Escaping the Gobi Desert, he faces his greatest challenge, overtaking the empire of the Chin - a land protected by a massive, impenetrable wall.
©2008 Conn Iggulden; (P)2008 Recorded Books
After listening to the first Genghis story by Conn Iggulden, and getting used to how that book's reader pronounced names, including "Khan" pronounced as "Hon", stipulated by Conn as historically correct for the period in which Genghis lived, and "Bertay", instead of "Berta", for the name of Genghis' wife, I found myself distracted by Richard Ferrone's narration. He was excellent in the "Left Behind" series, but I wish he had listened to the first book, before narrating the second and third. Beyond narration, the story line is as solid as the first book, and more "civilized", because Genghis has aged, and his family is no longer living like abandoned animals. GREAT SERIES to follow. I'm impressed with the depth of Conn's research on the Mongol warriors.
I really enjoyed listening to the first book. I just started on the second. How disappointing - as other reviewers have noted, the reader is terrible. And, I'm sorry to say, I also purchased the third book at the same time, and it's the same reader. We'll see how it goes - hopefully I can filter out the voice and just listen to the words... or buy the hardcopy.
So tell me why, if you are the narrator of the second book in the series obviously intended to be listened to sequentially, and for some reason they hired you to narrate the second and third books, after using another guy for the first book (what, the first guy was busy or something?), WHY WHY WHY would you change the pronunciation of the names of the major characters? Hassar becomes Haaassssser, Eluk (pronounced Ay-Luke), becomes pronounced Eee-Luck all of a sudden? (etc). Bleh. And, why would you give the main character, who is (or was, at the end of the last book), presented sympathetically, a nasal, evil sounding voice?
I only made it a half hour in. Going to go buy the paper version of the book instead. And will be avoiding Richard Ferrone in the future. Overly dramatic to the point of annoying, in addition to the changed names.
I got this book because I loved the 1st one - Genghis Birth of an Empire. The person who read the 1st book was excellent. This one is really bad. The voices sound whiny and the pronunciation of the names is terrible. It is obvious the reader did not listen to the 1st book. I am about 1 hr into it and I'm not sure if I can go on. Maybe I'll have to buy the book. The story is an exciting page turner.
the entire conquereor series is excellent, particularly Genghis and Kublai
more relaxation, easy listening, like listening to a Broadway show
Interesting take on the mentality of the Mongols of that era
Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows, Particle man.
First things first. It took quite a bit to get past the change in reader from the first book. I was merely disappointed in the beginning, since he didn't seem bad, just not as good a Stefan Rudnicki. However, I gradually became angry as he butchered the pronunciations of some names. He seemed to think that that the last syllable of certain names had to be dragged out for an extra beat or two and end in a snarl. What was more perplexing was that he didn't do this consistently. Thankfully, I think someone must have intervened since this habit diminished as the book went on. What still remained was the reader's insistence on portraying many characters in either a sniveling or raspy voice or some combination of the two.
I am glad I plodded through. I was quite satisfied with the story Iggulden weaves. He has a skillful way of portraying epic events through the eyes of a few compelling participants. In this second book, he has chosen to expand the collection of protagonists. Characters who previously mattered only in their relation to Genghis, such as his bothers, now come into their own. We are also introduced to new heroes and villains. The interactions between people around Genghis, especially his immediate family, become more complex as does Genghis' own relations with them. I do regret, though, that Borte and Hoelun, who played important roles in the first book, diminished in prominence in this book. The effect of all this is that the story seems to be evolving from the story of Genghis to the story of the burgeoning Mongol empire itself. In that sense, the title seems a bit of a misnomer, but I have no complaint. Anyone who expected this book to be the story about Genghis in his middle years will still find some of that; he is still central to the arc of the story after all, but the book aims to be much more. For me, it succeeds.
If you liked the first book, then I think you will like this one as well. But be prepared its a new narrator. I have gotten used to and do not dislike the narrator for this book, but I love Stephan Rudnicki and was very disappointed in the beginning.
If you begin reading the first book of the series 'Birth of an Empire', you won't be able pass up 'Lords of the Bow' or 'Bones of the Hills'. Rich with history, this is one of the best stories that I have ever listened to. Conn Iggulden has done a superb job of taking some pieces of history and stitching them together into a great story.
This is a great book. But they changed the narrator from book 1. It is a huge change. It took perhaps 1/2 of the book until I adapted to the new narration style, voices, etc. It is a massive turnoff and I almost stopped listening.
Couldn't wait to start this one after book 1. The storytelling remains excellent, though I have to say I was a little disappointed in the narrator. Rather than listen to how the first narrator pronounced things and try and stay a little consistent, he simply re-invented many of the words. I see that this is the narrator for the rest of the series, so I should get used to him.
Overall, highly recommend.
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