©2006 D.M. Cornish; (P)2007 Random House Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
"A delightful, refreshing standout in a sea of cookie-cutter fantasy worlds." (School Library Journal)
It's short (compared to some of my favorites), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in content. The level of detail is perfect, the world and characters are believable, and the story is interesting and fun. This series is definitely targeted for readers younger than myself, but it's one of those that's written well enough to be enjoyed by all. (Examples of other books targeted for younger readers I've enjoyed include the Bartimaeus series, Lord of the Rings, Ender's Game, the Discworld books, the Wheel of Time series, etc.).
This review is a long time in coming. I first purchased this audio book on a whim back in 2007. Probably close to the time it first came out. At that time I had no idea who D.M. Cornish was, and had very little idea of what the book was about. I certainly didn't expect the rich and wonderfully detailed world that I found within. Not that I can say I regret it in the least. :-)
The Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy/series (In the US: The Foundling's Tale), is a classic adventure in many ways. There is an Orphaned boy. He goes on an adventure. Mysterious things happen. His prior views of the world are brought into question. The character grows... But the texture and detail of the world that it takes place in takes a fairly basic (though enjoyable) tale and turns it into something much more. This story has stood the test of time with me. I do not listen to it constantly, but it is a story that I come back to again and again. The trilogy is over, but I cannot wait for this man to write another book.
As for this particular book in the series, it is a gentle start. It reads as though it was written with children in mind, but for kids that are able to stomach a bit of fighting here and there and even the occasional scary moment. Nothing too horribly graphic in this story, but if you have a sensitive or very young child I suggest listening to it once first.
The reader has a very pleasant voice. Not too deep, not to high and his accent adds an extra sense of mystique to the story.
In short, this is a fantastic series that should be on every fantasy and adventure lovers shelf. If you happen to be a child, that's fantastic and I hope your imagination adds even more depth to this already fabulous world, but if you are an adult don't let that scare you away. If you like fantastical tales, adventures, and stories where the main character goes on a quest to ultimately find themselves at the end of it, then this is a good story for you.
This book is an amazing mixture of Treasure Island, Oliver Twist and Frankenstein, but it's much better than any of those. The Half Continent is a dangerous place and is populated with fascinating characters. Rosamund is a boy cursed with a girl's name, and his adventures as he travels from an orphanage to his first posting in the service of the Emperor will keep you on the edge of your seat. The foreshadowing is masterful. The audiobook is wonderful, I hear something new every time I listen. You really do need the print version as well. Have you ever read an illustrated book where the artist didn't bother to read the story? Well, that's not a problem here. This book started out as an art student's portfolio, and there is also an "Explicarium" to help you keep track of all the new words, people and places you will encounter.
Good story for adults and 11 yrs old and up.
Perfect book for "family time" or on a road trips.
The feel after listening to it is the happy glow you have walking out of a movie theater watching a happy movie.
While this is a book that will suck you into the series, it ends a good place to feel it was complete.
NOTE:I do recommend using wireless Bluetooth speakers for listing to audio books instead of ear buds (connected to smart phone). Speakers are better for preventing hearing loss vs earbuds. And this is possibly the solution for a family listen to a audio book together.
Very interesting story with great detail on this fantasy world. Reminds me of Harry Potter and Charles Dickens with a little Master and Commander thrown in!
The narrater is AWESOME! I thought they had gotten a cast of actors to do this book when I first started listening; but then I realized that this narrater was actually doing all the different characters himself! Humphrey Bower has this wonderful British accent and presents an amazing range of different accents throughout the book. He really makes the story come alive. Would love to read more books with this narrator, hope Audible will offer more books with Humphrey Bower as narrator.
I'm not a fantasy person and this book took me awhile to get into it. No, it is not real, but the story is captivating. The little foundling raised in an orphanage (It's my term, not theirs). What an adventure. I was very captivated and got the next 2 books. OK, I'm in love with the narrator, Humphrey Bower. He can make eating crackers sound exciting. You will not be disappointed.
I really enjoy Bower, if fact he is the reason I chose this audible, but the story is fun as well, and the characters and world interesting.
If you like the modern version of the action movie you will not like this book. If you appreciate excellent writing and original stories, you will be fascinated. Well done Mr Cornish! Well done Mr Bower!
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