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(The Manhunters #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Some of the darkest minds in Perilisc attacked Mending Keep, releasing all its prisoners. Despite his strained relationship with the crown, Rayph Ivoryfist calls old friends to his aid in a subversive attempt to protect King Nardoc and thwart terrorist plots to ruin the Festival of Blossoms. But someone else is targeting Rayph, and even his fellow Manhunters might not be e ...more
Published October 5th 2017 by Jesse Teller (first published September 23rd 2017)
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Rebekah Teller Adults, fans of dark fantasy who don't mind violence and gore. …moreAdults, fans of dark fantasy who don't mind violence and gore. (less)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Hiu Gregg
This is a book that I’ve been meaning to read and review for a while now. In fact, I’ve had a copy of this waiting to be read since before this blog even existed.

Song is a grimdark book, but not like any grimdark I’ve read before. The dark, oppressive, gritty™ tone is there, though it contrasts with the breakneck pace and sheer readability. Unlike most grimdark, I’d feel comfortable saying that this is a book for binging.

The plot seems simple at first, though there are more than enough twists an
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark and gritty fantasy, epic in its fierce and raw telling. SONG by Jesse Teller is the story of one man, a legend in his time, a tarnished hero and his quest to protect the crown and the kingdom from terrorism’s ugly grasp. Rayph Ivoryfist, Manhunter, will call upon those he can trust to protect the king, only to discover he may need protection, himself as he becomes a target for death.

While it seems that Rayph is taking two steps forward only to be forced to take one step back, his determinat
Review posted at Grimdark Magazine

Book One of the Manhunters series starts off with a hook, with our “hero” Rayph playing a game in a bathhouse and a serving boy approaches. "I’m afraid we are about to be interrupted.." Rayph said.

And just like that, we’re thrown into the action. I wasn’t sure what was going on or who these people were, but my interest was piqued from the get-go. I am pleased to say that it never wavered.

Rayph is an old wizard of several thousand years and was once the protector
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, novel
“Nothing is just what it’s made of (…) Everything is more than its parts.”

Jesse Teller’s “Song,” book one of the Manhunters series, has all the ingredients of an exciting, dark fantasy epic: ancient and powerful mages, deadly and vengeful enemies, familial strife, malevolent politicking, and jailbroken criminals hell-bent on revenge. Yet the story also suffers from confusing character decisions, underdeveloped relationships, and perhaps a bit too much magic.

The story switches between two PO
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I liked it, darker books tend to be hit and miss for me depending on how they’re done. I don’t like it when it feels like a book is being dark just for the sake of being dark and relying a lot on shock value. This world didn’t feel that way, the ‘darkness’ felt like a natural part of the worldbuilding.



There are a few plots going on, depending on which POV you’re reading.

The main plot is a prison break out, the book opens with one of
Queen Terrible Timy
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Full review:

I received a copy in exchange of a honest review. Thanks for the opportunity to Jesse and Rebekah Teller!

One thing’s for sure: Jesse Teller doesn’t waste readers’ time with easing into the story with some basic word building or character introduction. We are dropped right into the middle with absolutely no idea what is going on. The plot itself is pretty simple. A group of villains broke out of the Mending Keep, a well
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spfbo-2018
This is one of my SPFBO reads, and it's one I really thought I would adore based off of the premise and cover and what some of my fellow judges have said...however, although I did like the book in the end, that was about all there was. It was likeable, forgettable, and kind of not what I expected.

The story follows two main characters, Konnan who is a bounty hunter with a dying daughter and Rayph who is a prison guard (and a super powerful wizard) and who is hoping to recapture some extremely dan
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
You ever have one of those weird dreams where you’re watching the dream happen and you sort of know what’s going on because it’s your dream, and you think if you concentrate hard enough it’ll all fall in to place, but there’s big gaps of stuff, so you kind of have to go with it and hope it all makes sense in the end? Well, that’s how I felt through most of this story, at least until towards the end when everything all fell together.

The style of this is quite sparse, it drops you into events and
M.L. Spencer
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a review copy of Song by Jesse Teller in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book in The Manhunters series, which takes place in Teller’s fantasy world Perilisc, a world resplendent with lore, history, magic, and mystery.
This was my first venture into the works of Jesse Teller, and I was very impressed by both the scope and depth of this story.
Song (named after the city that is central to the plot) tells the story of Rayph Ivoryfist, former court wizard of Lorinth and le
C.T. Phipps
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read Song by Jesse Teller twice because I needed time to appreciate the book. It is an excellent fantasy novel which chronicles the adventures of Rayph Ivoryfist. Well, sort of. Rayph Ivoryfist is not the typical wet behind the ears farmboy or grizzled mercenary in these kind of stories. He is an archmage and in many respects, THE archmage of his home kingdom. Unfortunately, Rayph does not suffer fools gladly and this has gotten him trouble with the present king of his nations.

As with all h
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
A very interesting delivery. Lots of magic and politics. Thourough worldbuilding.
Still, some of the language felt very strained: Q: “Thirty powerful villains assaulted Mending Keep, though I fear many of our charges escaped.” (c) Like, really? Villains, were they??

He looked to his ethereal friend, naught but churning wind where his body sat. (c)
Caution and cowardice looking so much alike and all. (c)
“I always got the feeling she liked the idea of you more than the reality,” (c)

Scott  Hitchcock
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Scott by: Chris

Good opening chapter for a new author. I really liked his writing. The story at times was a bit clunky but for a first novel a very good effort. Although Grimdark there's really nothing gorey. A few things that people may find crass if they're of a more sensitive nature but definitely more epic than GD.
Rosalyn Kelly
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This dark fantasy follows the story of a thousands-of-years-old wizard called Rayph Ivoryfist in a world called Perilisc. Rayph is a powerful guy and, before the novel starts created a magical prison that could hold some of Perilisc’s most vile villains. He rounded up said villains and put them in prison. So confident is Rayph in his prison that he leaves it to travel, only to find out that there’s been a prison break. This is where the book opens, as Rayph discovers that the dangerous inmates a ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
So much of fantasy literature these days has what's called a "magic system," a.k.a. the rules of how magic works in the story's world. These rules are often revealed over the course of a novel/series, and the readers expect to have magic "explained" at some point. The idea is that if magic is systematic, then readers can more fully engage with the plot because they can piece together the information about the magic system -- much like gathering and analyzing clues in a mystery novel -- and then ...more
I received a copy of Song in exchange for an honest review. I had my eye on it after browsing Amazon anyway due to that striking cover!

Song is dark, gritty, violent and dark. It's brutal and it becomes clear very early on that no punches will be pulled and not everyone can be saved. Sometimes this made for some quite uncomfortable reading. However, this book doesn't revel in it's violence. It's just another part of this brutal world.

We have two main plots running through this book. The first fol
Lynn K : Grimmedian
This tale is told in the great characterizations and the world building is mostly done through them as well. It is grim and bloody, but from the very first chapters, you know that Rayph Ivoryfist is someone you want to know better.
A powerful wizard, he walks out on the Lorinth king and spends the next 7 years traveling and is semi-retired. The king is enraged by his desertion and the bitter hatred the two have between them plays a major role in the story. A devastating attack on the Mending Kee
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review is here, on my blog.

I have read a novel in the world of Perilisc, and that one was dark, super dark, ermagherd dark, and full of all possible kinds of murder and abuse and what have you. This one has a lot of that as well, but in this case it seemed a little less the focus of the story and more part of the world in which it takes place. This was a dark story and it takes place in a dark world, but unlike the other book I read (it was Chaste), this one doesn’t seem dark for the sake o
Aaron LeBlanc
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Song by Jesse Teller is a fast pace story about an ancient and powerful wizard name Rayph, Jail warden of Mending Keep. Mending Keep a sentient building able to change its room layout and reconfigure its walls to keep the worst of the worst people imprison within. While Rayph was away from the Prison a group of 30 or so people broke every prisoner out of Mending Keep and stole devastating and magical weapon from the prison armory. Rayph as powerful as he is, is scared of these people and sets ou ...more
The Scribblings
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Years of Rayph Ivoryfist's work has just been undone. A black magician has attacked the prison he built and released his captives, some of the most deadly people in the kingdom. One of them has sworn to kill the king, who has already barred Rayph from his court. How can Rayph save a man who won't even allow him nearby?

One of the first things I noticed about Song is that it doesn't feel like it's the first book in a series. Right from the first few pages, it's obvious that the author has created
The Nerd Book Review
I would actually rate this book closer to a 3.5 but alas Goodreads doesn't allow the .5. Song is a well written book from a technical aspect and is also very well edited. There is also a very good map included. It is a standalone book that is set in a wider world that Teller has created. i have not read any of those books.
The basic story line is that a group of super-villain type characters manage to break out of a sentient prison and after their escape they plan on assassinating the king of a k
Ulff Lehmann
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun little book. Very fun fantasy. Check it out
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Let’s get this out of the way up front: First and foremost, Song is grim. The grimmest of Grimdark. In places it’s almost a horror novel – not for those with weak stomachs. If that sounds like something that’s up your alley, settle in.

This is a multi-PoV novel, starting with a major prison break out. The Black Cowl has busted out the prisoners to build himself an army. And we’re not just talking any prisoners in your average prison – think more along the lines of Arkham Asylum. These guys are th
Andy Winkle
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This one brought me back to my D&D days with multiple character POVs. Rayph's story is a story of redemption and heroism. Konnan's part is a sad one that's one of many set in a dark world. We follow these two characters and their own sets of companions through many battles, a few twists along the way, and tons of magic. I would very much recommend this book if you like grimdark stories. ...more
Alexia Cambaling
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, indie
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Rebekah and Jesse Teller!

Song is a grimdark epic fantasy whose short length doesn't make it any less epic. It follows Rayph Ivoryfist, a thousands of years old wizard who was once the warden of Mending Keep and court wizard of Lorinth, and Konnon, a bounty hunter. The story is told in dual perspectives, with their paths starting to cross more towards the end until their connection to each other is revealed.

There is a lot goi
Matt McAbee
I received a free copy of this book through TBRindr to write an honest review.

This book is one of the fastest paced and darkest stories I have read. Rayph Ivoryfist the former court wizard is targeted for revenge by the villains he has put in prison. As he unravels plots to assassinate the king that made him leave the court, to kidnappings and betrayals it is a fast paced thrill ride.

This book is full of magic, brutal fights, and characters that keep you guessing. Any fan of grimdark will enjoy
Cyrene Olson
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book, I went to Amazon to pre-order the second installment. I think this is one of those book series that will just get better with multiple readings, and I may in fact be ordering physical copies! Very nicely done, Mr. Teller!
Reviewed by Emily

4 1/2 Stars
Phillip Murrell
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I received a free copy of Song in exchange for a candid review. Song reminds me of the classic fantasy tales that many of us grew up with. The good guys will face a ferocious villain, but through teamwork and grit, they eventually overcome. Song takes it further by filling the pages with intense violence and profanity. There are many colorful characters on both sides of the mission. It sets up a great dark fantasy world, but Song works easily as a standalone adventure. It is a 3.5-star book, but ...more
Kira Simion
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-review, 2018, alt-r2r
I received a copy of this book from Rebekah Teller and in exchange, I will give an honest review.
Wendell Batchelder
Mysterious, Monster-Filled World is a D & D Players Dream

You will enjoy this book. That's not a command, but a prediction in which I have great confidence. Essentially, it puts two groups of legendary ( or infamous) status against one another and invites us to sit back and enjoy the intrigue and subsequent carnage, while leaving enough room for at least two more books. You will have your own favorite characters; mine included the swamp witch, the female paladin, and Konnon and his daughter. From
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readtoreview
3.5 stars
Thanks to the author, who sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review
This was quite a good book, with an interesting story, a really complex world-building and an interesting cast of characters. These are all great things and I appreciated all of them, but, to be honest, the author could have done better with them all, as a whole.
Because the world-building is really a complex one, but we don’t have a lot of information about it. We don’t know which kinds of creatures inhabit it, eve
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