Used to be my favorite books were the Merlin series by Mary Stewart, and now I am afraid my beloved Myrddin Emrys has fallen to the number two spot.
The story here reads like a historical fiction cake with magic icing. The story is told with the point of view changing from chapter to chapter and adds a dimension of engaging complexity that makes the whole story seem all the more real, and all the more magical.
I was concerned when I purchased this that it might be some endlessly tedious description of knights in battle, but its not. It is a very character- driven human story with castles and dragons.
As a point of interest, there is what I imagine to be a true representation of medieval life. There is much violence including but certainly not limited to the murder of children and rape. The author does not dwell on these things or glorify them. To my mind, as I said, it seems to to be true to the reality of life at that time.
And dont forget, there is magic too! Here again the author handles this element so that it is impotant, but it is not the focus of the story.
I cannot imagine hearing this tale and not wanting the hear the rest of the series so be aware that there are 3 more available. The next two are read by the brilliant, great, incomparable Roy Dotrice. The fourth in the series is read by John Lee.
We are all waiting for Mr Martin to finish writing the fifth.
this review will be about the audio performance and not concern the story itself. I am delighted that we the audience were heard, and that Roy Dotrice has returned. The audio performance of book 4 was a crime against fiction.
But this performance is no where near as good as were the 1st 3 books and I am angered that no one involved in this production cared enough to make it better. Was there no director? Was Mr Dotrice given time enough to prepare? Was this project not worth the bother of continuity?
I echo the criticisms of all the others who said that Dany's voice is terrible. But also its much harder to tell the difference between the characters speaking and the thoughts they don't voice. In previous books there was no question. And some of the emotionality is just wrong. For example, I don't think this is a spoiler, Jon thinks to himself that he must kill the boy inside himself to become a man. But the thought " kill the boy" is delivered with a venomous rage that would be more appropriate were Jon thinking about Theon. The depth and perception of the earlier work is betrayed here.
its still way better than book 4
One small mention of the writing itself - this book is coarser in a lot of ways and made even more so by lots of chatter about bodily functions and elimination behaviors. That the narrative has been peppered with references like this all along has never bothered me, but this one has too much. Its cheap.
I can't help but think they didnt give it enough time or perhaps they just see the audio as income and not as at artform with intrinsic value. Its such a pity. I feel like Christmas was cancelled this year
the story is in third person and has a very engaging start, characters are well drawn and the story moves apace. The second half degenerates into the same post- apocalyptic para- military society crapola that has been done to death. I simply cannot relate to characters who regard a cache of guns with holy reverence. Might as well let the creepies have all the people if thats the best they can do. I didnt make it all the way though and I won't ever listen again
The story was dull, flat. And the reading was drooooning. I loved the First Man in Rome. I gave up on this after 4 hours.
The story is essentially a mystery investigation with some magic. The characters are engaging and the story was not predictable. That is what really matters in a mystery. I look forward to this detective in future stories. I would like to get to know him better.
Michael Kramer is a great story teller, his English accent slips alot, and while I did notice I was suprised that I really did not mind. He was a pleasure to listen to.
I find the narrator of this book a terrible distraction. Imagine William Shatner with a British inflection. It seems more like a parody of a reading than anything else.
Instead of listening to the story I find myself listening to the letter "T". How forcefully do you nead to spit that out? It is possible and often appropriate to say the word "wonder" without dropping to a breathy whisper and making the "o" last 3 beats.
I loved Roy Dotrice and listen to audiobooks almost every day. Every new narrator takes a little getting used to, but I can't get used to this. Its terrible. Horrifyly bad.
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