A Killer of a Story.
The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn
An epic title introduces what turns out to be an equally impressive story, in which we meet Ardor Benn – con artist. He’s out to rob you. In fact, he lives for the thrill of the scam. But only if you’re important. A ‘someone.’ A name. An icon. A prominent part of an institution that will help him promote what’s truly important: himself!
The back cover blurb helps set the scene quite nicely.
is no ordinary thief - a master of wildly complex heists, he styles himself a
Ruse Artist Extraordinaire.
When he gets hired for his most daring ruse yet, Ardor knows he'll need more than quick wit and sleight of hand. Assembling a dream team of forgers, disguisers, schemers and thieves, he sets out to steal from the most powerful king the realm has ever known.
But it soon becomes clear there's more at stake than fame and glory - Ard and his team might just be the last hope for human civilization.
It’s incredibly difficult to write about this epically proportioned, 729 page tome without giving the game away – an unforgivable sin, where this story is concerned – as it’s just so darn enjoyable. But I’ll do my best.
First off, it’s important that you appreciate the magic system Tyler Whitesides dreamed up to add foundation to the world he’s created. Grit. A substance obtained – in its simplest terms – as a byproduct of the waste of dragons! Genius eh? I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a magic system built around what is basically, dragon poo. Awesome!
With a mind like that, I just knew I was going to love what followed. And I did.
Ardor is always looking for the ultimate scam. Something that will confirm he’s the best of the best, no matter how outrageous or dangerous it is. Nevertheless, when he’s hired to carry out what he considers will be the greatest test of his abilities, it turns out there’s a whole lot more involved than establishing his supremacy as a ruse artist.
Kings might fall. Religious hypocrisy might expose those at the very highest levels. The very foundations upon which society has been built might crumble. Everything mankind has built might end up in ruins.
People have been lied to. That’s why!
However, to understand the depth of that deception, you’ll have to immerse yourselves in the world of Ardor Benn and join him on his adventure. And boy, you’ll be glad you did. Though a self-centered, out and out rogue, Ardor is a charmer with a heart of gold. He’s amazingly loyal to those he trusts. And no one is closer to him than his boyhood friend and accomplice, Raekon Dorrel.
Together, they lead an amazing cast of characters who are as down to earth and relatable as they are freakishly funny. Each has their own weaknesses and skeletons in the closet. But it’s those weaknesses that highlights their humanity and charm, making them believable.
And there’s the key.
This is a long and comprehensive caper. But Tyler Whitesides doesn’t rush you through it. He carefully lays out the foundations. And, having done so, continues building from the ground up, adding layer after layer to a complex and fascinating story that not only draws you in and involves you from the outset, but will keep you busy until the stunning finale.
The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn. Outstandingly original, with twists and turns and timely revelations sprinkled in along the way, to you guessing until the very end.
Explosive exploits & fiery fun! Don’t miss it.