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Yaryna

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2010

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 304 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Spies of the Balkans

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Alan Furst
    • Narrated By Daniel Gerroll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (428)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (109)

    Greece, 1940. Not sunny vacation Greece: northern Greece, Macedonian Greece, Balkan Greece, the city of Salonika. In that ancient port, with its wharves and warehouses, dark lanes and Turkish mansions, brothels and tavernas, a tense political drama is being played out. On the northern border, the Greek army has blocked Mussolini's invasion, pushing his divisions back to Albania, the first defeat suffered by the Nazis, who have conquered most of Europe.

    writerly says: "historical insights, not much suspense/tension"
    "Smart and understated"
    Overall

    A very enjoyable read. The historical backdrop is the real star of this book, and you can't help but become involved in the uncertainty and fear that permeated the months leading up to the occupation of Greece. You get a fantastic sense of the relationships, the dynamics and pasts of Balkan countries and the psychology of their peoples. I enjoyed the narration a great deal - a very unusual reading style that you will learn to appreciate as you absorb the book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Song for Arbonne

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (107)

    A Song for Arbonne is Guy Gavriel Kay's critically acclaimed fantasy of love, both courtly and forbidden, and of kingdoms endlessly opposed - one dominated by male rulers and their male god, the other guided by women and their goddess.

    Yaryna says: "An alternate world"
    "An alternate world"
    Overall

    A powerful story, rich in history and detail, despite not being set in any real historical events.

    Yes, the first half an hour is a tad hard to follow, with a tremendous amount of new characters being rapidly introduced in a complex mish mash of time and geography. However, once events start unfolding, the story brims with magic and detail, and you find yourself engrossed. By the way, I don't mean magic in the fantastical sense of the word. I mean that Kay has created an alternate world, different from our own, and yet not so foreign that it doesn't ring true. It is simply a complex, rich place with traditions and beliefs and coincidences that start to weave together in a way that is full of mystery, awe and beauty... as well as a great deal of ugliness and hate.

    The singing is wonderful, really filling out the politics, religion and geography of the region that start to feel familiar and tangible half way through the book. The mass of characters fill out, becoming very discernable individuals, clashing and coming together to tell this story. The story seems simple, but is brought together in a complex way.

    Wonderful narration. And the singing! Superb.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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