The charm of spending the Christmas holidays in South Wales, with its crumbling castles and ancient myths, seems the perfect distraction from the nightmares that have plagued literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw since the loss of her baby five years ago. Instead she meets an emotionally fragile young widow who's convinced that Lyn's recurring dreams have drawn her to Castle Farm for an important purpose - and she's running out of time. With the help of a reclusive, brooding playwright, Lyn begins to untangle the mystery and is pulled into a world of Celtic legends, dangerous prophecies, and a child destined for greatness.
©1998, 2015 Susanna Kearsley (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
The story dragged a bit, and the characters were marginally likeable. I was able to finish it, but kept waiting for something exciting to happen. My issue is that I had a hard time with the dream sequences, I struggled trying to determine if she was dreaming or not. Also, the main character didn't actually say many of her words aloud, but was thinking them and that was a little difficult to determine. The narration was terrible. In some scenes, she was yelling as if on a stage production. It was very off putting. She didn't do a good job distinguishing internal thoughts vs. external dialog. The accents were terrible. Sorry, I love Susanna Kearsley books, just not this one.
The only problem I have with Susanna Kearsley is the amount of time I have to wait for another story! I've loved every single one and can't wait for the next. It's gotten so that I don't even read the "about" section and just flat out purchase it.
Amazing story teller, she makes you want to step inside every single story.
I began reading Kearsley with The Winter Sea and have loved every book she's written since. Storytelling is truly her craft and you can tell each one is weaved with love and attention. This was no my favorite book by Kearsley, but it is still a lovely way to spend a few hours. Her characters grab me, and the lighthearted supporting cast balances what could be a dreary storyline. The twists and turn never really develop leaving the climax somewhat anticlimactic. I don't regret the purchase and will be purchasing whatever she puts out next.
Katherine Kellgren is one of my favorite narrators. I get so easily sucked into her voice and often forget I am only listening to one person, she makes each voice so distinctive. That said, this was not her best either. I had to speed up the narration to feel comfortable listening. Too many pauses and lengthy descriptions.
Still, enjoyed the book and think fans of Susanna and Katherine will too, even if this isn't their best showing.
I ended up reading it and not listening to the audible. I found the English drawl a little much. They all sounded like Sloan Rangers and like every thing was a dreadful bore.
I have read all of this author's books and wasn't as keen on this as some of the others. Mariana is one of my favorite books ever, I've read it numerous times. I needed more meat on the bones.
I love books about magic and period drama. Kim Harrison, Deborah Harkness, and Jane Austin are my favorite authors.
It took way too long for the author to finally hint at a plot line for this book. If she was trying to develop characters or background, the first chapter was all that was necessary. The story takes place in Wales and finally starts becoming interesting when Kearsley intermingles Arthurian Prophecies (the Welsh believe King Arthur was Welsh), the history of King Henry VII of England, and historic Welsh sites into the story line.
If you can get through the first half of the book, the story becomes clever and has an unexpected ending. The characters for the most part are intellectual snobs, who the author tongue in cheek does poke fun at in her own way. The narrator tries to capture this attitude but takes it far to the extreme. Her voice is awful and takes quiet some time to get used to or possibly it softens a bit. Make sure to listen to the audio sample before deciding on this book. I do not recommend the book.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
Anyone who grew up reading early Mary Stewart, early Victoria Holt and early Elizabeth Peters will feel right at home with Named of the Dragon. While those books had stereotypical themes that Kearsley echoes-- for instance after reading a few of these novels you always knew who the good guy and the bad guy were and that it was a really bad idea to go wandering around at night by yourself.
Kearsley's book is a less obvious and more complex with regard to plot and characterization, but I really kept waiting for some action besides early morning walks across the fields. There's events that could be paranormal or could be dream sequences that lead the heroine on a quest to find out exactly what is behind events occurring at the home she is staying at for the winter holidays in Wales.
The main character, Lyn Ravenshaw, is a literary agent who was invited on the trip by a sucessful author of books for children who wants Lyn to distract their host and the author's current lover, while the author pursues another love interest. The host is a literary author that Lyn would like to sign to her agency. Living not far away is a well known playwright. There's a young widow with a child who is about the age Lyn's still born baby would have been had it lived and the host's younger brother and a collection of employees and local people, some judgemental and some not.
It's a pleasant sort of way to pass a few hours with a true shot of nostalgia for those of us of a certain age.
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