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On the Shoulders of Titans

(Arcane Ascension #2)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  8,781 ratings  ·  464 reviews
Corin Cadence finally has a firm reason to believe his brother, Tristan, is still alive.

Unfortunately, finding more information isn’t going to be easy. Tristan appears to be entangled with a clandestine organization that calls themselves Whispers. And Corin’s last brush with the Whispers didn’t exactly end well.

As much as he wants to follow that lead, Corin has more pr
Kindle Edition, 742 pages
Published May 14th 2018
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Andrew I'm aiming for sometime before the end of the month. Thanks for the interest!…moreI'm aiming for sometime before the end of the month. Thanks for the interest!(less)
Andrew I've currently outlined it at seven books, but there's a good chance that could change. Some of it may get moved into spin-offs, for example, or I cou…moreI've currently outlined it at seven books, but there's a good chance that could change. Some of it may get moved into spin-offs, for example, or I could end up expanding it further.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  8,781 ratings  ·  464 reviews

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May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Magic school trope and LitRPG fans
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

If you loved Sufficiently Advanced Magic, I really don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this sequel.

On the Shoulders of Titans is the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic (SAM) and it's also the second book in the Arcane Ascension series. For those of you who don’t know, SAM—along with the Grey Bastards by Jonathan French—was the biggest surprise in the SPFBO competition for me, and I still consider these two the best things to ever appear
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
HOLY SHIT I GOT AN ARC OF THIS! This is one of those books where I would have stopped everything to read it the day it came out – I love the first book and I was finishing up a re-read of it via audiobook when I was contacted by Andrew Rowe about the ARC and I was so excciitteeedd!

If you haven’t read the first book, I’d go read the review for the first book instead, as this review is going to have major spoilers from the first book. I’ll be keeping the events of the second book pretty vague, how
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book I was highly anticipating as the first book in the series instantly became a firm favourite for me, and I really enjoyed getting to experience a new style of writing I'd not encountered before. I also think that this series has a lot of great sexuality and mental health awareness and I believe this only serves to enhance the magic, action and thrill of the story, and make it all seem more genuine and immersive.

In this book we follow on from the events of book #1. If you've read t
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 2019-shelf
OMG I just want to keep raving about this. Nothing else. Just rave. And go OMG.

Why? Because this was made for me. Never mind that it's YA. I just have SO MUCH FUN with it. :) Why? Because it is one of the very best LitRPGs out there.

Let me explain. LitRPG is taking the very best gaming elements of both pencil-and-paper RPG min-maxing and loophole hunting and also RPG video games and throws it on the page surrounded by a great story, great characters, and it unabashedly makes it reminiscent of th
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Is there someone just giving out legendary magical swords to children?"

* * * * *
5 / 5

Sufficiently Advanced Magic is one of the best self-published novels and the most amazing example of LitRPG that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Andrew Rowe knows what his readers want: that nostalgic sense of playing an RPG video game - levelling up, discovering new characters, clearing dungeons and developing your party - combined with some fascinating and original world building, and lots of cool fight
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Am I gonna rate every book 3 stars for the rest of my life?!!!
Honestly, why do I seem to enjoy them but not love them? IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME?!!!
*Sigh* I guess it could be worse.

Look at me being true to myself and reading book 2 a year after I read the first one 🙂🙂
But check out this cool cover!
kartik narayanan
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
On the Shoulders of Titans is a good book for the most part.
The magic system is the best thing about this series. It is complex, logical and internally consistent. But this book errs in making the Young Adult part more prominent than in the first and that fucking sucks.
Rob Gardner
Nov 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
The plot of the book starts 66% of the way in, so you can skip ahead if you really want to read this.

Flat plot, flat characters, flat dialogue. Reads like an early draft that needs a bunch of polish. Author is absolutely obsessed with the words 'interesting', 'irritating' and applying ellipsis liberally throughout the text for no reason. LGBTQ+ themes are handled with all the subtlety and deftness of a brick to the face. Characters exist to be stunned by MC's brilliance as he loopholes his way
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
4.0 Stars
This series has so many of the elements that I love in read in fantasy. I am a sucker for stories involving hard magic systems and magical school setting and this series has both. 

I loved learning more about the magic system and world building in this second book. Like the first book, this one was filled with class lectures, research, exams, puzzles, and other creative uses of the magical attunement. 

I often struggle with sequels, but I ended up loving this one just as much as the first
James Tivendale
Jan 17, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: fantasy
I received an advanced review copy of On the Shoulders of Titans directly from the author. I'll hopefully finish this in the next week. ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who love magic systems and deductive reasoning
Book 1: 3.5*
Book 2: 3.5*

If you liked book one you'll like this one. If you didn't you'll be bored and probably drop the series. If you love magic systems and deductive reasoning this is a great series. If you don't it's not the series for you. The magic system focus is like Sanderson on steroids. The deductive reasoning the same analogy for mystery books.

It's really that simply. The main character thinks like I do over analyzing everything and breaking it apart logically. So I get him and thus
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
On the Shoulders of Titans left me torn. I very much enjoyed SAM, as it was a totally unique concept and had a lot of potential to become a fantastic series. I had been excited for the release of the second installment for months.

This excitement carried over for the first ten percent of the book before it began to wane, and then I was left to actually evaluate why.

The pacing was terrible. The first 50% of the book could have been erased and nothing would have changed. It was almost entirely Co
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
If you liked the first one in this series, you'll very probably like this one. It's basically a writer deciding that he'd like to come up with an incredibly detailed, complex and self-consistent magic system, along with a character that's obsessive enough to explore it in excruciating detail and a magic school with teachers and exams to help out that process.

But Corin is also caught in a geopolitical conflict with both internal and external factors as well as at least one serious conspiracy goin
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a strange mix between a regular YA coming of age fantasy story set in a magic school and a litRPG fantasy. I think Rowe blended both aspects well and made the story work. The magic system was a little weird and overly complex as all the levels and types of magic were a nightmare to keep track of in audio but I think it just about worked as the story was still engaging enough.

This book picked up from the events at the end of first book and mostly just followed Corin and his friends as t
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
Much like Sufficiently Advanced Magic for me this hit just about all the right notes, though I think it definitely has a very defined audience, this one splendidly catered to it's niche audience instead of trying to be more generic. People that didn't like the first probably really won't like this one, meanwhile for people who did enjoy the first this really digs in a lot deeper into the main narrative points of the previous. I also had enjoyed the characters in Sufficiently Advanced Magic, but ...more
Calvin Park
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
On the Shoulders of Titans is a worthy successor to Sufficiently Advanced Magic. The latter has been one of my favorite reads of the year, so I was nervous that the sequel wouldn’t live up to it. I needn’t have worried. Andrew Rowe has given us a sequel that doesn’t fail to keep the winning formula of the original. It does this in a way, however, that keeps things fresh and doesn’t feel like a rehash of the previous novel.

While the setting continues to offer impressive depth and the plot keeps
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A rather fun read. Back into the world of Corin and co., we're learning more of how the world really works, and who holds the power. It's not Corin, but he'll be damned if that's going to stop him. I'm a tad conflicted about this book. On one hand, I quite liked learning everything that Corin does. On the other...My god, but the boy just never stops. I'll learn this, I'll learn that. It can be a bit repetative at times, and there were some sections that I thought could have been cut and we'd be ...more
Jon Adams
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This just started too slow for me to give it 5 stars. I appreciate the amount of work the author has put into his magic system, but I found myself glazing over sections of explanation.
Nancy Foster
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I sort of struggled with this book. I was vastly excited when the author posted the eye watering cover for the long awaited sequel and didn't wait a week after its release to snag a copy.

Now, if you haven't read Sufficiently Advanced Magic, you should brush that up before reading this one or else, you will feel really lost. That said, most of this book focuses on the aftermath of Corin's second visit to the spire with several new challenges he has to face, primarily, to find a way to heal his si
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy this series so far. The author has created an interesting world with interesting characters. In this book in particular however, I felt some of the character development was unnatural feeling. It also sometimes felt like I was reading a textbook about the magic system and world. I felt like some of the information could be introduced in a more natural way. However, I still enjoy this series and plan on continuing. I can’t wait to read the keras spinoff book
Evelyn Park
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m so excited this came out, and I honestly can’t believe it’s self published.
On the Shoulders of Titans retains the same wry charm as the first, and maintains most of its strengths.
The book begins with a recap of the last, which is handy.
The well explained magic system continues, although sometimes broaches overexplained. However, the logical and well thought out systems are one of the book’s greatest strengths in my opinion, because I’ve always been a fan of explanations and logic.
The prot
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Book 2

I'm confused about the MC, is he gay, straight, or bi? The MC is also kinda dry personality wise.
I was thinking that there would be real character growth in this book. So far there is nothing and I'm having a hard time slogging through this book. Nothing really holds my interest and am feeling confusion over the MC.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reshing amazing. I love this book so damn much, it's just so great.

I feel like Corin is my spirit Character. Which may say something about me.... ah well.

The plot is fast and fun, there's serious bits, there's other just learning bits I bloody love... I'm trying to think of bad things, but I'm just gushing. I like gushing about good books.

Looks like it's about time to read the Broken Mirrors novels!
Steve Naylor
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rating 4.75 stars

This book was awesome, not quite as good as the first book, hence the slightly lower score (I can't bring myself to say one book is better than another and yet give it the same score). This book is a cross between an epic fantasy and a LitRPG. It has the components of LitRPG such as mana manipulation and trying to build strength, however, in this book the people get stronger by doing work and practicing and not going on any quests. There is also a Dungeon Dive feel (though inst
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it

On the Shoulders of Titans is the direct sequel of Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe. It continues to follow the story of Corin Cadence and his friends.

The plot picks up directly from the ending of the first. In this book Corin finds out further about the conspiracy regarding the missing Visage of Serpent Spire, Tenjin. With his new powerful allies, Corin is able to access more information and commit more investigations while learning to get stronger in his own ways.

Roughly the fi
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
Full review is here, on my blog!

Welp. This audiobook is 24 hours long and I finished it in 2 days. So, that might put how much I liked it into perspective. I really enjoyed book one in this series, Sufficiently Advanced Magic – and so I had a good feeling that I’d love this one too.

This is the continuing story of Corin Cadence, a first year student at a magical university, who is dealing with learning his magic on top of having to fight all number of heinous monsters in all kinds of situations.
Christopher Ray
I really want to beta this book!
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Executive Summary: After a slow start and a few stutters at times, this one ended pretty strong and I'll be looking forward to the next installment. 3.5 Stars, rounded up.

Audiobook: Nick Podehl does his usual excellent job, both in terms of his normal reading voice and the variety of voices he does throughout. His narration definitely helped make the slower parts more bearable.

Full Review
I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was eager for this one to be released in audio. I foun
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Other books in the series

Arcane Ascension (3 books)
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  • The Torch that Ignites the Stars (Arcane Ascension, #3)

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