When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself.
But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travelers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror - and wonder.
©2015 Jonathan Renshaw (P)2016 Podium Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 15-02-17

Coming of Age Fantasy

I think Jonathan Renshaw has produced something very interesting here. It is in essence a coming of age tale set in a fantasy background with the magical and mystical kept partly in check. The writing style is direct and very linear with just the single point of view belonging to Aiden the central character. It does all mean that at times it has a young adult feel to it which is understandable because we explore the story through the eyes of a child after all. It's a very easy book to dip into and out of.

The strength of it is not actually characters or world-building but in good old-fashioned story-telling. Renshaw is comfortable enough with his creations to spend time with them and grow them slowly. Comparisons with Harry Potter are inevitable but also slightly misleading. Renshaw doesn't use a lot of magic to spice it up.

There are some genuinely exciting moments along the way and the book also deals with issues such as domestic abuse and political corruption with a good deal of empathy. It does so with an underlying positive message.

I'm tempted to describe this as charming because of the enjoyment I got out of listening to Tim Gerard Reynolds delivering it with considerable aplomb. That might sound like I am patronising it but while it may lack the sophistication of some of the most accomplished contemporary fantasy work I was genuinely hooked by the story.

I'm in for at least the next one in the series when the question becomes where the author will go from here as his characters get older and more experienced. Given the way this one ends and the timing of it, a slightly darker feel would seem likely.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By E Groom on 10-03-16

The story-pleasure-centres in my brain satiated.

Where does Dawn of Wonder rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I've listened to a LOT of audiobooks, this one has to be in my top ten.

What other book might you compare Dawn of Wonder to, and why?

I suppose it may be compared to Raymond Fiest's early work, and maybe Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion series. It is very well written and has enough body to grasp the listener by the throat and drag them in. The theme of the book isn't a new one but the interpretation, twists and turns are very, VERY well executed.

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I've listened to audiobooks read by Tim Gerard Reynolds before, he manages to encompass the breadth of the story with his wonderful voice adding an extra level of enjoyment to the experience.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Don't want to give the plot away, but suffice it to say that there is a moment in the book were one of the characters overcomes a deep seated personal trauma that was very uplifting.

Any additional comments?

where's the next one.?..I need it now.

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22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joe on 21-03-16

Instant Favorite

I can't say enough about this book! Before I even got halfway through this book I knew it would be one of my favorites. The thing that glues me to this book most is the character development. I felt emotionally attached to the main character Aedan, I found myself screaming out loud in some situations routing him on. Jonathan Renshaw has a natural ability to set up tension in a scene. One key thing that I really like is the fact that the character development feels very realistic and natural. It doesn't seem forced or stiff if that makes any sense. People react to situations as you could imagine they would in reality which is something I look for in a book. Some authors like to use coincidence far too much, to the point where it takes you out of the immersion. And some authors like to take the character to a knifes edge and then some miraculous event saves the day. Which is OK sometimes... That certainly doesn't always happen in this book. Sometimes the characters in this book have to go through some really rough things not always being saved at the last minute.
Jonathan Renshaw REALLY did allot of research for this book and you can tell. He goes into detail about the making of weapons and fighting techniques etc. I very much enjoyed these parts of the book. You can very much tell that the author was a school teacher before becoming an author and likely a very good one.
Another thing which stood out about this book is the solid morality which goes against so many adult fantasy books that are popular right now. Too many authors these days feel as though in order to make the world feel more real and the characters more believable you have to add questionable morality harsh language and obscene over the top sexual situations. This book proves that this is not the case. In fact, this is a book I will be reading with my children when they are a little older as there are allot of life lessons and virtues I want to teach them which I find scattered throughout this book.
In summary, this book is a must read for anyone who likes fantasy. I wish I could give more than 5 stars. One more thing of note Tim Gerard Reynolds did a spectacular job of bringing this story to life! What an amazing performance!

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320 of 350 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Heather on 16-10-16

This is such a great book!!!

Just listened to it again, I've been waiting almost three years for the second...ugh but if Johnathan gives us another amazing story, I can be patient, it's just hard lol.
Love, adore, crave these characters!!! I was getting sad at chapter 34 knowing it was half way through.
This book is so awesome, I know I'll listen again before the second book comes out!!!
The narrator does a wonderful job, I wouldn't want anyone else, he's so good!!! I already have 5 books that he narrates and I'm getting more for sure!!!

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149 of 166 people found this review helpful

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