When Faunus, the god of daydreams, breaks the heart of Queen Mab, revenge can be the only answer. Using the most powerful families in Verona, they wage their war against one another. But when Mab falls in love, this bitter queen will do anything, even if it means destroying the world, to change the story.
©2014 Kate Danley (P)2016 Kate Danley
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The gods of old are infamous for playing with humans, giving out tokens of favor or destroying bloodlines over some trivial slight. Taking one of the most famous tragedies by Shakespeare, Kate Danley weaves a new twist in which the mythological gods play an intricate and deadly role. The houses of Montague and Capulet are the key victims being used by both Queen Mab, the bringer of nightly dreams and Faunus, the bringing of day dreams to get what they want. However, Queen Mab discovers true love and becomes transformed trying to prevent Faunus from destroying the houses and her true-love.
Danley stays true to the story being careful to weave in hers without taking away from Shakespeare’s infamous love tragedy. Danley did not attempt to write in the eloquent Shakespearean style; her writing is different yet just as expressive and fluent in a simpler style.
Shakespeare is known for intrigue and Danley continues with the tradition; her intrigue clearly compliments and fits with the classic tale making her story of Queen Mab richer and more powerful. It is never a good thing when gods interfere; they are seen as petty and selfish. While Queen Mab begins that way, her character grows revealing that even gods may have a depth of kindness hidden somewhere deep within themselves.
As an English major and fan of Shakespearean writings, I was not sure that I would like this book. I had my doubts that anyone could make Romeo and Juliet better. Danley is a gifted and skilled writer. She successfully tied in her story without breaking the integrity of the original story.
The characters were well-developed moving one from disliking Queen Mab to feeling a range of emotions from dislike to pity to sadness to cheering her on. When a character goes through such powerful changes and grows, the listener cannot help but change their opinion.
The narrator, Julian Rhind-Tutt is talented. His narration was flawless. I liked that he spoke clearly and with a cadence that felt comfortable – not too fast nor too slow. His vocal expressions were strong especially during pivotal times. I enjoyed hearing his voice; soothing and even. Well done!
There were no issues at all with the production and I have to say while there was definitely an opportunity for it to sound more theatrical with sound effects, I am delighted that the production company chose not to go that route. This was already a rich tale, it needed nothing more than a talented narrator which it has. Anything more would have taken away from the story.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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I would gladly listen to this story again, not only for Julian's voice but also for hearing the twists to the story as I would now know how it ends and could pick up some smaller details in the wavy road we take.
Okay, the first thing I noticed as I listened to the first words of the story, the seductive voice of Julian. *sigh* His accent and flow of his rhythmic tone had me at the first sentence. He uses his breath with the words to draw me to the feeling of the romance present with the characters. Good gracious! I wanted to listen to him for ever! Okay, the quality of the audio - it's splendid. It was clear and clean, nothing to distract for his amazing voice. Julian also did slight differences for the characters that indicated their emotions and personality as he spoke for them.
I found I was tearing up at one death. Saddened for the lose of life and the lose of a love that was finally felt. In the end, Kate's words and Julian's voice brought pools to my eyes, all works in my heart with the way this ends. Kate has done a splendid job of mixing what Shakespeare created with Romeo and Juliet and Queen Mab with her own story involving Queen Mab and the reason she's the way she is. I thoroughly enjoyed the story while I listened to it.
I do enjoy the poetic flow of descriptions written by Kate. It's similar to Shakespearian and, as the fairy descriptions do, has a unique feel to drawing images in our minds. Even what they do in action has a hidden meaning to get to what they want. And the fairy beings have centuries to wait for what they truly want, as they are immortal. And that the do here.
In the beginning things feel simple, the fae and their mischievous ways and Mab reck her revenge on those involved. Easy to understand and follow, which gives us the grace time to slip into thinking used to the speak of poetic words. We get the history and important events leading up to the big show of what happens with Romeo and Juliet. Bringing us the details from a few different POV's that tells what the characters are working toward, what they desire in doing all they've done. We mostly get the POV of Mab, but we do slip to Juno's head as well as Faunus too.
Oh, even Queen Mab has an equal out there that puts her in her place. Mab is not the only powerful being in the realm. Learning this in the story, we see Mab suffer from coming toe to toe with another powerful being. And there are lessons to be learned. In the fairy way, things twist and turn to bring those involved to do opposite what they thought they would do. There is always one pinning for power, and will do anything for it.
For what do the fairy of old compete over? Power? Affection? It seems that love is at the root of all, to feel or not feel love. But, the question is who was scorned deepest, as it seems several are seething to get revenge for the lack of love in their live. Love seems to be one emotion to easily manipulate to get what you want, yet you stand the chance of losing to love as well, which can be good and bad and what Mab learns here.
When I finished this story, I thought this could be one that young adults could listen/read as well. There was no terrible language or overly intimate scenes. It's about finding love. This could easily be read/listened to by all ages.
Who was the true player of these games? In the end I wonder if it wasn't Juno, who knew all needed to learn lessons and come to who they are.
Lisa Davidson is a poet, author, and devoted bibliophile (myopic from age four). Listening to audiobooks is pure bliss. Thank you, Audible!
I thought the concept behind this novel was clever and compelling. What if the motivations of supernatural beings, goddesses, faeries et al. are made an explicit element of the plot, instead of random action that can't be accounted for but simply accommodated? "Queen Mab" provides "Romeo and Juliet" with just such a twist, where the power struggles of the faerie beings are even more potent and persistent than those of the human families.
The character of Queen Mab herself undergoes a transformation during the events of the tale. Iniitally she seems as malicious and whimsical as anyone with a nearly unlimited realm of power and a very long life is likely to be: she controls the dreams and fancies of sleeping human beings, and is thus quite influential. When conflicts ensue with Faunus, who controls daydreams, and then Juno steps in to make sure her own interests are protected, Mab remains powerful, yet must contrive all her machinations under Juno's curse, which makes her face reflect the nature of her heart's intentions. So she can no longer count on mesmerizing beauty at all times--quite a blow to a faerie queen! At the same time she suffers yet another blow in falling in love with a mere mortal, basically akin to a rare butterfly falling for a mayfly.
Kate Danley succeeds in making the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet just another peripheral difficulty in the permanently phantasmogorical realm of magical power struggles.The book's most interesting impact is the transformation in Mab's character--whoever really imagined a faerie being capable of positive change?
The language of the tale preserves the iambic poetry of Shakespeare's dialogue while successfully creating a distinctly non-human realm for the magical beings--at times the atmosphere feels almost like a rave at 5 am, where absolutely anything is possible and will be so again the next time. Julian Rhind-Tutt's smooth, melodic narration helped pull off this otherwordly effect.This is a tale about faeries that is nothing like a fairy tale!
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."
The narrator was fantastic. I liked how the author expanded the story of Romeo and Juliet by bringing in gods and their influence in shaping the tragic love story. I loved Mercutio.
I have not, but I will definitely look for other books he has narrated.
This audiobook was giving by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
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