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Book of the Black Earth
1 : Blood and Iron

by Jon Sprunk
Nov 1, 2014
9 Hours
Ages 18+
This action-heavy EPIC FANTASY SERIES OPENER is like a sword-and-sorcery Spartacus set in a richly-imagined world.

It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. When he washes ashore, he finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill, who speak a language and have a culture and customs he doesn't even begin to understand.

Not long after, Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. But this doesn't last. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen's court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire's caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.

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Director & Cast

Director Terence Aselford
Starring Terence Aselford, Thomas Keegan, Nora Achrati, Colleen Delany, Thomas Penny, Ken Jackson, Christopher Scheeren, Andy Clemence, Tim Getman, Bradley Smith, Christopher Walker, Michael John Casey, David Jourdan, James Lewis, John Dow,Richard Rohan, Scott McCormick, Jeff Allin, Kimberly Gilbert, Alyssa Wilmoth, Steve Wannall, David Coyne, Nanette Savard, Scott Graham, James Konicek, Drew Kopas, Dylan Lynch, Rose Elizabeth Supan and Mort Shelby
Book Adapted for GraphicAudio by Doug Krentzlin
Dialogue Editors John Glennon
Sound Designers John Glennon
Cover Illustrator Jahbulani Ori
Producers Richard Rohan and Duane Beeman
Executive Producer Anji Cornette


Great story love it by jacob (Posted on 9/20/2018)
Great book.
Decided to try something new by ZJZack (Posted on 8/30/2018)
I'm never afraid to branch out of my usual zone of interest where GA productions are concerned. I know that even if I don't end up really liking the story, that I'll at least get to experience GA's excellent work in sound design, music, and acting. That was the case with this title. I was looking to branch out from the Sanderson titles that had so far been my only foray into GA's fantasy titles.

I give the story points for having a diverse cast. Still, it didn't quite do it for me. The idea of a hero going from being the slave of his enemies to an insider in their court was intriguing but ultimately couldn't carry the story. I think that characters are very important in a story, usually much more important than plot and even sometimes more important than pacing. Even the most squeaky clean heroes have some dirt under their fingernails. Horace, however, seemed a bit flat and just too perfect for my taste.

I have nothing but good things to say about GA's work on this title. As always, they've put in a ton of excellent work to bring this story to life. As redundant as it seems to say, narration; music; acting; and sound design are top-notch here.
ok book by Anthony (Posted on 12/4/2017)
This book didn't catch me...
Book of the Black Earth 1, Blood & Iron by William (Posted on 11/25/2017)
pretty good. I see what was said about the overly heavy accent for Queen and Horace's voice not fitting description. Dialogue for the queen is also rather choppy/stiff. I still am enjoying the story because the plot is good and the production is good. It's no Sanderson or even Weeks but not a bad choice if you are looking for a new story.
Didn't Really Like It... by Alan (Posted on 9/7/2017)
The voice for the main Character, Horace, just didn't fit. Listening to him talk was driving me crazy! I listened to the entire book, but it never really caught my attention like some of the other productions put out by GA.
Not what I expected by Bos (Posted on 12/7/2016)
I found myself dosing off from the story. this story has some interesting plots but did not get my attention.
Great by mike (Posted on 8/23/2016)
I really like this world ... the characters are rich and you can tell it's building to something powerful. Can't wait to get the next one.
this was a good book by Anthony (Posted on 7/25/2016)
this was a good book
Slow to start by angela (Posted on 6/18/2016)
It took me a couple CDs to really get interested but by the end of this one I was eager to start the next book! The characters are well thought out and it gives great insight into where they come from very entertaining ao far!
GA's adaption improves on the book by Travis (Posted on 6/10/2016)
GA's production is amazing, as always. The narration, voice again, sound effects, and music are spot on. Pretty good adaption, too. The book starts off slow, from what I could remember, but that slowness did not translate into this audio adaption. The only reason I'm giving this 4 headphones instead of 5 has more to do with Sprunk making the main character a little too perfect. He doesn't seem to have any flaws, which for the hero of a fantasy epic isn't really good for the story. At least he's likable, if a little bland. The voice actor does a good job, though, with what Sprunk gave them to work with. Terence Aselford remains my favorite narrator. He's just got the perfect voice for it. The Queen was probably my favorite character, has more complexity than some of the others. The world building is pretty good, and along with the political intrigue and religious turmoil. I'm looking forward to listening to the next volume.
Mrs by kelly (Posted on 5/28/2016)
Blood and Iron by Anthony (Posted on 4/11/2016)
very good book
Excellent by JJuan (Posted on 3/24/2016)
As always, the GA crew has done extraordinary work.
Not An Amazing Start by John (Posted on 3/8/2016)
The characters are diverse. The main character is kind of OP and is made out to be this gallant and perfect character from what I remember. Anyway, the story is ok but it could be better.
Great story. Worth the money by William (Posted on 12/14/2015)
Once it got started I didnt want to shut it off. Good story and even the other 2 books are gripping tales.
Book 1 by justin (Posted on 12/7/2015)
Good book love it
good listen by Jonathan (Posted on 11/23/2015)
One of several audio collections I have come across and an looking forward to getting the rest of.
Great New Series by Jason (Posted on 10/2/2015)
I enjoyed this book, and will be looking forward to the future of this series. They have done a great job in the making of these books. Passes away much windshield time for a truck driver.
Out standing by jonathan (Posted on 5/26/2015)
They've done it again by Jermane (Posted on 2/28/2015)
I didn't know if I had review this book; I am glad I came to this page, because I can sing the praises of GA again. Romance, Action, and Intrigue are all here in this novel, the book does move a bit slow at the beginning but that isn't GA's fault more of the books flaw but when it does pick up boy does it. Story wise I was quite surprised by the authors choice of making one of main characters a black man, moreover that he would be GAY. Jerome is a cool character indeed in this story.
The Book of Black Earth...Blood & Iron by ASHTON (Posted on 2/17/2015)
This book has a creative story line...it defiantly remind me of Spartacus....very enjoyable can't wait for the other books.
Great start!! by Richard (Posted on 1/12/2015)
I really like this new series I'm looking forward to the next edition coming out. I am slowly becoming a big fan of graphic audio's fantasy series. The cast in this one was amazing and did a great job.
can't wait for more by cody (Posted on 12/26/2014)
can't wait to hear more from this series love the character build up and all the different story lines very easy to follow and get into the folks at GA did a great job bringing this one to life
Different and fantastic by Meagan (Posted on 12/17/2014)
If you like game of thrones, this is for you. Also any kind of fantasy, this is for you. If you like books in general, this is for you!!!

This piece has so many storylines and so many characters and... Oh man, just buy it. You won't regret it. It's amazing.
slow to start by christopher (Posted on 12/5/2014)
It was slow to start but great story yal have a great cast did a greater job I hope there is more to this story.
WOW Again! by Armand (Posted on 11/9/2014)
Vivid, realistic, unique premises, Fresh SciFi Fantasy Adventure at its best! Nicely paced with plenty of action.

GA gets me hooked again on yet another series!
A Cool New Series for Fantasy Fans! by Jason (Posted on 11/7/2014)
John Sprunk's shadow's saga was pretty darnn epic, and this New series Book of the Black Earth is turning out to be just as epic. Once again the cast and crew of GA have done a marvelous job of bringing this author's work to life. Blood and Iron is a great book with a great storyline, if political intrigue is your thing, and if like me you enjoy hearing bad guys getting blasted to death with lightning and other wonderful fantasy stuff, you have to check out this book. The voice acting sound effects and music are breathtaking. And the whole thing makes you feel like your part of the action. I give it 5 stars.

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