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Cynthia in SoCal

Laguna Hills, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
3
REVIEWS
3
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
1

  • The Potter's Field

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ellis Peters
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (61)

    In October 1142, a landlord gives the clergy a field previously owned by a potter named Ruald, now a monk himself. Benedictine monks, plowing, uncover a body dead a year or more, setting off a mystery that Brother Cadfael, herbalist and student of medicine, cannot resist as it grows complex and involves the missing, beautiful wife of Ruald.

    Janie says: "Wonderful, as usual"
    "Disappointing Storyline"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Generally I love all the Brother Cadfael stories, but I disliked this one. The story line was very weak, with a body showing up in a potter's field and the surrounding story of who it was and how it got there. Central to the story was a man who abandoned his wife to enter the monastery. The monks kept going on about how he did the right thing by following his vocation, but never once mentioned that it was a greater sin to renounce his sacramental marriage vow to become a monk. The identity of the body and how it came to be in the field was finally revealed but by a very weak plot device.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Saxon Shore: Camulod Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jack Whyte
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (43)

    Merlyn Britannicus and Uther Pendragon - the Silver Bear and the Red Dragon - are the leaders of the Colony, lifeblood to the community from which will come the fabled Camulod. But soon their tranquillity is in ruins, Uther lies dead from treachery, and all that is left of the dream is the orphaned babe Arthur. Heir to the Colony of Camulod, born with Roman heritage as well as the blood of the Hibernians and the Celts, Arthur is the living incarnation of the sacred dream of his ancestors....

    Cynthia in SoCal says: "Tedious and Long Winded"
    "Tedious and Long Winded"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Saxon Shore?

    The story line is very detailed, much more so than it needs to be. The real action scenes are barely mentioned but the details are listed as an afterthought. Too much emphasis is placed on silly and non essential details such as someone bridging their nose with fingers, spitting, getting food poisoning, etc. These are details that are best left out of the story as they don't contribute to either character development or to moving the plot forward. As far as character development goes, this is virtually nonexistent.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jack Whyte again?

    No, I've suffered through the first four books in the Camulod Chronicles, and have had enough. Once he had Merlyn come down with leprosy, I thought, that's it, I'm over this series. This plot contrivance was just too stupid for words.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kevin Pariseau?

    His style is very stilted, almost as though a fifth grader was reading the story. No, I would not consider listening to anything by this reader again.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Very few. If it had been shortened by about two thirds and had some actual characters in it, it might be worth reading or listening to.


    Any additional comments?

    The Merlin trilogy by Mary Stewart, unavailable in audiobook, is by far the best of the King Arthur books that I've ever read. Her prose is unsurpassed for shear beauty. This series just doesn't come even close. I can't imagine that anyone likes it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brother Cadfael's Penance

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Ellis Peters
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    Brother Cadfael searches for his own endangered son, and in so doing, forsakes his order and boldly defies his abbot. What he finds challenges his soul. It is autumn 1145, and the battle rages between Empress Maud and her cousin Stephen for the throne of England. One who previously had been among Empress Maud's greatest champions, Sir Philip FitzRobert, has turned coat and imprisoned thirty knights and squires who stayed loyal to the empress.

    C. Telfair says: "Long Live Cadfael"
    "The Best of the Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was definitely the best of all the Brother Cadfael books. I kept looking forward to driving to and from work so I could listen and find out what happened. Brother Cadfael goes off to find his son who is held by Phillip, Robert of Gloucester's son. He manages to secure his release along with that of Yves, his son's brother in law, and befriends Philllip at the same time. This is one of the few books of this series that does not have a pair of star crossed lovers who come together in the end. There is a murder in the story, but it is secondary to the main plot. All in all, a fascinating story, much too short. Stephen Thorne is an excellent narrator, giving just the right amount of individuality to each character.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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