A Land Divided

The Blood of Kings, Book 1
Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
Series: The Blood of Kings, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

1081. William's bloody conquest is over and Britain is under Norman rule. But one bastion of resistance remains: Wales. A divided land where brother fights brother and kings battle for power. The English use this to further their own ends, and while one king is tempted by an offer he cannot resist, the others wage war over long-forgotten feuds.

Gruffydd Ap Cynan, true heir to the kingdom of Gwynedd, is in exile across the sea. When he hears of the betrayal of the Welsh people by the imposter in his throne, Gruffydd unites with Tewdwr, a monarch deposed by the traitors, and they forge an army from the ashes of their kingdoms. But Tewdwr's wife and daughter - the source of much of the allies' strength - are a weakness their enemies will exploit.

Betrayal, treachery, and war await, but both men know they must fight to the bitter end, when the sundered lands of Wales are drenched... in the blood of kings.

©2015 Kevin M. Ashman (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

What listeners say about A Land Divided

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A very entertaining story of Welsh history.

Knowing very little of medieval Welsh history and it's brief nationhood, I found Ashman's tale to be riveting for fans of historical fiction. Mr. Ryan's performance was outstanding and made the audible version come to life. Highly recommended for history buffs looking for a new era to read about.

3 people found this helpful

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Entertaining historical fiction

This book was a pleasant surprise. It was a clear and informing historical narrative which took me to wind-swept Wales. Why worry about Game of Thrones when our own history has had plenty of intrigue, love and war?

While it was possible to get to know the characters from their actions and speech, I would have liked to delve deeper into them and explore them more. This wish is recurrent in the genre, and not only in this particular book.

I enjoyed the narrator, and even his feminine voices.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrators and foreign language pronunciations

What made the experience of listening to A Land Divided the most enjoyable?

I love the story and the reader's voice is resonant and skilled at changing voices for different characters. He even does female voices very well, avoiding the disagreeable falsetto many male readers adopt.

What did you like best about this story?

Well, I love Welsh history and this story is one covers a period with which until now I was unfamiliar. And I like that the author creates strong female characters.

What about Napoleon Ryan’s performance did you like?

I have listened to many books narrated by NR. I love everything about his voice. But in this book he makes a few unpardonable errors. Before reading a book with foreign words, he should either research correct pronunciation of places and names or be coached by a native speaker. Thank goodness there were not too many instances of words with the double L sound because he butchered it, pronouncing it with a kl sound. And the name Gruffydd is badly mispronounced. He pronounces the first syllable "gruff" where it should be like griff (as in griffin. Other than that I adore NR as a narrator. I have looked for books he narrated, just to hear his voice. But this time I often cringed.

If you could rename A Land Divided, what would you call it?

Game of Thrones

Any additional comments?

I think the penultimate question is irrelevant. Why would you want us to rename it?

2 people found this helpful

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Characters not developed

The battles and characters are not developed and storyline does not lead you to want to keep listening

1 person found this helpful

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I couldn’t get into it

I had to start over three times and only made it around 2 hours. I’m not sure if it was just bad narration or a bad story. Needless to say I bought the entire three book series and couldn’t make it a fourth the way through the first book. The good news with audible is that they will let me return them. The bad news for me is I wanted to hear this series. The premise was great. Unfortunately the combination of this author and narrator didn’t deliver for me.

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love the storyline

absolutely love it. thre story line is awesome & it is still a great book

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A land Divided

it is so True. Never Trust an English Man. Napoleon Ryan is so talented and Fantastic, That his beautiful narration made the Story exciting and engaging.

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Great Way to Breathe Life into History

I look forward to the sequel - loved listening to the accents and pronunciations. Marvelous

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Good Listen.

At first I didn't care for the narrator and didnt think Id care for the writing style .But it didnt take long and I was adjusted to the narrators voice and accents . He did a very good job with all the voices . The story is well told and enjoyable . I will listen to the whole series .

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Poorly written - Aweful dialog

I listened to the whole thing just in case it got better, but it didn't. The dialog is simplistic and doesn't even remotely represent anything even close to what natural dialog would be in those situations.

Additionally the author doesn't have a good grasp of leadership or warfare. I would advise him to make a study of both topics. The leaders and warriors didn't talk or behave as leaders and warriors would. I can't speak to how things happened at that time in history, but I do have intimate knowledge of warfare and leading combat troops. Nothing in the story even came close to representing any real leadership style, nor any closer to expressing the motivation, or sentiments of warriors. It was all quite ridiculous and impossible to take seriously.. Many authors with no leadership or combat experience still are able to make things seem both plausible and real by researching both topics. The way we fight has changed, but combat leadership and war are still essentially the same. The traits that would make you a good warrior or leader then would still serve you now and vice versa. The aspects that have changed over the centuries are just technical.

I was really bummed out because from the description it seemed like a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-20-15

let down by narration

I'm afraid I didn't like the narrator. There was very little distinction between characters, so it was difficult to keep track of the story, particularly when it was two women or two men speaking. I also think that they should have picked someone better at accents, since the book is full of Welsh and Irish characters. There's a fine line between a Welsh accent sounding like an Indian accent and the narrator crossed it a few times! The story itself was mediocre.

2 people found this helpful

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  • lesley young
  • 09-26-18

tedious, with little character development

found it dull from the start, poorly written with little character development and no otoginality. persevered for 10 chapters, but finally gave up as just too awful

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  • Mubayiwa T
  • 08-12-18

review

attention gripping tale. I could not put it down. The storry is well narrated and full of suspense

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-17

No thanks.

Could not get into this book at all.
Too many unpronoucable Welsh names for my poor brain.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-05-17

enjoyed

great for listening to while on daily commute. good story easy to dip in and out of.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • LtCol
  • 03-05-17

A little bit too much on the sex and Paedophlia against young princess

The title AND PICTURE suggest a book full of interest Welsh clan fights for control of W Wales, In the end, let it runs on mute in living room disappointed both in say it what is said in detail concerning paedophile episodes not hinted at in the title or introduction, to warn readers, thereby making title and subject matter unsuitable for younger readers, who are interested in period non-fiction. Should have said child abuse during period 1040-1080 was prevalent in Wales and a PG or 18 warning given on the cover of book. I have two 15-year-olds who enjoy books by Simon Scarrow and Ben Kane, but warn them about soldiers through the ages even today in the height of battle rage do rape and pilage. Sorry if this remark offends other readers! The subject could have been implied and not formed part of the main story plot.

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  • happy customer
  • 03-04-16

Brilliant

Well written and researched,had to listen until it finished,felt like you were there,highly recommended. Will certainly be listening to others.

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  • eden searl
  • 09-18-18

good story but bad storytelling

i did like the story overall and will continue the series. was very complex with many characters. unfortunately the voice actor was very unskilled and lacked the abily to impart character individuality and proper emotion. had great potential just very much lacked with the voice man