©2005 Conn Iggulden; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Joining the queue of disappointing readers, I too think that Paul Blake's narration SPOILS THE ENCHANTMENT of the Emperor series ... Where I couldn't put the Robert Glenister narrations down, enthralled with the story and his virtuoso narration, now I can barely pick Paul Blake's narration up ... feels too much like punishment to be either enticing or enjoyable ...
Robert Glenister was fantastic as the narrator of the Emperor books 1 & 2 ... Now it is very hard to get used to the bombast and pedantry of Paul Blake ... For example, Octavian for Blake becomes Octa-WEE-an ... maybe Blake enjoys showing off his Latin expertise, but the book was written in English. Very hard to adjust to a narration virtually devoid of the subtleties (range of voices and expressions) that were the strength of Robert Glenister in his stunning narration of books 1 & 2 where characters are easily recognized by voice tones alone.
Penitence ... not sure I can get through this one.
I have read the first three books now in this series and have enjoyed all three. If you like Roman history, intrigue, battles, relationships then go ahead and get into the series. If you like historical accuracy then pass on the EMPEROR novels. There is plenty of literary license on the part of Conn Iggulden but what the heck this is 'fiction' not history. I've enjoyed the development of Gaius and Marcus and the twists and turns that their lives have taken and intend of listening to the last novel before moving on. The debate on the performance of Paul Blake is tiresome. Yes he does pronounce the names of many of the characters differently from common usage and that of his predecessor and yes it is 'Gauling' but his overall narration is fine.
There is absolutely nothing more infuriating that switching narrators in the middle of a series. Especially a switch to one as bad as Paul Blake. Overact much?
I cannot recommend this series often enough!! Conn iggelston is one of my favorite authors. He makes history come alive. You are there. It is a great read!!
History comes alive.
Julius. And everyone.
If I had the time, yes. I did listen for hours at a time.
Read Iggelston's series on the Kahn's also.
Top 15 of 85
Paul Blake was weak. Not the guy I would have had do this. However, Conn's story saves the day.
Choose your audiobook by the narrator with best being Guidall, Tull, Case/Davidson, Muller, Lee, Franklyn-Robbins, Dotrice, (no Brick)
Within the first 15 minutes of this audiobook I am struck with how annoying the reader is and again baffled as to why authors would allow different narrators to work on the same book series. It breaks the continuity and the effects are worse when the replacement narrator is so much worse. What seemed like an interesting and even noble story of Julius Caesar has become, with the change of narrators a tale of pompous Roman ridiculousness like reading Flashman at the Charge and taking it seriously. The story will barely survive the narrator change for books 2 & 3.
"When I finish a good book, I feel like I've lost a friend." -- My Mom
This was a first listen for us with narrator, Paul Blake. We're enjoying him very much. He's different from Robert Glenister (narrator of the first two books in this series) but just as good. It is rather annoying when changes are made in a middle of a series. But if, as in this case, the story is worthwhile, (and Conn Iggulden is always terrific) than getting to know a new narrator is part of the fun.
"Annoying change of narrator."
There really is nothing wrong with Paul Blake, but why OH WHY can a new narrator in an ongoing series not listen to at least a small extract of the previous books, and attempt to emulate the pronunciation of names?
Who is Octawiun? (previously the more common Ocvavian)
Who is Serwillia? (previously the more common Sevillia)
Who is Carbora? (previously pronounced Caberra)
I have no idea if Iggulden uses something other than the standard Anglicisations of these common Roman names (the first two at least), but either way, consistency is important in a series of audiobooks.
"Change the narrator !"
Matt bates, the empty throne bernard conwell
Couldn't read the book, never finished it
Ditch the voice . Conn Igulden is worth more than that. Excellent book 1 and 2. Not sure I can read book 4 either. And doesn't make sense to skip to book 5. Shame.
"Learn how to pronounce Gladius and the letter V"
Someone really should have taken Paul to one side before he started his performance and explained how to pronounce some of the words and names.
Brutus's mother Servillia plays a large part in this book and it became annoying very quickly when Paul kept calling her "Serwillya", indeed, the way he pronounces Octavia's name made me cringe.
I laughed out load when the narrator pronounced Gladius in an overly flamboyant way, calling it a GladeArse.
"Terrible narrator! Spoilt the book"
I have not even finished this book and feel compelled to write this review - the narrator is doing my head in! Although I can understand that his pronunciation may be technically correct, it goes against that of the previous books and common usage.
'Serwillia' is driving me mad, like most of the other reviewers I cannot understand the inconsistency with the previous books, it is making it hard to enjoy as every time he does it, the words jar and distract from the story.
I have to continue because I am enjoying the story but it is DESPITE the narrator. I am disappointed to find out he has done the next book in the series too.
I started this series after going through Con Iggulden's Genghis Khan series.
The performance could have been better by sacking the narrator, and forking out for Robert Glennister!
The narrator, and publisher need to read the reviews of this product to see how they have messed up a series - the author should have had a preview and said no!
"A great story spoiled by the narration"
I'd love to try all of the books by Iggulden. He writes extremely well and if you are a fan on CS Forester, Bernard Cornwell etc you'll love his style.
Paul Blake, the narrator, absolutely not! He has changed the pronunciation of every name in the book, almost ruining it for me. If it wasn't such a good story (and £19 of my money) I wouldn't have bothered listening.
Any of the other series by Conn Iggulden, such as the Genghis series. Or books by Bernard Cornwell, such as the Viking Series of the Sharpe books.
NO! If you take over narration half way through a series then at least have the sense to pronounce the characters names in the same way. Thoroughly un-impressed.
Yes, books 4 and 5 of the series. But narrater by Robert Glenister again please.
"Such a comedown from the first two novels"
I couldn't agree more with Paul's review that the pronunciation is so poor as to detract from the rest of the story. No matter how hard you try not to you keep listening for his mispronunciations to have them grate time and time again.
The narrator seems very self satisfied and pompous quite unlike Robert Glenister in the first two books.
Huge error to have changed narrator.
Number 4 will be read as a book not listened to.
I loved this audio book, it was the first time i ever had an audio book but i will defiantly do it again.
"Ruined by the narrator"
I really enjoyed the first two books and had not read the reviews of this book, so what a disappointment when I started to listen to Paul Blake. He is terrible , why did he not listen to at least some of the first two books? Every name pronounced differently and the characterisation is rubbish. I am continuing to listen out or respect for the author and the fact it is illegal to read a book while driving! Why Audible and the publishers do you do this to the public who pay for these books? This is the first time I have not liked a narrator and I truly understand now why people give up on books when the narrator does not do the book justice.
"Emperor! Read them all!"
Other reviewers struggled with the change in narrator, but in my opinion it is not as bad as it is made out to be, and should not affect the rating of the book itself. In fact, Blake was thoroughly enjoyable. Never did Blake do any injustice to a magnificent, well written story. The story... it is brilliant! All four books in the Emperor series are just fantastic.
"A SUPERB TRILOGY"
Gives real character to Julius and Brutus. A superb read, well narrated. Having listened to the first and second parts - now ready to start on the third.
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