Many people will see the obvious similarities between the adventures told by Mr. McKiernan and those of Tolkien. The books were originally written to take place in Tolkien's world, but for licensing reasons had to be placed into a world of his own. I am quite happy that this story was told. McKiernan is a masterful storyteller; his use of the English language superb and effortless.
The narration is also excellent. As always, the voice of the narrator takes some getting used to, but Mr. Beierle is great. I strongly recommend this series and I hope more of McKiernan's books from my childhood make their way to audiobook. Revisiting them on the long drive to work as a grown-up takes me back.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but the shameless copying of a good story with bad writing is simply to ride the coat tails of a famous (excellent) author. There was no true plot; no character development; no internal consistency (hardened warriors shed more frequent tears than most children of my acquaintance), and NO originality. The "plot", the characters, the names, the places, and the myriad types of nonhuman creatures are all barely disguised copies of those from J.R.R. Tolkien's books. The "doom, doom, boom" of the enemy drum beats is stolen directly from the scene just prior to Gandalf's battle with the Balrog in Moria in "The Lord of the Rings"; except in "The Drk Tide" the phrase is repeated over and over to the point of listener irritation. Also,in fact, there is no semblance of a conclusion, something even a trilogy should provide, It just quits. Though a good reader might have marginally redeemed it, this reader sounds similar to a deep-voiced 2nd grader performing in front of a stern, critical schoolmaster.
In sum: I wasted my time waiting for the book to finally become...something.