I'm not blind drunk, I'm just blind.
I am, at best, a mild fan of King's work. Oh he's a talented writer and there's no denying that, but generally speaking I'm a fantasy buff with some mystery and suspense thrown in. And of the suspense genre my preferred author is Dean Koontz.
That said, I haven't yet encountered a King novel that I actually didn't like, though there were a few that I started and haven't yet finished, It and The Stand being two cases in point, and that being mainly becase other things just got in the way and I haven't yet found the time to pick them back up again.
Eyes of the Dragon is, to my knowledge, King's only true fantasy novel, written for his then teenage daughter Naomi. Like some of his other novels, Eyes ties into and makes reference to the Dark Tower series and indeed could probably be called a prelude.
It tells the story of King Roland the Good of Delain and his two sons. These Peter, the likely heir, and his brother Thomas, who is regrettably a spitting image of his father and demonstrates a similar lack of any real character. And then of course there is the court magician Flagg, a sinister, hooded figure whose origins are unknown but whose purposes are no mystery.
This is a well-written tale brought to life by a well-cosen narrator. I'd never heard Bronson Pinchot before, but his style of narration, even during the imple narration parts, is engaging. I particularly like his sinister, sibilant portrayal of Flagg. Generally speaking though he does very well, able to bring emotion to his characterizations when it's required. I'd heartily recommend this book if you're in the mood for a good fantasy read by a good narrator.
I read the Elenium and Tamuli serieses back in 1996 when I was sixteen. I'd just finished reading the Belgariad and Malloreon novels earlier that spring, so I was slightly disappointed that the Elenium and its sequel series took a different turn. But the humor found in what has become one of if not my absolute favorite fantasy serieses continues in the Elenium universe. The Elenium tells the story of Sir Sparhawk, a member of an order of knights known as the Pandions, soldiers of the church of the Elene God, a deity similar in many ways to the Christian god. His worshippers often behave in similar ways as well, right down to the inflexibility and intolerance of other religions that some Christian fundamentalists display. The Pandion Knights, however, as well as the three other Militant Orders of the Church, are exempt from certain restrictions of Church law, such as the prohibition against the practice of magic.
Sparhawk, having just returned from a ten-year exile from Elenia, comes home to a much-changed kingdom. King Aldreas is dead, seemingly killed by the Falling Sickness, and his daughter, the strong-willed Queen Ehlana, is suffering from a fatal disease and being sustained by powerful Styric magic while the search for a cure is undertaken. But now the kingdom is being run by the corrupt Primate Annias, who seeks dominion of the Elene church. It soon becomes apparent, however, that something far more sinister than ordinary politics is at work.
Greg Abby's narration is very well-done, although I did notice that he tended to mispronounce some fairly common words such as Impudent or Hexagonal. His voice, however, reminds me of a combination of those of actors Neil Dickson and Lex Lang. In short, very well-done aside from the quirky pronunciations. He does manage to give life to the many characters in the story. When humor is called for he manages to pull it off quite nicely. In short I'm glad I bought the series.
Being a fan of the world of Middle-Earth since I was about ten or so, I was delighted when in Middle School I discovered the unabridged audiobook recordings produced by Recorded Books. As with most of what RB does, they picked the perfect narrator. British stage actor Rob Inglis does an excellent job of bringing the many characters to life, in this case Bilbo and Thorin and Company, not to mention the many characters they meet o their quest to recover the Dwarves' treasure. And unlike most narrators, Mr. Inglis actually sings the many songs sprinkled throughout the story and, while he doesn't always choose what I would consider the right tune for all the given songs, he does have a good tenor. His regular narration style is also extremely pleasant on the ears, and his pronunciation of the names of characters and places is also excellent. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed when Audible removed these recordings from their site some years back and extremely delighted a few days ago when I discovered they'd made them available once again. I used this month's two credits to buy The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring and plan to use next month's two to buy the remainder of the story. If you're a fan of the Lord of the Rings and were disappointed or at least not completely satisfied by the other adaptations out there, you may just be in for a pleasant surprise if you give these unabridged productions a listen. It's much more convenient having them available in digital format since you won't have to worry about tapes or discs wearing out, which they inevitably do eventually. I just need to get myself a bigger IPod.
This was a solid and action packed listen. As usual, Michael and Kate do an excellent job with the read. If Rand and Egwene are the primary characters in this series, they have only brief appearances in Towers of Midnight. Perrin and Mat's stories finally get moving and are almost resolved. I would say that anything unpredictable occurs in those story lines, but they are satisfying nonetheless. The flow and story is so tight I actually felt this book ended too abruptly. However, I look forward to the conclusion coming in the next book.