they were out on one of their many heists, I was completely sucked in, and the messes they got themselves into made me laugh out loud several time ...more
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"What do you say, Quarrah Khai? It's gonna be fun. There'll be gunfights, dragons, swordplay, narrow escapes..." "Explosions," Rack added."

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides for me was an absolutely amazing, spectacular, and mind blowing extravaganza of a book! From beginning to end my eyes were glued to the pages as the adventure of Ardor Benn intensified with every chapter i passed. Everything I love about fantasy novels is in this book, from dragons, a unique magic system,
Maja Ingrid
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, rereads
2021 reread
Reread most of it. Until I felt I got most of the gist of it. 750 some pages is quite a bit to trudge through when you're in a slump. I did not feel like I enjoyed it quite as much as first time I read it, but it could come down to my slump. Looking back at my first review, I still think this book could have done well being shorter. It drags. And I didn't love the romance between the two MC's.

But gonna read the other two books eventually. This reread was mainly to freshen up my memor
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alright. First, I don't know how this book doesn't have a hell of a lot more ratings. It was so good! What a hidden gem!

One of the things that stood out most to me was the worldbuilding. I found it so unique, nestled in the sort of steampunk area that I truly love. The technology was powered by the magic system in a great way. The religion held real weight when it came to the plot. Everything tied together so nicely by the end. I was thoroughly impressed.

The writing was a biiiit clunky at times
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epics
There is not enough hype about this book. I greatly enjoyed it! Cool magic system, relatable characters, exciting heists - and the length (~800 pgs) was a plus for me, I hate for a good book to end.
Rowena Andrews
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn (Liar. Thief. Legend) has to be one of the most fun reads I’ve come across this year, it was entertaining from start to finish, with layers within layers of adventure and schemes that keep you reading and plunging headfirst into the next stage. I also can’t start this review without talking about the cover, which was the first thing that caught my attention because it’s absolutely stunning, with that classic fantasy feeling and beautiful colours.
This book isn’t
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
My Rating: 4 Stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Does anyone else see the word heist in a synopsis and immediately decide they need to read that book? Please tell me I’m not the only one with a mild obsession for ruse artists and thieves. Morally gray characters are basically just my catnip.

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn started off exactly where you want a heist novel to begin – in the middle of a job. The action was near continuous from that first page all th
Peter Baran
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is deceptively difficult to set up complex heists in fantasy worlds. Whilst you an assume certain laws of physics pass over, you need to set up the stakes, the level of weaponry before you get to the real problem - namely magic. If magic exists then why would Danny ocean need to set up a complex second vault to film whilst robbing the first one, if he can just teleport in and out. The only solution is to set up complex rules for magic that will preclude that, and magic with rules - well that ...more
Thank you Netgalley and OrbitBooks Uk for the e-arc.

Now that all formalities are done let me tell you my thoughts about this book in one sentence -
Talented, Brilliant, Incredible, Amazing, Showstopping, Spectacular, Never The Same, Totally Unique, Completely Not Ever Been Done Before, ( yes ref to Lady Gaga that good )

In The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn we follow
PLOT :- Ardor Benn a master of wildly complex heists, he styles himself a Ruse Artist Extraordinaire ,Isle Halavend A priest and
Ross Thompson
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a very original take on the fantasy genre (for me at least). The main character, Ardor Benn, is a roguish 'ruse artist', who runs small time cons on everyone from bar patrons (betting he can't hit a shot after numerous drinks) to gangsters. He is approached by a religious, monk-type, man who wants to hire him to run a con on the king of the Greater Chain of islands.
The world Whitesides has built is really wonderful, not totally dissimilar to that in Mistborn. However, here materials are
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book to kick off my 2021 reading year with. It also pulled me out of a reading slump, so extra points for that! The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn is the first book in a trilogy and it was a really fun read. This story will definitely appeal to fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora.

Ardor is a ruse artist, conning the rich and nobility with the help of his friend Raek. Their bromance and banter had definite shades of Locke and Jean, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I do wish that Quarrah, a th
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Other books in the series

Kingdom of Grit (3 books)
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