Elodie journeys to the town of Two Castles to become a mansioner - an actress - but the master of the troupe turns her away. Brilliant dragon Meenore takes her in, then sends her on a dangerous mission within an ogre’s castle. There, disguised as a kitchen maid, she plays the role of a lifetime, pitted against a foe intent on murder.
Black-and-white cats, a handsome cat trainer, a greedy king, a giddy princess, a shape-shifting ogre, a brilliant dragon.... Elodie must discover which of them is kind, which is cruel, and, most of all, which is the one who deserves her trust.
Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine weaves an entrancing tale of a fearsome ogre, a dragon detective, and a remarkable heroine who finds friendship where she least expects it, learns that there are many ways to mansion, and discovers that goodness and evil come in all shapes and sizes.
©2011 Gail Carson Levine (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Sarah Coomes narration is imaginative and fun. A good reader can really enhance the enjoyment and Ms. Coomes is one of the best.
The story is sweet enough for kids but still OK for adults.
I'd read many other books by Gail Carson Levine and I was excited for this one... I was NOT disappointed! Had I read the book, I could see myself becoming slightly bored, but listening to it was NEVER boring! The narrator, Sarah Coomes, did a delightful job, and kept the story very upbeat. The storyline itself in enthralling and engaging, full of mystery, lies, confusion and deception. It's totally clean and safe for all ears. I can listen to this one again and again. :)
I couldn't get past the first few chapters, the narrator is just awful. Her voice gets painfully high and squeaky and sometimes she'll stretch words out. The longer the sentence the more erratic the pronunciation is, the words are either squeaky or they sound like she has a cold. She'll say 'mah-neehhss' instead of 'manners' or 'cyaaaats' instead of 'cats', but then she'll say 'cats' normally later on so its' not like an accent one can get used to. It's virtually unintelligible.
I honestly don't know how this audiobook got approved, it always takes a while for me to get used to a new narrator and even if she/he has an annoying voice I'll stick with it for the story, but I simply can't understand what she's saying.
I gave the story 3 stars since I'm a fan of a lot of the author's other books, I'm giving the plot the benefit of the doubt. I hate being this mean, I just wish I'd sampled the narration before buying this book.
I will never listen to this book again. I completely agree with the reviewer who said that the narrator's voice is annoying. She gives the main character a mangled, cockney sounding accent. This seriously detracted from the story. She also never quite settled on a single accent. Sometimes she pronounced words one way, then later she would pronounce them differently. It was terrible.
I had received an ARC copy of book two in this series and wanted a quick way to catch up to the story before reading book 2. Now I'm not sure I want to spend my time reading it. Levine is usually a good author, but this book just did not hold my attention. Perhaps it was the narration that was lacking in this one. The narrator should never try to laugh like a dragon. The sound she made was just plain annoying. She was not that great with men's voices either.
Her tale was well thought out and enjoyable. Look forward to a sequel. I have found myself drawn to young adult and teen reading material. Not so much tension about sex...in fact not so much overplayed sex.
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