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Publisher's Summary

When the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte is kidnapped by the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask, who can he trust to get her back? The Broken Bards of Paris! 

What three men, despite deformity and unrequited love, will unite to become a trio of heroic troubadours? The Broken Bards of Paris! 

When France is in peril, who will sing the songs, fight the throngs, and right the wrongs? The Broken Bards of Paris! 

Join Cyrano De Bergerac, Quasimodo the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Erik the Opera Ghost in their first daring ensemble adventure! With special appearances by Voltaire, Joan of Arc, and Napoleon himself!

©2014 Aaron Hollingsworth (P)2018 Aaron Hollingsworth

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Napoleon, the Phantom, Cyrano, and Quasimodo

Sounds like an early french version of the league of extraordinary gentlemen, but it is way better than that. Napoleon's bride and love of his life is kidnapped, and he gathers Cyrano de Bergerac, Quasimodo, and the Phantom of the Opera to get her back. We also get to see some other famous french folks including Voltaire and the Man in the Iron Mask.

In my opinion, the Phantom steals the show, as the man who is more than he appears to be, although I must say that each character is given appropriate "screen time" and not everyone gets what they deserve in the end. You will feel for Cyrano and Voltaire, but be enheartened by Quasimodo in the end. For so short a tale this carries real weight, and you really get to know the characters.

I have no qualms admitting that Hollingsworth is one of my favorite writers, and I was highly enthused when this book came out! I listened to it immediately, stopping another book I was in the middle of to listen to it as soon as I could. He has never disappointed, and his take on this League is better than Moore's. I also have to admit that I was surprised to hear Ferguson narrating. The majority of leds in the book are male, and I know that the original audio had narration problems. She comes through admirabley, though, and does a great job playing the men. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.


If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting/humorous story!

Great concept! Getting some of the best-known Frenchmen that lived roughly in the same historical period was a novel approach. Coo-doo's! At this point, I do not remember if this is going to be a series or not. If not, I would be disappointed. The possibilities of where to go next are limitless. I wish it were a longer story though. It could very easily have been filled out to be a complete novel. I highly recommend this book. And now for the obligatory: "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A fun literary remix

I love remixes and mashups. Fan mixes of favorite tv series or movies, mashups of different songs, but I've never read a literary mashup until now. The Broken Bards of Paris unabashedly takes famous and beloved characters, both real and literary, on an adventure through Napoleonic France, mixing in heist action, comedy, tragedy, and a bit of the supernatural. And yet it's still wonderfully reverent to the core of the characters. This book was a blast, a short and quick read, and just pure literary-fan fun. I absolutely loved the spooky portrayal of the Phantom, too.

The narration was crisp and perfect for the story. Just a fun read all around!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Three Heroes, One Great Story

If you spent years studying literature in school, it's hard not to love this story that recruits three of literature's greatest abandoned lovers to undertake one last mission in the name of love.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one, particularly the playful banter of the phantom with the other characters. A well written story that was a lot of fun to listen to presented by a narrator who enhanced the experience through his skillful reading.
Definitely 5 stars in my book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TU
  • 05-16-18

Fantastic story!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Going into this, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. The premise sounded absurd, but I was curious and decided to check it out. This book was way better than I expected and was really quite fun. The narration is great and brought the book to life. I just wish it were longer!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Heroes and legends of many stories into one

Such a fun book bringing together heroes/legends from great stories to save another’s wife. All who have dealt with the hardship and losing of their muse and love. Keeps your interest from the very beginning definitely enjoyed this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Delightful romp...

What a wonderful and fantastic historic mashup!!!  By throwing Napoleon Bonaparte, Cyrano De Bergerac, Eric (the Phantom of the Opera), Quasimoto (the Hunchback of Notre Dame), and the Man-in-the-Iron-Mask all together in one story, I think Aaron Hollingsworth broke my brain as I listened to this what-if novella!
Virginia Ferguson absolutely nailed the narration. Her performance of all the characters in this story was amazing!   You're gonna wanna get this delightful little romp to find out what I mean...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Wild and Crazy Ride

I got this story via audiobook boom and this is my voluntary review. This was a wild ride through French history and theater. It was a mix-up of The Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Cirino de Bergerac as the heroes. The man in the iron mask and Napoleon as secondary characters. Loved the fight scene. Oh yeah, you will not believe what happened to the three heroes in the end. It is a quick listen and worth the time. listen to it to find out. The narrator made the story come to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Fun Adventure

The author takes characters from favorite 19th century historical fiction and crafts a succinct, engaging adventure. Bonus: a climax in verse!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 04-28-18

Proof a good narrator can make a book

This is the second release of this book, this time with a different narrator. And what a difference it makes. while a lot of my "this is weird" thoughts from my first reading still apply, my enjoyment of the book as a whole was significantly higher this time.

Much like Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Aaron Hollingsworth's draws together literary characters (along with real historical figures) into a adventure story. Unlike Moore's book this book doesn't pull characters from a single time period together, but pulls people from across centuries together into a vague time period. The commonality between them is not their time, but their location: all are Parisians.

Hollingsworth clearly states in the introduction to the book that he pulls people from different time periods together and that there is no alignment with any real history here. I can easily accept time shifting literary characters, but when we start time moving real people around I get more iffy about it.

But if that isn't a problem for you, then it's an enjoyable enough story.

When Louis 14th (mid 17th century to early 18th century) is overthrown, Napoleon (early 19th century) comes to power. When Napoleon's wife, Josephine (real 19th century person) is kidnapped by The Man in The Iron Mask (a real but unnamed 17th century person, but also a literary character from the 17th century) a collection of hero-bards are brought together to rescue her: Cyrano (a real early to mid 17th century person), Quasimodo (15th century literary character) and The Phantom of the Opera (late 19th century character). Throw in Joan of Arc (early 13th century person) and Voltaire (18th century person) and you have an anachronistic mess. But a kind of fun mess. It's a rollicking adventure to rescue Josephine and France.

It's about pulling this different characters together and seeing how they would interact with one another. The location and action is secondary to the hypothetical of 'what would it be like if these guys all met?'. If that question interests you, then you may well enjoy this book.

Narration by Virginia Ferguson really lifts the books. It's a great performance, plus knowing what a middling performance can do to the book, it is great. He is well paced and clear, He brings excitement, emotion, action to the text, while also providing individual character voices (most in various pseudo-French accents). An overall delight to listen to.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful