Anything 'Bujold has written is worth a listen, but this certainly would not have made me the avid fan I am of her other works. It's a good, solid, historical/magic genre tale.
This story is told from the perspective of a young woman whose greatest wish is to be a proper apprentice to her metalsmith-magician father. Instead, the assassination of the local Duke by a very bad man leads to her father's death. Fiametta has to find her own way, with the help of friends, to defeat her town's enemies. I enjoyed immersing myself in this world - the heroine is bright and appealing, and the secondary characters are rich and interesting, with plausible motivations and reactions. I love Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan sagas, but I would happily visit her version of sixteenth century Italy again.
I've read the Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold. Bujold is one of my very favorite writers. This is a really good book.
The narrator, however, is simply appalling. Her performance is clueless and hammy. Truly an embarrassment to listen to. I have rarely heard such a terrible performance. I simply can't get past the first five minutes of the book without cringing and hitting the pause button. Why would they choose such a talentless actress to narrate this, or any other book?
I adore Lois McMaster Bujold's books, but will have to find this one as a book because the narrator is SO horrid I couldn't listen past 2 hours.
I think I might enjoy the story, but didn't couldn't get past the narrator.
Scott Brick (always), Grover Gardner, Nock Podehl, ANYBODY but this person.
I can't answer this as I couldn't get into it.
Yeah, can I get my credit back for this? It was TRULY horrible.
While this is not Bujold's strongest writing effort, I am a big fan of her work and would still have enjoyed the story very much.
But the narrator is just awful. Screaming and whining and overacting, with emphasis on the wrong parts of sentences, giving the characters' thoughts and actions the wrong turn. Just terrible. Oh, and she mispronounces several words throughout as well, which is jarring.
I'm so very disappointed in the audiobook.
Don't be fooled. Your love for Bujold books will be sorely tested by this story. This book was written in 1993, and has only recently been released by Audible. The reader is horrible! She constantly puts the emphasis on the wrong word in a sentence, which makes the story harder to understand. Even worse, is her habit of pausing in weird places: "....the light shining through....(pause)...the window. I tried to continue listening, because I've listened to and enjoyed every Bujold book on Audible, but I just had to quit. The topper was when my husband, who did finish the book, said the story was awful, too. Don't waste a credit.
I'm a big fan of Bujold and was excited to check out her early work but could not get past the terrible reader. I've listened to other books with this narrator and her performance was fine, although not outstanding, but with this one I couldn't get past the first chapter of oddly overblown voices and jarring pauses that seemed totally out of step with any actual punctuation or phrasing. All the characters seemed to be declaiming in comic book villain mode, and I found myself mentally repeating chunks of dialogue to myself in an attempt to get a sense of what Bujold had actually written.
So I'll be reading the rest of this one in print.
Not one of this writers better story lines. Simplistic in just about category and I would say should be classified as children's science fiction. And just to confirm this impression the reader thought she was reading to 8 year olds. if this was her intended audience she did well, if this was not the intention then the selection of this narator was an error.
This is a good story, but unfortunately the reader is very poor. She seems to have been told to put emphasis on adjectives, which leads to an almost intolerable cadence. The only time she sounds at all natural is when she is reading the dialog as if she is an excited young teenager, which, unfortunately is only occasionally appropriate.
All this is too bad, because the story is an interesting one which gives a feel for the renaissance in a world where magic works and is an accepted part of life, regulated as were many things during that period by religion and politics.
I heartily recommend the printed book, but the recorded one is only worth listening to if you love Bujold and are quite tolerant.
I have read most of her books and the Barryaran universe books several times. I think her sci-fi is far superior to the Fantasy. I gave this one 4 points for performance but it just makes me want to go back and read about Miles.
This book is another female breaking the mold in a world of lots of evil magic, ho hum...
I believe in women's power but another medieval magic story...ho hum...