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BVerité

LA, United States
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  • Highland Raven

  • The Celtic Blood Series, Book 1
  • By: Melanie Karsak
  • Narrated by: Lesley Parkin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 188
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 190

Scotland, 1026 - Gruoch, descendant of the line of MacAlpin, should have been born into a life of ease. But fate is fickle. Her father's untimely death, rumored to have been plotted by King Malcolm, leaves her future uncertain and stained by the prophecy that she will avenge her family line. Escaping to one of the last strongholds of the old Celtic gods, Gruoch becomes an adept in arcane craft. Her encounters with the otherworld, however, suggest that magic runs stronger in Scotland than she ever imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Hit by Karsak

  • By Michelle @ In Libris Veritas on 08-25-16

Disappointing...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-07-18

I reread the reviews after listening to this book and must agree completely with other reviewers that this book was incomplete, ridiculously fantastical, and quite shallow. I felt as though it was a bit childish- and perhaps belongs to YA fiction rather than Historical Fiction. After reading the book description and so many good reviews, I thought this would be solid historical fiction set in first century Scotland with a bit of fantasy lore of the time. I love Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian Legend series “The Warlord Chronicles”. Thus when I saw this book compared to Mists of Avalon and Outlander, perhaps I had unrealistic expectations.
I was also irritated by the narrator’s voice for certain characters. Looking back, I can’t tell if these characters were annoying due to the writing, or if it was just poor delivery.

I was underwhelmed with this book and won’t be continuing this series.

  • Becoming Queen Victoria

  • The Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch
  • By: Kate Williams
  • Narrated by: Katharine McEwan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112

In 1819, a girl was born to the fourth son of King George III. No one could have expected such an unassuming, overprotected girl to be an effective ruler - yet Queen Victoria would become one of the most powerful monarchs in history. Writing with novelistic flair and historical precision, Kate Williams reveals a vibrant woman in the prime of her life, while chronicling the byzantine machinations that continued even after the crown was placed on her head.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely Well Written and Readable

  • By Wren on 04-01-17

Fascinating and beautifully written

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

One of the most entertaining histories I’ve listened to recently. I stayed up until 3am, unable to put it down. I even changed my plans for that next day, so I could finish this book.

It begins with the life of Princess Charlotte, the heir to the thrown, of whom I knew very little. She had a sad early life with extremely manipulative and selfish parents. But her story, and that of her family, is important to understanding the events that led to Victoria becoming queen and to her marriage with Albert. I found Charlotte’s story and the world of the regency fascinating on its own, as I knew so little about the time and almost nothing of this remarkable woman.

The author sets up a vivid world before Victoria enters the scene. I felt like I was a part of this story, which is a wonderful thing in a novel, but a rare treat in a history.
The narrator is perfect in every way.

Highly recommended. I must admit I adore the series Victoria. I’ve read so much about her years as a stuffy widow, so it’s lovely to read of her younger years before the loss of her great love and her decades in perpetual mourning.

I will absolutely seek out more from the author and the narrator.

  • The Romanov Empress

  • By: C. W. Gortner
  • Narrated by: Katharine McEwan
  • Length: 17 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid, historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in its final years. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of C.W. Gortner Best!!

  • By Mark Regiec on 07-13-18

The finest of Historical Fiction!

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

Reviewed: 12-03-18

This is why I listen to audiobooks!!
CW Gortner has written his finest work. I’ve enjoyed many of his novels, but this audiobook surpasses them all. I learned so much, while being enthralled in the characters and their complicated relationships to the royal families of Europe. I could not turn this book off. I felt like I inhabited this character.
Finally, Katharine McEwan’s performance is sublime. Together McEwan and Gortner have created perhaps the perfect audiobook.

  • The Kiss of the Concubine

  • A Story of Anne Boleyn
  • By: Judith Arnopp
  • Narrated by: Alex Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

January 28, 1547. It is almost midnight, and the cream of English nobility hold their breath as King Henry VIII prepares to face his God. As the royal physicians wring their hands and Archbishop Cranmer gallops through the frigid night, two dispossessed princesses pray for their father's soul, and a boy, soon to be king, snivels into his velvet sleeve. Time slows, and dread settles around the royal bed, the candles dip, and something stirs in the darkness...something, or someone, has come to tell the king it is time to pay his dues. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly enjoyable listen!

  • By BVerité on 11-24-18

Incredibly enjoyable listen!

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18

This author does a wonderful job bringing Anne to life. I couldn’t stop listening and finished this book in a day and a half. All Tudor fans will enjoy this one, especially the way it begins and ends- with Henry on his death bed... no spoilers of course.
Narration was excellent.

I’ve listened to every Tudor biography and much of the relevant historical fiction available on Audible. From a young age, I’ve been captivated story of Anne Boleyn. The nearly decade long love story that ends so quickly in her murder, only a few years after they finally were married. I don’t believe for a second that Anne was guilty of adultery, yet it has always haunted me that the king could behead her and so many of his own close friends on false evidence. With this in mind, the author note and conclusion at the end of the book was very intriguing, as she states that there’s new evidence which sheds light on this very issue.

I’m hoping that new histories and/or biographies will come out soon that sheds light on the new evidence!

  • Ceridwen of Kilton

  • The Circle of Ceridwen Saga, Book 2
  • By: Octavia Randolph
  • Narrated by: Nano Nagle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 346

Ninth-century Saxon England crumbles under the onslaught of a relentless foe - the Danish Vikings. Ceridwen, a young woman with divided loyalties, watches as the peace and plenty she enjoys at the Saxon stronghold of Kilton gives way to wary watchfulness. Her dearest friend, Ælfwyn, sold in marriage to a Dane in a desperate bid for peace, travels to Kilton and recounts the events that befell the fortress of Four Stones in captured Lindisse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Crumbling of 9th-Century Saxon England!

  • By Kim Meseck on 01-19-17

Exceptional! Can't wait for book3

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

Reviewed: 02-02-17

A fantastic follow up to an amazing first book. Hoping the next book will be released very soon!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Circle of Ceridwen

  • The Circle of Ceridwen Saga, Book 1
  • By: Octavia Randolph
  • Narrated by: Nano Nagle
  • Length: 21 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 651
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 597
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 591

It is the year 871, when England was Angle-Land. Of seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, five have fallen to the invading Vikings. No trait is more valued than loyalty, and no possession more precious than one's steel. Across this war-torn landscape travels 15-year-old Ceridwen, now thrust into the lives of the conquerors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I feel like I've waited FOREVER for this day!

  • By bluestategirl on 01-05-17

Can't wait for whole series!

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

Reviewed: 01-27-17

This book surpassed my expectations! It is amazing, addictive, incredibly well written. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I'm eagerly awaiting the rest of the series, which will also be narrated by the very capable Nano Nagle.

Takes place in 9th century England during the Viking takeovers. The book is very well researched. The lead character finds herself torn between her loyalties to her family and kin and her new founded loyalties to the Vikings she has come to value.

I couldn't put it down and listened to it during every free moment for 3 days. This is only the first of a series of 6 books, I believe. Audible please hurry to release them all!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Time of Singing

  • By: Elizabeth Chadwick
  • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
  • Length: 16 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 134
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100

When Roger Bigod, heir to the powerful earldom of Norfolk, arrives at court in 1177 to settle a bitter inheritance dispute with his half-brothers, he encounters Ida de Tosney, young mistress to King Henry II.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great performance of an interesting story.

  • By Kimberly on 06-27-13

A disappointment

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

This book was surprisingly boring. The most exciting actions are passive, meaning it happens off page, so you read about what happens through messengers after the fact. I kept listening, expecting to get into the story anyway, but it never held my interest.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl in the Glass Tower

  • By: Elizabeth Fremantle
  • Narrated by: Emily Watson, Rachael Stirling
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88

Tudor England. The word treason is on everyone's lips. Arbella Stuart, niece to Mary, Queen of Scots, and presumed successor to Elizabeth I, has spent her youth behind the towering windows of Hardwick Hall. As presumed successor to the throne, her isolation should mean protection - but those close to the crown are never safe. Aemilia Lanyer, writer and poet, enjoys an independence denied to Arbella. Their paths should never cross. But when Arbella enlists Aemilia's help in a bid for freedom, she risks more than her own future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extraordinary historical fiction

  • By BVerité on 01-02-17

Extraordinary historical fiction

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

Reviewed: 01-02-17

Highly recommended to historical fiction fans. A beautiful and heartbreaking story. Fantastic narration! All of Fremantle's books are excellent. However, I think this is one of her best.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Long 19th Century: European History from 1789 to 1917

  • By: Robert I. Weiner, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert I. Weiner
  • Length: 18 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 344
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304

Few periods of history offer such captivating complexity as Europe in the long 19th century between 1789 and 1914. From the idealism of the French Revolution to the power of the Industrial Revolution to the chaos of World War I, this fascinating whirl of events, personalities, and forces formed the foundation for the modern world.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More of a Good Course than a Great Course

  • By Flavius Krakdaddius on 11-02-15

Incredible learning experience!

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

Reviewed: 08-03-16

Intense and complex material. Explained very well by a wonderful professor. Check out the downloadable course guide, it's very helpful! This course was entertaining and incredibly informative. Highly recommended for history buffs.

  • Words and Rules

  • The Ingredients of Language
  • By: Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 101

First published in 2000, Words and Rules remains one of Pinker's most provocative and accessible books, illuminating the fascinating relationship between the brain, the mind, and how language makes us humans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing how much irregular verbs can teach.

  • By Tristan on 04-10-16

Ugh! This is a textbook!

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

Reviewed: 02-22-16

This is so not meant for general listening! I have a good grasp on languages and have listened to several linguistic audiobooks that I enjoyed. Imagine an English high school textbook in audiobook form and that's what you have here. This book might be good to read, but it's so not meant to be listened to!!! Could not listen to more than an hour's worth.

6 of 15 people found this review helpful