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The Skystone Audiobook

The Skystone: Camulod Chronicles, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Everyone knows the story-how Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, how Camelot came to be, and about the power struggles that ultimately destroyed Arthur's dreams. But what of the time before Arthur and the forces that created him?

How did the legend really come to pass?

Before the time of Arthur and his Camelot, Britain was a dark and deadly place, savaged by warring factions of Picts, Celts, and invading Saxons. The Roman citizens who had lived there for generations were suddenly faced with a deadly choice: Should they leave and take up residence in a corrupt Roman world that was utterly foreign, or should they stay and face the madness that would ensue when Britain's last bastion of safety for the civilized, the Roman legions, left?

For two Romans, Publius Varrus and his friend Caius Britannicus, there can be only one answer. They will stay, to preserve what is best of Roman life, and will create a new culture out of the wreckage. In doing so, they will unknowingly plant the seeds of legend-for these two men are Arthur's great-grandfathers, and their actions will shape a nation . . . and forge a sword known as Excalibur.

©1996 Jack Whyte (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (403 )
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  •  
    Joe Chad Ohio 07-28-15
    Joe Chad Ohio 07-28-15 Member Since 2015

    I am a lover of fantasy novels with exciting action, complex plots, and unforgettable characters.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Inconsistent Read"

    After reading this novel I wasn't sure what to think for a while. My conclusion is it was a decent book, but the entire book lacks a flow or a pace. There are large patches of slow almost development and suddenly there is brutal action for a short time. The action is so vicious that it is somewhat shocking in my opinion. The action does not fit the style of book that I believe the author is trying to write. Also, th e sex scenes are some of the most graphic I have ever read, and they are a bit too numerous for my taste. The story is just too jumpy, it has no consistent clean flow to it. The other problem with this book is that the characters especially the narrator are frequently put in situations that don't match the person he is supposed to be. The narrator is portrayed as an intelligent, thoughtful military veteran, yet he frequently lets his anger and hate get away from him, and does things that can only be described as incredibly stupid. The third problem with this book is the way a lot of stuff seems to go unexplained. For example, after the fight scenes the author seems to go on with the book as if nothing happened, there is no so-called clean up period, where everything is explained. The final problem with this book was the fact that there are large sections where the author tries to explain things and the story limps along for a while. There are good things about this book though, the characters are interesting and decently developed, the author's knolidge of old Britain is excellent, and the overall premise of the series seems interesting. The narrator did a fair job, but seemed to read the book more than act it out. I think this book is worth reading if you are interested in reading pre King Arthur myths, and I may get the next novel because I am curious to see if the author can fix some of the problems with the first book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie Wenham, MA, United States 09-27-13
    Maggie Wenham, MA, United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great subject - disappointing in every way!"
    What disappointed you about The Skystone?

    The writing was cliched and anachronistic, the dialogue wooden and the delivery, plot and action was tedious. There were few surprises that the reader could not guess well in advance of their "discovery". The book was too long - needs a good editor.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The narrator - Pariseau is just not in the same league with the other narrators I have heard through Audible. His delivery is monotone and sounds as though he is reading the book for only the second time.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kevin Pariseau?

    Simon Vance is one of my favorites, as is the narrator for Heresy, but I would have chosen Christian Rodska, narrator of the Lindsey Davis Didius Falco series. He would be very suited for the military nature of the book and the main character 1st person narration


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The historic time period was interesting.


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie United States 09-03-13
    Bonnie United States 09-03-13 Member Since 2016
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    "a long awaited treasure!"
    What did you love best about The Skystone?

    I loved history of Britan from the Roman occupation and the story of a warm and loving family.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cius Britanicus as he is the catalyst that sets things going.


    What does Kevin Pariseau bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    All of his voices for each character is incredible he even handles the womens voices ok a tough thing to do in Audio books If I have any criticism it would be that he reads a little too slowly but as I got into the book i got used to it.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Skystone and why?

    I loved Lucia with all her strenght of character and determination


    Any additional comments?

    I am an avid Jack Whyte fan and have read every one of his books but I am reliving them now in his audio books and it is a thrill. Just started the singing sword and can hardly wait!

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elle Montréal 04-17-14
    elle Montréal 04-17-14
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    "Puerile & unidimensional - very poorly written"
    Would you try another book from Jack Whyte and/or Kevin Pariseau?

    Definitely not.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A re-reading of Dorothy Dunnett's 'Niccolo Rising'. A masterclass in substantive and entertaining historical fiction.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Skystone?

    This book should never have found a publisher let alone made it into the hands of an editor. But to answer the question: large chunks of the artificial, stilted dialogue.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabella Storchi Soliera (MO), ITALY, IT 09-15-13
    Isabella Storchi Soliera (MO), ITALY, IT 09-15-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally the audiobooks for this great series"
    What did you love best about The Skystone?

    It's like being transported back to the Roman Empire, but with the light touch of the great narrator.


    What other book might you compare The Skystone to and why?

    It reminds me of the style of Ellis Peters in Brother Cadfael for the ability to make you live the historical period and entertain you at the same time.


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Pariseau – was your favorite?

    I definitely like the protagonist Publius Varus


    Who was the most memorable character of The Skystone and why?

    Of course Caius Britannicus is very impressive


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Levely Gladstone, MI United States 09-11-13
    Kelly Levely Gladstone, MI United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A great interpretation of the Arthurian Legend!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Skystone the most enjoyable?

    I have been waiting for this series to be available since I first joined Audible. When I first read this series in hard cover it became my favorite interpretation of the Arthurian legend. It became the one I compared all others to after reading it, and it still is. Jack Whyte set the bar high for any other "King Arthur" stories that I read. It was great to be able to listen to the story again during my daily commute.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Skystone?

    Jack makes it easy to get vested in his characters. You grow and develop with them as the story progresses.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Before the "Once and Future King"


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for any Arthurian Legend Fan!!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AmyP Madison, WI USA 09-11-13
    AmyP Madison, WI USA 09-11-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Drags in places, narration wasn't great"
    Would you try another book from Jack Whyte and/or Kevin Pariseau?

    I really enjoy the historical fiction approach to the Arthurian legend, as opposed to magical realism. Whyte's writing is solid. I got the feeling at many points in the book that he was stretching things out MUCH longer than necessary. Maybe he was trying to make the book a certain length. It showed.Pariseau's character voices were very good but the odd, smug, flat, formal tone of his narration (aka Publius) really made it difficult for me to embrace Publius as a character. Also, I have yet to hear a male narrator do a female character voice in a way that is not obnoxious.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Obviously written with male readers in mind. Which is fine. But trim the fat!!!


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kevin Pariseau?

    Someone younger sounding.


    Do you think The Skystone needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes. It's obviously a story that is meant to be continued with future books (and it is).


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 09-05-13
    Mike 09-05-13
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    "THE Best roman era historical fiction"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Skystone to be better than the print version?

    No


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Caius Brittanicus strength, integrity and the ability to see a plan through to the end, even in the face adversity. All qualities the world could use more of.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Pariseau’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    At the end of the book one of the main characters dies, and you feel the loss of a friend, a loss that maybe did'nt have to happen except for choices made in the heat of the moment.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my favorite author, he is a mason with a strong moral character. He is not preachy in the least rather leading by example through his characters, most of whom you will become quite fond of. Even thevillians have many layers as you peel the onoin that is this series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-30-13
    08-30-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Epic BEGINS!!!!"
    What did you love best about The Skystone?

    Whyte starts with Arthurian pre-history, so it does take its time. But you get the feeling he's laying the groundwork for some great characters and plot twists.


    What other book might you compare The Skystone to and why?

    I've read other Arthurian legends, but none of them starts in the last days of the Roman Empire to set the stage for how Camelot was formed. The anarchy that came after the Romans left Britain must have been terrible.


    What does Kevin Pariseau bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He does such great character work. It's like a radio play -- you understand who everyone is.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really. The sex scenes were interesting...


    Any additional comments?

    A fun listen. I'm in for the long haul on this one. I hope the story elements pay off!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-20-15
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    "Intriguing!"

    Interesting version of Camelot, Merlin and King Arthur. Has Celts, Druids and Britons and interesting details.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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