"Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt's throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen.
"But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me.
"I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price for I am truly my father's daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything, even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie."
(P)2008 Random House Audio
I've read and then listened to all of the Merry series. The story itself was great. A lot of information this time around. Reviewers in the past have criticized LKH as too much sex, not enough plot. That's not the case for S/D. This story takes up right after Merry is rescued from her uncle and quickly takes off. I was pleased to see her character actually get stronger. I got sick of reading/hearing "I don't understand" in various other books. In this one, she leads the way and you can actually see that she would make a good queen. I'd give the story itself **** but the narration only **. If you want to listen to this series, do NOT start with this one. There are so many characters in this series and to get a good reading, the narrator really needs to be able to change the voice accordingly. This narrator has a monotone voice, and over enunciates throughout the reading. I was really disappointed in this purchase. Thank goodness I had read the book first. Again - recommend listening to other books in the series first as had I listened to this one first, it's highly unlikely I would have purchased the others.
I had resigned myself to having to be patient with this narrator after reading previous reviews. I had credits to burn and didn't want to drop cash on a hardbound book. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised. Granted, some of her pronunciations are a bit different, and I agree that Merry should speak with an American accent.
I have always loved this series and wasn't disappointed in this new installment (it ISN'T the last book-check the author's blog). Lots of plot, a few tasty erotic moments, and great character development made for a fast paced read. If you're still enjoying this series, this will not disappoint. Tasty morsel!
As with all of LKH books this one did not disappoint. I was however distracted greatly by the narrator. It is hard to follow a book with as many characters as LKH's books posses and not have the narrator at least try to distinguish between the characters by altering her voice. I could have purchased this on my kindle and have it read it back to me in it’s computerized voice with more inflection possessed by this narrator.
The story is excellent and a great addition to the series BUT I give this audio a 2 *stars if it were read by some one else it would be 5 *stars as are the first 6 stories. You don't give the cast of characters a heavy British accent when they are from central USA and have always talked about having lost all traces of accent centuries ago! I can understand if the reader (Laural Merlington) is busy or asks for to much money(she is worth whatever she asks) BUT there are a numerous choices out there that would stay true to the tone and personality of the story. Accent & personality count a lot when it comes enjoying an audio!
I listened to about 10 min and deleted it and went and read the hardback, had I listened to it before it was purchased as a Christmas present I would not have let them waste the money.
I always enjoy this series, but I really prefer Laural Merlington as the narrator. Meredith was raised in the United States, not England and an English accent is intrusive to the story.
Because I love Claudia Black as an actress I was really looking forward to her reading this book. Big mistake I found her voice very monotonous and her pronunciations wrong. BUT then the book wasn't very good either. I was so disappointed. Loved the previous narrator Laurel.
I have to disagree with the criticisms of Claudia Black's narration. I have read all of Laurell K Hamilton's books, so had been anxiously awaiting these audio versions and started with the Merry Gentry series since its shorter. I loved Laurel Merlington's narration and yes after so many books in a row with her voice I too was worried about suddenly having Claudia Black narrating. However I LOVE Claudia Black (Farscape's Aeryn Sun, Stargate SG1's Vala Maldaran) so I gave it a shot.
I admit it took about an hour for me to get used to her since I literally went from "A Lick of Frost" to this while at work, but then it was fine. I adjusted to the accent easily because I always imagined the charecters would have European accents, except for Merry, anyway. And she did a good job doing the American accents for solders and the different accents for Red Caps, goblins etc.
ALSO this book was written MUCH better than previous books. I mean how many times has can you read "It was as if...." "It was like....". You can definately tell how much Laurell K Hamilton has grown as a writer listening to all the books one right after another. Good book, I hope there are more but I'm on to Anita now!!!
I like Fantasy & Science Fiction but not into Zombie. Due to Health issues, listen to Audiobooks/read ebooks where I can enlarge the print
The entire series was narrated by Laurell Merlington except for this one narrated by Claudia Black. Bad choice - should have stayed with Laurell to remain consistent.
This series is like a roller coaster. Book 5 is probably the worst of this series Book 6 was a bit better and this one story wise is probably one of the best. Claudia is NOT a bad narrator it is just that Laurell is better.
This series has problems and this book goes a long way to fix them... Instead of using descriptive verse time and time again to fill up pages this book gives this series a breath of fresh air
I'm afraid I have to agree with most of the reviews already written. After six books with Laural Merlington I was actually looking forward to Claudia Black and a new voice for the Merry Gentry series.
However, aside from the nice Irish lilt she managed I thought her narration was very lacking. As others have mention she did not have much, if any, difference in voice between characters.
Also her reading kept reminding me of the computer in War Games. Too monotonous and dry by far.
I am happy to see Laural Merlington has returned for Divine Misdemeanors.
The Mary Gentry series is by far my favorite amongst Ms. Hamiliton's works and I have faithfully purchased each new 'episode' as they have been released. Swallowing Darkness is, unfortunately, NOT her best work. The descriptive passages drag on and on and the new narrator is atrocious! Please, if Ms. Merlington is no longer available, at least try to find someone who can read with inflections. Aside from the lackluster reading, it would appear that American born and raised Mary now sports a British accent. Too bad about this release ... hopefully the next one will be up to previous standards.
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