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On the Shoulders of Titans

(Arcane Ascension #2)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  10,814 ratings  ·  511 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)

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 ·  10,814 ratings  ·  511 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
Kitty G Books
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, 2019-shelf, fantasy
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
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
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.
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
May 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, audio
I give 5 stars for a number of different reasons, books that change my thinking, books with great prose, great stories, life-changing books, brilliant books for whatever reason, and books that are simply pure fun.

The Arcane Ascension series is pure fun. So much fun.

I can't get enough of this series and almost have to hold myself off for fear of burning myself out. I enjoy the characters, the magic is awesome, and the narration by Nick Podehl is spot-on.

It really does feel like a video game in wr
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
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
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
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.
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 5-star
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a 3.5/5 book for me , the series is still enjoyable and engaging most of the time , and now I find myself loving Sera and Mara even more (if that is even possible) plus Vaniv is still AWESOME . Nevertheless I find myself liking this book less than the first one, I don't know what happened but in the middle the book just lost some of its magic, maybe it was trying way to hard to recapture the first ones appeal or maybe it was not as good, I cannot really my finger on it, I just know that ...more
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
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
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
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, reviewed

4 Stars for Narration by Nick Podehl
I listened to him narrate two different series back to back and it's very cool how different they are from one another. That's pretty great! Good job, NP!

I enjoyed the aspects of the story that were like games during some of the class trials and climbing the tower. The side characters were a stellar crew and great in how they were developed. They're not particularly deep or mysterious but it's nice to know who they are and how they will interact wi
Jul 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
My god it is hard to read this book.

How can I be expected to read a book of which 80% is just the protagonist's thoughts? And half of those are utterly pointless and foolish musings. Its not helped by the fact that the author tries to project the protagonist as someone smart, when he's really just so-so.

Also going against the series is how inconsistent his personality is. At the start of the series, during book 1 he's driven by a feeling of re-uniting his family. This despite him being the tex
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!
Lana  (Lore & Lullabies)
Aug 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
To say I am enjoying this, my first RPG Lit series, is a gross understatement.

Corin, Sera and the WHOLE cast in this book are amazing and my favourite aspect of this book.

The atunements, mana and magic system are so well done and thoroughly fleshed out. I enjoy watching the power grow and change as they develop just as much as I enjoy the action and when they use them.

The plot really picks up in this one and provides answers I had at the end of the first whilst giving me more questions for wha
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Other books in the series

Arcane Ascension (3 books)
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension, #1)
  • The Torch that Ignites the Stars (Arcane Ascension, #3)

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