An ancient castle, a tragic love, and a web of secrets begins to unravel....
Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings. When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary town of Chinon, and promptly disappears - well, that's Harry for you.
As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm. Legend has it that during a 13th-century siege of the castle that looms over the city, Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, hid a "treasure of great price". And in the last days of the German occupation during World War II, there was another Isabelle living in Chinon, a girl whose love for an enemy soldier went tragically awry.
As the dangers of the past become disastrously real, Emily is drawn ever more deeply into a labyrinth of mystery as twisted as the streets and tunnels of the ancient town itself.
©1995, 2013 Susanna Kearsley (P)2013 Audible Inc.
"Award-winning narrator Barbara Rosenblat handles the great variety of accents with aplomb - from Emily's British accent to the locals' French accents and the intonations of global tourists. While Rosenblat sounds too old and a bit stiff for the 28-year-old Emily, among her strengths are rock-solid characterizations and believable male voices, both of which will keep listeners invested in this romantic mystery. (AudioFile)
It was a really interesting book although the end unraveled a bit too quickly like "ooops, need to wrap now!" I really like Suzanne Kearsley books but they become too formulaic if you read them all at once so it was really nice not to have the time travel aspect for once. Although I do love the time travel in the other books, it just gets too repetitive.
I really liked how you were placed in the city of Chinon
Her voice was all wrong, much too old
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I liked the story by Susanna Kearsley but Barbara Rosenblat the narrator was much too old sounding for Emily the young women. Emily was supposed to be 28 yrs old. The narrator sounded like she was about 50 yrs old. She did fairly well on the male voices although I would have preferred an actual male narrator.
I like a good mystery not sure what I would compare this book to.
She probably is good at what she does but not for this part.
I was somewhat disappointed at the killer. Sorry he was the one who did the killing.
If you have picked up The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley expecting it to be one of her charming time travel romances novels you are in for a surprise. The story revolves around 28 year old Emily Braden who is convinced by her errant cousin Harry to go on holiday to the French town of Chinon, France where a young and beautiful Queen Isabella once rumored to have hidden a great treasure. Ahh but there is another story of a lost treasure and another beautiful Isabella – hidden in a medieval chateau or in the maze of ancient tunnels underneath the streets of Chinon – and Harry has gone missing Emily begins to fear that Harry might be more than just delayed. As Emily tries to find her cousin, she becomes more aware of some strange tension, old hostilities, new friend and loves among her fellow guest.
I found it took a bit to get into the story but once the web of secrets started to disentangle I found the story compelling and unpredictable. The Splendour Falls I felt one of Ms. Kearsley’s best – The Winter Sea being my favorite.
This was an audio book that was narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. While I felt she did a decent job narrating the book I felt her voice was too old for the main character – it was too gruffy. She did more justice to male voices, with spot on French accents and word pronunciation.
Unlike Susanna Kearsley's other stories (The Winter Sea is one of my favorite listens), I believe this story is almost entirely set in the present with only vague references to past actions. I say "I believe" because the narration was so poor that it was hard to follow. The volume was inconsistent, phrases were mumbled or repeated randomly, and there was only 1 character with a truly distinguishable voice so it is difficult to keep everyone apart. Also, Barbara Rosenblat sounds like a 2 pack a day smoker, which is frankly unpleasant to listen to.
As for the story itself, I didn't find the characters to be particularly interesting, nor was I that interested in the "mystery"
I pre-ordered this story based on my love of The Winter Sea, but I think this book is definitely a pass.
Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.
I probably would have enjoyed this better in print, but the audible offering is still worth the credit because the story is so strong. I agree with all of the comments regarding Barbara Rosenblat's narration. Her voice is simply too old for the part. That aside, I was in awe of Susanna Kearsley's evocative writing and her ability to weave a complex tale. Having read The Rose Garden and The Winter Sea, I assumed I'd be encountering a Romance novel with some supernatural or Time Travel angle. Instead, this is like a finely tuned, more literary version of an Agatha Christie tale, where disparate characters are brought together and we slowly learn their back stories and how they all relate. I wasn't aware that this was to be a Mystery. It was obvious that there would be a bit of the romance here, but it was subtly drawn out, and the mystery only slowly revealed. In the beginning the reader is simply getting to know the characters, and my hat's off to Ms. Kearsley for such a finely delineated cast of characters. Each one is distinct and plays his or her part in the drama/mystery/romance. When you finally realize that there is a mystery to be solved, you come to realize that virtually every previous scene was filled with clues that are relevant to the denouement. A wonderful book that will stay with me for a long while.
Yes, it kind of took me back to my early teens when I read gothic romance/mystery novels by Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney.
Here is the problem. I love Barbara Rosenblatt, I often have chosen books because she was the narrator, and she did a decent job reading the book which is why I gave 3 stars and not 2. The 2 stars, or one, would go to the producer or whoever thought she was the voice of Emily. She was not. Unfortunately she was just a terrible choice. She didn't sound like a 28 year old girl at all.
Yes, but I was glad that I had this book along with the kindle/whispersync book so that I could read much of it. I did listen to some while driving or exercising, but would have preferred another narrator.
She is the mistress of historical novels. I have Susanna Kearsley to thank for opening the world's great stories to me. Her storylines, character development and detailed historical events are unparalleled.
Now, this hurts me...I have to say the narrator of this story sounded like many of my long term cigarette smokers. I gave up on the spoken story and stayed with reading on my Kindle. I am looking forward to receiving my hardcover for my S.Kearsley collection...you have your own shelf.
I don't compare. S.Kearsley is the most impressive author I have ever read.
Her voice was that of a long time smoker. I am a retired Respiratory Therapist and don't care for the quality of her voice.
Listening to stories about the idle time of the rich is so boring, even in a historical setting that begs for time travel.
No. It takes too long to get going, and the characters all sound bored too.
No. Her voice is grating to my ears.
I plan to return this audiobook.
Yes from Susana and no from Rosenblat, did not like her voice at all for this story. It was very hard to keep these characters in their age groups, She sounds like a women in her 60's. And most of the men sounded old also. will not listen to another book narrated by her.
Just not up to par. I have read 5 of Kearsley's other books and was dissapointed in this one, The Winter Sea was amazing.
I absolutely did not like the narrator. Her voice sounded so much older than the character of the book that it was just too off and I felt she couldn't pull the story off. I only listened to about 30 minutes and just could not listen to it any further.
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