This is a rare academic book that sounds less like a textbook and more like an interesting story. There are a few tedious moments of minute household account details, but overall this was interesting and entertaining, even if Ms. Weir has other ideas about what happened to Edward II. ;) Its definitely a worthwhile read for history fans.
The story is everything the hype makes it out to be. I'm 33, and my husband is 36, and we both couldn't get through this fast enough. Given that, this was the perfect opportunity to produce amazing audio books out of excellent source material. Unfortunately, Carolyn McCormack falls flat for me - her voice is too old for Katniss, the emotions seem overdone, her child's voice is almost cartoony, which doesn't work in this dark setting, and Peeta sounds like he's sullen and oafish, which is totally wrong. The one thing I think she does fine with is Haymitch. Her narration changes the feel of the story, which was frustrating for me, given how much I loved the book. Yes, I'll probably listen to it again because sometimes you just need something you love in order to get back on the treadmill, and the story is incredible. But I so wish they'd picked a narrator who could do it justice. Its disappointing.
Like other reviewers, I thought this was like reading a trashy romance at times. It was all sex all the time. Eleanor and Henry's story is so much more than that - did we miss the part where they rule most of Christendom? I'm a big fan of Weir as a historian, and her two other novels were great, so I was very disappointed here. I think the narration was lacking too - you can't have a woman doing a "deep" voice and it be adequate for Henry Fitz Empress. But a man's voice wouldn't have worked for Eleanor telling her own story either. This really should have been a two-voice recording. I hope someone records Sharon Kay Penman's Henry and Eleanor trilogy, it does them more justice. GREAT books.
The man who read for Leo Gursky has to be one of my favorite narrators ever. He sounds like an old friend telling you about his day - he is a GREAT reader. I wasn't a huge fan of the story overall, but this guy was definitely worth listening to.
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