I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the legends of Merlin and King Arthur. This story provides an incredible amount of background for Merlin. My only complaint is that the story moves at a very slow pace.
One of the most memorable moments in Taliesin is when Taliesin is converted to Christianity. This was surprising in a book about the father of Merlin. In other Arthurian books, Merlin is always portrayed as one who is dedicated to the Druids and the Old Religion, but Lawhead puts Taliesin and later Merlin in the roles of helping Christianity flourish in the British Isles.
One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Taliesin prophesys of the great accomplishments the will be done by his newly born son, Merlin.
This book is a great lead-in to the next book in the Pendragon cycle, Merlin. I highly recommend starting this series by reading Taliesin. It provides a lot of the background and motivation for characters in the next book.
Lawhead's spins a great story. You can truly imagine imagine the settings in your minds eye with his rich prose. He develops each character well. I found myself looking forward to my long walks just to be able to listen to the story unwind.
Charis. At times tough as iron, at times soft and sensitive. Nadia May's voice was perfect for her character.
Narrated by Nadia May, not Wanda McCaddon. Nadia was perfect for this story. Her accents for each character were perfect. Amazaing how she was able to keep the voice for each character throughout the whole story.
The ending was tragic. But it set up the next book in the series well.
I heartily recommend this audible book. Listen. You won't be disappointed.
I really enjoyed this "back story" of the Arthurian legend. Less political/ethnic slant than so many retellings that try to make the legend "relevant." The people give the story heart and make the story relevant, just the way the people have always made the legend relevant.
I'm a huge fan of Lawhead books and Taliesin in particular. But, this audible version of Taliesin is hard to listen to (having read the book so many times) because of the narrator. She has an English accent, but for some reason gives the Briton characters an Indian/Hispanic sound. Any time a Magi (and many other characters) speaks, she draws out each word for fiiivvveee seconnnddddssss. And, there's hardly any variation in voice between different characters. I haven't heard the narrator for the rest of the books in the series, but my suggestion is to read this great book and skip the audio. I hope the rest of the books get a better reading.
This is a very good story with A bit of Magic and Reality. The Story of the Rise of Britons Greatest Bard. Can get a bit long winded for short periods but was always enjoyable to read.
As other reviewers found, I thought the narrator was an unpleasant listen. However, I've wanted to 'read' the Pendragon books. I'm glad I did, because the story is good! The characters are well developed, and realistic. It always takes me a while to properly place the characters in their settings when two branches of the story are developed in parallel (a common way of writing novels), but it worked well in this story.
In short, I recommend this story. Once you get past the relatively flat narration, the characters take over, and talk to you directly.
++-- love historical novels but I was unable to finish this one due to its slow pace. I also feel the the narator read too slowly thus adding to the long drawn out tediouness of this book.
The book sounds interesting from the description, but I couldn't listen to it because the narrator's voice grated on my ears so badly. Imagine an elderly English woman with a high-pitched, nasal voice and affected upper-class accent who sounds like her corset's too tight and you get the picture.
I found this first book in the series odd.
the reader is british and this is always a problem for me as it puts me to sleep.
the story is long and drawn out but i suppose thats b/c there are more books to come.
the strangest thing though is that the main character is built up to be a Paul (from the Bible) like character and is the subject of many pages. Then BAMB the write drops him with one random arrow in the back. This part was quiet stupid IMHO.