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Travis

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  • Darrion

  • By: Marissa Ames
  • Narrated by: Matt Thurston
  • Length: 1 hr
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

The first time Darrion struck her, Lana loaded her wagon and left Cynegil. Two-year-olds should not hit like that. She draped the windows of her cottage with dense cloth and worked by a single candle. If she timed her flight well, she could pass through the market during changing of the guard. In another era, under another king's reign, Lana would have rejoiced that Darrion had inherited his father's gift. Now, if Lana does not present her son to the king, she could lose her head.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I need more!!!!

  • By Lara Zierke on 08-04-14

Beautiful setup for the coming novel.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-25-14

In a few crisp, emotional strokes, Ames paints the backdrop for a promising story. One: a world of magic that can be used to heal or destroy. Two: A man forced to use his gift for evil, and a woman who loves him anyway. Three: A child with power.

Yep, I'll be reading the novel.

My only complaint is that it apparently happened 20 years after the events in Minstrel, which had no mention of the magic that, according to this short story, had been around for generations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Minstrel

  • Tir Athair, Volume 1
  • By: Marissa Ames
  • Narrated by: Matt Thurston
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

Arriving in the royal city of Cynegil just after the good king's death, Liam and his traveling troupe face arrest for entertaining during a time of mourning. The new king, Riordan, offers them a choice: play for the court as he demands or be punished for the crime. With little recourse, they acquiesce. While the troupe entertains within the hall, Liam witnesses the dissension between the king and his twin brother, Shamus.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Well Wrought Tapestry

  • By Angela Goff on 05-28-14

Sword fighting, love triangle, & medieval trivia.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-22-14

A pretty engaging story with sword-fighting, a love triangle, and plenty of medieval-era trivia set in an imaginary (yet non-magical) world. Audio performance is unobtrusive and engaging.

Pros:
-A pretty fast pace, for the most part. The middle third of the story got a little slow--it seemed like the first climax had been reached and there was a lot of waiting to see where the story would go next--but things picked up again when Liam traveled to the north.
-Unusually low on angst, with spare, straight-forward writing. Not much whining or dwelling on deep emotional struggles.
-A few twists and turns that kept things from being too predictable.

Cons:
-A bit obvious on working in details about medieval customs, clothing, etc. NOT as bad as, "What's that you have there, Liam?" "Why, it's a trencher, a flat piece of bread used as a plate to hold my meal!", but sometimes the details did seem a little more like trivia than part of the story.
-Some characters were a bit annoying and predictable (particularly Tristan, and, to some extent, Molly). On the other hand, some characters, like Shamus, and (surprisingly) Hamish, seem like real, interesting, even admirable people.
-A few things that didn't make sense to me. 1) Quite a few pages are devoted to Liam leading Molly into a shady part of town and almost getting robbed for no apparent purpose. 2) (view spoiler) 3) "Wanted" posters... maybe the king had artists he paid to make copies of pictures on some kind of weather-resistant parchment, but seems more like an old-west thing than a medieval thing. 4) (view spoiler).

All in all, a little raw at times, but definitely worth a read. I will be interested to see the sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful