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Publisher's Summary

In a world where women hold all the power and men have barely been an afterthought, an intrepid shipmistress must put aside everything she knows if she is to save her people. 

Bela is at the helm of the Sandcrow, a ship sent from calm seas to the far frozen north in search of a legendary power that could turn the tide of war. Locked into ice, the Sandcrow is lost. Now, for the shipmistress and her crew, a desperate voyage becomes a chilling struggle for survival against nature, fear, and prejudice. 

If Bela can lead them to their ultimate destination, will the magic they find be their redemption - or their destruction? 

©2019 Michael D. Livingston (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from Black Crow, White Snow

The blizzard comes in the hours before the dawn...
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We’re not alone in the snow.
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Looking back at me are familiar eyes...
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  • Black Crow, White Snow
  • The blizzard comes in the hours before the dawn...
  • Black Crow, White Snow
  • We’re not alone in the snow.
  • Black Crow, White Snow
  • Looking back at me are familiar eyes...

About the Author

Michael Livingston is an internationally recognized historian, novelist, and public scholar who lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He teaches at The Citadel, where as a professor of English he specializes in the Military History of the Middle Ages. His Battle of Crécy: A Casebook (with Kelly DeVries) won the 2017 Distinguished Book Prize from the International Society for Military History. As an academic, he has published articles on such varied subjects as early Christianity, Beowulf, Chaucer, James Joyce, and J.R.R. Tolkien. As an author, he has published in a wide variety of genres and venues. His debut trilogy was a critically acclaimed series of historical fantasies, The Shards of Heaven. His next trilogy, coming soon from Audible, is the Seaborn Cycle, an adventure set in the same world of piracy, powder, and powerful magics that lies behind Black Crow, White Snow. In addition to traveling around the world and lecturing, he is an acclaimed combat investigator.

About the Performer

Earphones Award winner, Janina Edwards, is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and recorded her first audiobook in 1987. She excels in voicing and portraying authentic characters of the African Diaspora (West Africa, Southern US, and West Indies). She is a two-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. In addition to audiobooks, Janina’s voice can be heard in corporate, educational, and meditative recordings.

What listeners say about Black Crow, White Snow

Average Customer Ratings
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Story
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Women vs Nature

'Black Crow, White Snow' tells a story from the point of view of Bela, the captain of a tall ship. The story opens right in the middle of the action, with the ship being trapped in ice, during a storm. Valiantly the crew try to free it, but the ice crushes the ship and leaves less than a dozen crew alive, trying to survive the frozen tundra and complete the mission that took them to the ice originally.

It is a women vs nature story, a group surviving the elements and the beasts that call the frozen wasteland home. It is set in a world that is matriarchal, where woman are the strong sex and are in charge. At times characters voice ideas of being 'as weak as a man', or there being some shame at having been 'rescued by a man' or similar. The group is pretty much all women, with one exception. The original mission, the reason for them being there, and the events of the world beyond the immediate is not discussed much and is generally left out.

The writing itself is great. The description of the ship breaking in the ice is visceral and brings the event to life. Other descriptions equally so, bringing the cold world off the page. However, it is fairly short and the group of survivors is large enough that most of them really get great characterization. combined with the narration (more on this later) it means that the majority of the group of survivor just becomes a interchangeable group of companions. The main exceptions being Bela, the point of view character, and the man in the group - a poet and storyteller rather than a warrior and sailor.

Narration by Janina Edwards is good, but not great. She speaks with a Caribbean (?) accent that suits the tall ship theme of the book well. While it isn't about pirates, to me the accent makes me think of pirates and tall ships. My main annoyance is that she doesn't really differentiate voices and characters. Some have minor changes (being softer or gruffer) but it is generally very subtle, so a lot of the characters just blend together, especially in group conversations. Otherwise she is well paced, clear and engaging.

There is no music, sound effect or other things included in the production. It is a straight reading of the short story text.

305 people found this helpful

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Good writing, mediocre narration, wastes the theme

This story is fairly interesting; a good survival story though I'm not really all that interested in the genre. I picked the story up mostly because of the gender swap premise; I was expecting the story to dig into themes about gender, equality, and a woman-centric culture.

Rather, it seems to cater more to people who want to read about a world where men are secondary; it reminds me quite a lot of early Golden Age sci fi, and not the good sort. It falls into all the same tropes, but gender flipped. That in itself is meant to make a statement, but the author doesn't use the world building to make points about the central themes of the book. It reads almost like a reverse-sexist power fantasy. In a society that has criticized such things as problematic, I can't quite make myself enjoy this piece.

The offerings for Audible Originals are pretty scant this month, so it may be worth a read just to avoid wasting a selection...but don't expect anything more than is on the tin.

396 people found this helpful

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Beautifully narrated

I absolutely love the narrator's voice. It's beautiful. The story is also one that runs through so many deep emotions, but I love the morale of not giving up and not giving in to limitations (set by you or society). Great book!

6 people found this helpful

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  • E
  • 05-23-19

Wasted time

At least it was free.
Do not waste your time on this.
Or, have strong coffee to keep you awake.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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MEH?

The story has some potential, it seems like it is missing a clear beginning and a clear end. the story picks up on the middle of the action and has no build up and no real conclusion

46 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not the worst, but pretty close

This was not the worst book I've heard, but it was pretty close. Fortunately it was less than 3 hours in length. I'm not sure if I could have taken much more. The narrator was actually pretty good. She was clear in spite of her accent. The only complaint is that the reading was rather low energy for an adventure thriller story. The write up on this book showed a role reversal between the sexes, but the book never gave any explanation of the culture or the situation the protagonists were in. That made it difficult to become invested in the characters. The love between two of the characters seemed I'll placed and lent nothing to the story. It was a relationship we cared nothing about. The end of the story sounded like something out of Harry Potter poorly rewritten. I'm glad it's over and do not recommend it to anyone.

28 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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I tried to enjoy it

The narrator had a shrill accented voice and the story even with the opening action scene, never became interesting. Didn't finish it.

16 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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yay imagery, boo plot

This was a weird one. Loved the imagery but the plot and environment were lacking. why were men 2nd class? why were they on a boat? who are these people? sounds like this was part if a story that are missing some chapters. again the imagery was beautiful, but I could have used less words about snow and more words about why.

10 people found this helpful

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A great adventure...

Black Crow, White Snow very much felt like what would happen if Alfred Lansing's book Endurance (historical account of Ernest Shackleton's disastrous voyage to Antarctica, circa 1914) married a Steampunk novella, the results would be, well... it would be this story. Michael Livingston made me feel Bela's pain as she watched the sea ice tear her ship apart, and the miserable cold as they make their way to land, but unlike Shackleton and the crew of Endurance, they're not hoping for rescue, but rather a fabled city, and the dream of something far greater than mere gold...
I really enjoyed the narration by Janina Edwards as well...
The ending kinda' felt like it could also be a beginning... like if Michael Livingston wanted to, he could use this as a springboard for expanding his universe, and I really hope he does just that!

22 people found this helpful

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Worth It

I knew absolutely nothing about the story going into it, I didn’t even realize that the summary tells you the main characters name. So I was pleasantly surprised when it was finally revealed.

I thought the story was different, but wonderful. I would really like to know more about the world.

I think initially the frank dismissal of male characters by the female heroes felt weird, but that’s definitely the point. It has a few touching conversations between people that show me the real message is how no one should be dismissed on the basis of their job, social class, gender, sexuality, etc.

I am a blind, gay, trans guy. I am most definitely a demographic that this story would naturally be geared toward. And that’s OK. I think it has something to offer if you are looking for a neat adventure story, with some cool intersexuality thinking, as well as just being a well written piece.

I want more from this world. So, the author did a good job.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-20-20

An interesting story

Loved this story with a difference Would recommend it be listened to by teens and adults.