Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.
Please note: This book contains gay erotic content.
©2012 Josh Lanyon (P)2012 Josh Lanyon
Lanyon's lyrical descriptive writing.
Colin. An appealing mix of stubbornness and youthful hope.
His amazing, distinct vocal characterizations of all the characters in the book.
Yes, when Septimus, who has been assigned to kill Colin even though he loves him, says "I would do anything to save you."
The story is a heady brew of fairies, brownies, witches, humans with magical powers, an ancient monster from the Deep, Celtic legends, and magic spells. Of course, it’s also a suspenseful mystery and a romance. Lanyon places his story in the haunted, wind-swept isles off the northwest coast of Scotland, a location which inspires some of the best, most lyrical descriptive writing he has produced.
The story’s title is a reference to the poem of the same name by Thomas Hardy. Appropriately for the story, the poems last lines are:
“I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.”
Very high. The story was a wonderful surprise and the narrator is outstanding. I don't know where they found him, but I do hope that he gets lots more work.
Septimus. You could tell that he had ambiguous feelings for the hero and when the truth was finally revealed, he morphed into a darkly sensual (not just sexual) man that I wish was present in more m/m novels.
The train's journey to Scotland.
Septimus. He was quite mysterious and I would have wanted to unravel him.
Max Miller - Bravo and ENCORE!!!
Highly enjoyable. I really liked the ebook and hearing it read is a real treat. Max Miller's voice is just perfect for the character of Collin and his handling of the Gaelic used throughout the story sounded authentic to this untrained ear.
All of the characters came to life as they do when the writing is excellent as it is here. I find the idea of using a type of psychometry (the ability to "read" the past of an object) to track down the history of a book a fascinating one. There's always a curiosity about where a book has been or who used it last and Collin is one who has the ability to do this. When he's hired to use his skills to hunt down an ancient tome of dangerous spells, Collin takes a vacation from his job in London and heads north to Scotland and straight into danger.
There is a male-male relationship within the pages of this story, but its well written and understated, as Josh Lanyon's skill at giving us the underlying emotions between the pairing (especially during the intimate scenes) is subtle and wonderful to read/hear.
On the whole, well worth the money. And I look forward to hearing another book read by Mr. Miller.
Darkling Thrush is probably in my top 5 if I am ranking by narrators. I have several favorites (Holter Graham, Simon Vance, Barbara Rosenblat), Max Miller has immediatly put himself right up there. Not only can he read, with excellent accent's, but he can sing!! As a whole I would rank it easily within my top ten and I own over 100 audio books.
Hard to find something to compare it to that is an audio book but it has some of the same tone/feel as some of the victorian/steampunk I have read--although in no way is it steampunk. I suppose it caters to my love of traditional British detective novels but with an m/m relationship and lots of magic!
This is the first I've listened to--I will be looking for more.
Yes--but I made myself eek it out.
I have never read anything by Josh Lanyon that I didn't love. If he is able to keep up the quality of narration I will buy all of them in audio too!
The narrator's voice was very pleasant and he impersonated all the characters beautifully. He had a distinct voice for each of them and switched from male to female voices, or American to English to Scottish accents convincingly. You can tell that he probably read and really understood the book before narrating the story.
The subtle strangeness of the characters and the lyrical quality of the vocabulary: "veneficus", "librivinator" "vox pessimires", "Sociestas Magicke", "Faileas a’ Chlaidheimh" etc. I also liked the mystery plot and the British setting. Compared to the rest of the plot, the romance was a bit under-developed, unfortunately.
Colin Bliss. The book is written in his POV and he has an amazing voice. He is self-deprecating and proud at the same time, suitably imperfect (just enough to be interesting and still appear like the good guy). He is funny without trying too hard but he is also a boring nerd. He is lucky and very unlucky at the same time, he is in love and not so in love. He is everything and its contrary. I loved it!
I recommend this book if you are looking for a good fantasy, but not if you are looking for a fully developed and fulfilling romance. If you are looking for THE great gay romance, check the Adrien English Mysteries series by the same author.
I will listen to it again. I enjoyed this story even more then the first time I read it. Max Miller does an amazing job, bringing the characters to life. I suppose I rushed through it when I read it myself. Listening to the story in a slower pace made me savor the language, the setting and the world building in much more detail.There are still a lot of questions unanswered so I'm hoping for a sequel.
Colin Bliss is irresistible as a young, naive but very intelligent book hunter.
I don't know any other performances by Max Miller but I will look out for them. This narration is amazing, Max brings all these different characters to life and he can sing too!
I should state here, that I am not usually into fantasy and other worlds. What I liked best about this story was the fact that it was a mystery within the fantasy and I could follow both the story in the fantasy world and the mystery.
Colin Bliss because he was the hero of the story and Septimous Marx the love interest. Both are interesting characters and fun to read about.
As I have said, I am really not that into fantasy, but Max Miller's rendition of the story was wonderful. His words flowed so well and I felt he knew the characters and represented them very well. When I first read the book, I got a little lost in all of the "other world" stuff. Max Miller makes it real. You feel you are in the world with Colin and Marx.
Fantasy, gay mystery.
I thoroughly enjoyed this presentation and hope to listen to more of Max Miller and Josh Lanyon presentations.
Pretty much at the top.
Atmospheric, gothic and just a touch of the Lovecraftian horror, plus the dry, intriguing alternative-history fantasy world and the acerbic sarcasm of the narrator make this a one-time experience.
I was very pleased with Max's ability with the voice of the narrator: sophisticated, academic, young and wonderfully sarcastic. Then he did other characters, and I thought for a moment that I was listening to a radio play with multiple voice actors rather than just one talented man. Holy crap -- his accents are spot on, he gaelic sounds spot-on and he can sing, to boot!
The story was certainly okay, even good, but it is not erotica. Still, the story is a believable type of real life fantasy, extra human power, kind of stuff. Nonetheless, I don't know why it's listed there, as erotica. The few M/M sex scenes are far from explicit. In fact, I don't think the eventual male couple ever actually engaged in intercourse. If so, it was left almost entirely to the imagine. They clearly did "something," but so little detail was provided that I'm not sure. But, even as an erotica fan, that didn't detract from the story. This is due in large part to the exquisite voice power of the narrator. What voice could he NOT do?! Geez! So I think well worth a buy.
The narrator did an exellent jobb and was well suited for the characters and the story. He felt very natural in his preformance.
The unusual story-concept where magic is a normal part of everyday life
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