Two masters of epic fantasy have combined in this brilliant collaboration to create a rousing tale. This is the story of Shana, a half-breed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father with a human mother. Her exiled mother dead, Shana was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven or human kind. From birth, Shana was the embodiment of the Prophecy that the all-powerful Elvenlords feared. Her destiny is the enthralling adventure of a lifetime.
©1991 Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"A splendid blend of the talents of two excellent storytellers” (Anne McCaffrey)
"One of the season’s liveliest and most appealing fantasy epics.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A brisk, glittering yarn that packs as much action, suspense, and twisting of conventions into one novel as many writers invest in whole trilogies.” (Amazing Stories)
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
WHEN AN ELVENLORD WAS UNHAPPY, IT WAS HIS HUMANS , WHO USUALLY SUFFERED.
Chapter one is great. It is dark and very adult. I like dark and thought I was really going to like this. The Elves have captured Earth and turned humans into slaves. The best a human male can expect to be is a gladiator and a woman a concubine to an Elf who will not beat her. It is the first time I know of that Elves are depicted as bad guys and they are really mean.
The dragons are not really dragons, they are shape shifters. I even thought that was interesting. Around chapter three we obviously change authors and we go from an adult dark fantasy to something written for six year olds. I might have been able to hang on if the book had been 10-12 hours, but 19? I had better books to listen to.
I just wanted to warn anyone who can't handle a series which is unfinished, and may never be finished. The book is great, and the Audible version excellent as well. Sadly the death of Andre Norton put the end of this series somewhere (hopefully) in the future. Mercedes Lackey is a wonderful fantasy author, and I've read and thoroughly everything she's put her hand to (that I could get my hands on). This is a great story for fantasy book lovers. It has all you want, magic, creatures, love, iintrigue, imagination galore, etc. I just hope we find out what actually happens to the characters in this story who are left without any resolution. My imagination isn't good enough - I need the professionals! If Audible has any power encouraging authors, please do so. The entire Valdemar series should be in a quality Audible format. The Colegium Chronicles isn't the best way to start listening to her Valdemar books. (and Arrows of the Queen is 1/3 of a story).
poet. coffeeshop-dinergirl. waffle lover.
On a scale of 1-5, I would rate it a 4 (5 being high, 1 being low).
I enjoyed the adventure and the thrill of discovering the history of the main character as well as the origins of the dragons. Looking forward to hearing the next book in the series.
The performer did a great job characterizing the characters, though one of the voices seemed exceedingly childish as the story progressed. This may be just how the character was originally written, though I would have to read the physical book to know for sure.
I had a few moments when I chuckled out loud, but it didn't make me cry.
A fun listen, great for wandering around the house while doing chores. The progression keeps a nice pace and the performer does a good job withouth being too grating on the nerves.
The start of this book in a harem had me going back to look at the equivalent of the book flyleaf. I wasn't at all sure I had gotten the book I had selected. But after I got over the shock, I found it to be very entertaining. And as I got further into the story, it went well beyond the sort I book I was expecting. It was a complete change in a major way from how Elves and Dragons are usually portrayed in stories. This difference brought real excitement to the story instead of just another retelling of the standard fare of a story with small chances where you basically knew the plot. It rips the glow and halo of the elves and gives a giant leap in the character of the dragons changing them to something so much more interesting that beast.
The fact that it told that not everything turns out right in the end. That some will suffer and die even if they don't deserve it but it is worth trying no matter what. And that one person can make a big difference and change the course of events. Though the person that accomplishes this doesn't always end up being perfect or even being rewarded.
I'm not a prude but I was surprised by how the book started out. I was expecting a book about elves and dragons along the normal lines of the standard stories. Starting out with a selfish conniving human in a harem for a powerful elf ruler wasn't what I was expecting from a book about elves and dragons. The way the dragons would interact secretly in the lives of the elves and humans was much more interesting than the way stories usually portray them. This book made the other stories seem like the had been Disney-fide to their most simplest flat form while this instead still held all the vim and vigor of life even the ugly sides. People/elves/Dragons where portrayed to have real faults, jealousy, power hunger and even cruelty. While still showing that strength of character and good could also present in the same. Instead of making their character one dimensional by always being bad or good.
I doubt I will listen to this narrator again. She was over the top, near hysterical at time, and boring at others. Even when Shara is a young adult, her voice still sounds like a small child. The narration doesn't help the story. It is apparent there were two authors, and it is easy to tell where one stops and the other starts. Parts of the book are very adult, dealing with concubines, oppression and violence. On the other hand, the parts about Shara seem written for the middle grade reader. I never felt the two stories merged into one. Especially during Shara'a scenes. She remembers and thinks about things but they have already happened. We don't get to experience them with her. The book did not hold my interest.
I love both Norton and Lackey and their combined efforts take you to a land of fantesy and magic. Of course there is good and evil. A relationship between a half blood and a dragon, a relationship between a pure blood and a half blood and of course the evil pure blood. The story helped me escape my day to day stresses. These was the mystery of the unknow dragons and the wizards. A great story. I highly recommend it.
Freelance Illustrator, & Designer
I've been a science fiction reader for as long as I can remember, and I loved hearing about the private lives of two very different worlds - shamanistic dragons and royal courtesans. It melded a story between the two. I plan to buy the sequel and continue on with the brilliant world created by the author. However this story was more than a simple introduction. It was a complete epic masterpiece that could stand on it's own. Although I am quite pleased to find out that there is even more to come!
I was really looking forward to this book, but it was pretty disappointing. Starts out depressing, picks up, takes a downward turn and continues this trend throughout the first half of the book. Each time the main character finds success, it's soon followed with catastrophy. I suppose by the end of the book she's a hero, but really, how many times should a character meet with such adversity. I quit listening about half way through.
It's interesting in that you keep thinking the main character's life is going to get better, but I didn't see that happening.
Narrator did a great job - I have no complaints.
These two authors blend so smoothly the story so beautiful and so engrossing. I've always loved both authors but they reach a whole new level in the series. There are a few slow spots but they are well worth getting through to get to the entire beautiful tapestry of the story.
I couldn't believe how long this book was. It felt like a dark children's book that was dragged out over 19 hours but didn't really say anything. There was substance where there didn't need to be any and no substance where there should have been. There are no fight sequences in this book. A story that has elves, humans, half-breeds, and dragons should have at least one good fight scene! The magic systems between the races seemed like they were going to be interesting but again, no substance. With the exception of a cursory overview, they didn't even try to explain the magic system. Sections of the book that seemed woefully unimportant were drug out for no reason and sections that seemed like pivotal moments in the book were either discussed in a paragraph or two or just skipped over completely! Every time that I thought something cool was going to happen they completely skip the event and just tell you how it ended. Towards the end I checked to see how much time was left. When I saw that there were only 20 minutes left I knew the ending was just going to be glossed over like the rest of the story. None of the characters were likable because none had any substance. They do a horrible job of explaining places, things, and people in the book. I didn't even know how old the main character was until halfway through the book and even that little tidbit was vague. It almost seemed like the authors were assigned random chapters of the book without being told what the story was actually about and then separated to write their own sections. I suffered through it, but I will be returning it. The story itself had great potential but the authors really failed to tell it. I DO NOT recommend this book.
The best "gimmick" of the book would probably be the "evil unicorns" - but what I liked the least was the obsession with breeding - a constant refrain of the tale. We're presented with a world where humans are slaves and treated like cattle - and we're reminded over, and over again about breeding habits of the elves.
Mercedes Lackey is usually quite a good one for a comfort read - only because I used to read her as a high school student and when I want something familiar, I know what I'll get. I wasn't completely enamored with this pairing with Andre Norton. I'd definitely be willing to go for another Lackey offering but I don't feel like continuing this series.
I thought she did a good job overall, providing unique voices for all the characters, and non-irritating male voices. I do find in some audio books the reader's interpretation of the opposite sex can make or break a performance - this was not an issue for me in this audiobook.
Yes, but I did find myself losing interest at various points.
I got this one as 'easy listening' after going through some pretty heavy and fairly intense Sci Fi offerings. Unfortunately it didn't drag me in - perhaps it was TOO easy listening? So much time is spent establishing the in's and outs of this world - and while some inconsequential things are described in great detail, major action points (or bits of important dialogue) are glossed over. When a main character reaches a major plot point, where they have the opportunity to make a compelling speech - it's entirely skipped over with what amounted to a "He told them everything and asked, "So, what do you think?" This is the type of thing that ultimately put me off listening to more of this tale.
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