We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Sylvia | [Bryce Courtenay]

Sylvia

From master storyteller Bryce Courtenay comes a colorful, lusty story set in the 13th century, an epic tale of a Europe torn by religious intolerance. The story centers around Sylvia Honeyeater, who sings like an angel and can literally charm the birds from the trees. The narrative also features the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Francis of Assisi, the Muslim Sultan and his harem, and the fervor that becomes the Children's Crusade and then, later, the Crusades.
Regular Price:$27.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

From master storyteller Bryce Courtenay comes a colorful, lusty story set in the 13th century, an epic tale of a Europe torn by religious intolerance. The story centers around Sylvia Honeyeater, who sings like an angel and can literally charm the birds from the trees. The narrative also features the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Francis of Assisi, the Muslim Sultan and his harem, and the fervor that becomes the Children's Crusade and then, later, the Crusades.

©2006 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (167 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (48)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
3.8 (86 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Story
3.9 (85 )
5 star
 (39)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    G. boulder creek, ca 06-11-07
    G. boulder creek, ca 06-11-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    334
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    409
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    0
    Overall
    "a departure for Bryce"

    I have listened to every one of BC's books available on Audible and have always been charmed by his sense of character, adventure, and history. He also paints vivid scenery throughout all his stories. Imagine my excitement when I perused here and found he had another novel! This book, I felt, lacked all of the afore mentioned qualities. Here we have a tale of religious zealotry which dwelt far to heavily on philosophy. Also, I was not impressed with his incorporation of historical and mythical? figures such as the pied piper (Gregory McGuire does a better job in Wicked), although I'm not against the idea, he just didn't pull it off. I also didn't like the narrator, she was okay until she spoke in the first person and then she had a really (I'm not kidding) high pitched and reedy tone. Icckk! She also pronounced all of her Vs as Ws since the story took place in Germany, which I found exceedingly irritating. I missed Humphry Bower, perhaps the best audible narrator I've ever heard. The reason I'm writing this review is that I find BC to be the very best author I have found on Audible , especially for long books, and this just didn't measure up. So for fans, I'd pass... P.S. Where can I get good recommendations to rival BC?

    39 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Wichita KS 07-18-07
    Amazon Customer Wichita KS 07-18-07 Member Since 2013

    BookWorm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not typical Bryce"

    If your looking for something to live up to the Potatoe Factory trilogy forget Sylvia. This book is hard to follow & bombarded with religous zealoty. I hated this book!!! The narrator's voice drove me mad & the story line was boring & hard to follow. I never write reveiws (as you can probably tell) but I would hate for someone to try this thinking they were getting typical, wonderful, full of life & humor Bryce. Not so with this one. Don't waste your credit.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Kurrajong, Australia 03-10-08
    Carol Kurrajong, Australia 03-10-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Just did not do it for me!"

    I guess its hard to tread in the footsteps of the classics but this book was bler!!
    It is potentially an interesting tale based on a strange historical event but somehow the thread of base and frequently tainted sexuality seemed to undermine the story and it ended up sounding a tad sleazy and at times as if the crude bits were added for effect.May be it is just me but I felt a little put off at times.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulu 04-12-11
    Lulu 04-12-11

    I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1154
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1090
    206
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    271
    1
    Overall
    "Awful"

    Melodramatic, long winded and dull. I know this is a well-respected author, but I won't read anything he writes again. Several times, the plot seems to be about to kick in, but it never does. And the ending just made me angry at myself for wasting so much time on a book that has no climax. He could have elected to end it on any single page of the book, in the middle of a paragraph, a sentence, or on the 2nd syllable of a 3 syllable word, and the ending would have been just as meaningful. I should have stopped reading after the first chapter. I didn't, to my regret. I cannot recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary j aboughadareh 06-07-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    196
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    358
    92
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    0
    Overall
    "Huge disappointment"

    My 7th BC book and what a surprise. It was the same miracles, prayers, songs, story on and on till the unsatifying end. I would have aborted, but I had become a great fan of BC. If I had read this one first, I never would have read the other 6. If you've never read BC DO NOT start with this one.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 02-08-13
    Jan 02-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Horrible narration"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator's attempt to imitate German accent and way of speaking English is pretty disgraceful. I admit, I heard myself some of my countrymen speaking this way, but it's just a handful of all of us who migrated to so many English-speaking countries and embraced English as their own language.
    The narrator has a pleasant voice, but she made every possible effort to spoil this story with this mocking / caricaturing way she choose to present it to us.
    VERY DISAPPOINTING - to say the less.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth M. Penson 09-15-12 Member Since 2015

    Ruth

    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    341
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good story; bad narrator!"
    Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Edwina Wren?

    Love all of Courtenay's work!! Would happily listen to Wren if she would NOT use such phony accents.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Edwina Wren?

    Wren is a good narrator when she speaks normally, but her accents her very poor and annoying!!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Youngstown, Ohio, United States 07-30-12
    Debra Youngstown, Ohio, United States 07-30-12

    i'm 60 years old.. an avid reader, terrible speller and self pronounced knowitall.. i usually read epic novels like James Mitchner and i stay away from romance novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "accent annoying"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Edwina Wren?

    The narrator's voice was pleasant and expressive but the contrived German accent almost ruined the whole thing for me.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tania CARY, NC, United States 03-31-15
    tania CARY, NC, United States 03-31-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Recommended"

    Awful, depressing, grueling with a sudden ending that resolves nothing. And having an Australian women read predominantly male voices in a childish German accent would have been amusing had it not been so difficult to listen too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John M Daly Nevada City, CA, US 03-15-15
    John M Daly Nevada City, CA, US 03-15-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "New Territory for Bryce but done well"
    Would you listen to Sylvia again? Why?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    Not only the history given in the story but also the continually moving pace of the story.


    Which character – as performed by Edwina Wren – was your favorite?

    Sylvia


    If you could take any character from Sylvia out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Sylvia


    Any additional comments?

    Nice to see something different from Bryce

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Richard
    London, United Kingdom
    3/22/09
    Overall
    "Huge Disappointment"

    After really enjoying several of Bryce Courtney's book this one was exceedingly poor. I am not certain if the book itself is any good as the reading of it is flat and monotonous. I can't for one moment understand why the narrator speaks perfect "English" but when anyone speaks it is in a comic style German accent reminiscent of the sitcom Allo Allo.
    Have tried about 6 hours of it but can't go on

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.