Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England's King Æthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but theirs has never been a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006 when a beleaguered Æthelred, still haunted by his brother's ghost, governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder.
As tensions escalate and enmities solidify, Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men-even from the man she loves. In the north there is treachery brewing, and when Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword.
©2015 Patricia Bracewell (P)2015 Tantor
I am a true lover of history and historical fiction. Patricia Bracewell, in my opinion, is one of the two most engrossing, fascinating and accomplished authors of historical fiction living today (the other being Bernard Cornwell). Bracewell's first book, "Shadow on the Crown" was so enthralling that I may never get over it !! After listening to the audio version of "Shadow on the Crown," which I obtained on Audible, I bought the hardcover book so that I could revisit the narrative any time I wanted without picking up my headphones. That is a first for me, and speaks to the remarkable quality of Bracewell's writing and the seduction of her narrative gifts. I would not only "try" but would DEVOUR any book from Ms. Bracewell's brilliant pen. However if I can possibly manage it, I will never again buy any audiobook narrated by Heather Wilds.
Patricia Bracewell's first book, "Shadow on the Crown"-- the first of three volumes, Ms. Bracewell has announced, a trilogy about Emma of Normandy-- brought Emma across the sea at a young age from Normandy to England, to be married to the then King of England, AEthelred (this was circa 1000 AD, for those who are not already steeped in medieval English history). It's silly to "compare" these two books, but since they are sisters, one picking up where the other left off, naturally I think of them in tandem, like two thoroughbred horses. Nothing else compares !!
I don't want to malign this narrator, but her performance is lifeless. I highly recommend that anyone who loved Bracewell's first book (whether they listened to it on Audible, as narrated by the marvelous Katie Firth, or bought the hardcover or paperback, or read it on Kindle) do themselves a favor and buy /read this second book in ANY format except the audio.
The Price of Blood in audio format inspired me to buy the hardcover version of the book ! Even as narrated in the Audible version--without passion and without apparent understanding of the content-- this is still a great book, and I found the story so gripping that I managed to lose an expensive glove in 25 degree weather ! I knew from listening to the audio version that I wanted to revisit the book in a context which would do it justice--who wants to eat a fantastic five course gourmet dinner in a coffee shop?
Patricia Bracewell's well researched and yet imaginative story had me from "hello" in her first book, "Shadow on the Crown" (narrated on Audible by the incomparable Katie Firth, for a truly synergistic union of author and narrator). In "The Price of Blood" Bracewell takes her heroine, who is surely one of the first strong women in recorded history, from being young and untried to being a force in her own right. If you love historical fiction, don't miss either of the first two volumes of Bracewell's trilogy about Emma. And if the narrator's talents (or lack thereof) will affect your experience of the book, then when it comes to "The Price of Blood" please buy the hardcover or wait for the release of the paperback (or get the book on Kindle). Both books are more than well worth your time and attention; don't let the narrator of the second book detract from your experience of Patricia Bracewell's prose.
This is a sweeping saga and I look forward to the next book in the series.
In this episode however, I found the narrators sing song,voice and repetitive inflections very obnoxious. It very much detracted from the story and minimized the depth of the characters.
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Patricia Bracewell's books are definitely awesome. The fault with this particular recording is the narrator. She inflects incorrectly and has an annoying voice.
The first book in this series, A Shadow on the Crown, was narrated by Katie Firth. She did an incredible job with the narration. The story was already wonderful and Firth's narration made it even better.
Voice, inflection, method of reading, speed at which she reads. All of it. Not a good narrator.
Annoyance that the narration was different than the first book and a poor substitute.
I could not listen again. This narrator was barely tolerable the first time. Think slow-mo female Captain Kirk, with bad accents.
Emma was a very interesting woman. Take the time to read the epilog and authors notes.
I loved the two prior books, but the narration was so bad I couldn't finish this. The narrator went in and out of accents and the Queen's accent often made her sound like she was from Transylvania. When reading narration the tone was often "sing-song" like with the inflection rising at the end of each sentence. It drove me nuts.
and a penny for your thoughts
What a disappointment :(. I enjoyed book 1 "Shadow on the Crown" enough to pre-order book 2, not waiting to see who would read it. MISTAKE. The reader is terrible. Monotone and s-l-o-w (thank goodness for audible's app speed adjustment). Increasing the speed decreases the voice quality but at least I can understand what is being said. When a book is written about another time, with different expressions and customs, it is important to be read in a natural manner - not like you'd speak if you were giving instructions for taking medicine to someone still half under anesthesia. Patricia Bracewell's story has a lot of action and the reader sucked the life out of it. I recommend you get the printed copy of this one and read it yourself or let your grandma read it to you. Couldn't do worse.
The performance is so bad, I can't even finish listening to the book. The narrator voices each sentence in the same sing-song manner, raising her tone at exactly the same last two places in every sentence. Torture! Whoever decided to choose this narrator ruined the second book of an otherwise interesting story!
The narrator made me think of Captain Kirk the whole time and took away from the story. The short cut emphasis at the end of each sentence took away from the individuality of the characters. I really enjoyed the narrator for the first book. This book would've been much better if it had the same narrator as the first book. I'm looking forward to the next book and hoping it won't have this narrator. This book's narrator has a very monotone voice with emphasis in all the wrong places, unfortunately.
I was really looking forward to this second book in the series having just finished listening to "Shadow on The Crown'. However I was soon disappointed with the narrators performance or lack of. In many sections of the book I felt she was simply reading words off a page instead of telling a story. I am sure I would have enjoyed the story much more if I had purchased the book and read it myself.
I hope that this story will be re-recorded with another narrator and that all of us who paid for this audio book will receive a free copy of the new edition.
The narrator has a strange rhythm and intonation that is very distracting from the story. I have stuck with it half way through the book and I continue to find it very annoying.
I am thoroughly enjoying this compelling story and look forward to the next volume. I sincerely hope that another narrator will be used.
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