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Publisher's Summary

The Horseman is unending, his presence shan't lessen. 

If you break the curse, you become the legend. 

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane seeks a way to break free from her soul crushing bond. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Dizzying time travel. Coercive witchcraft. The lines between fact and fiction blur as the works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne come alive around her in this thrilling three book series.

©2012 Stacey Rourke (P)2017 Stacey Rourke

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A fantastic take on an old story.

Crane: Book 1...

I have had this on my kindle since it first came out and have been dying to read it, so when I got the chance to listen to the audio, I jumped at it, well I'm so glad I did because I loved this!!! So freaking fantastic in audio.

Who doesn't know the Sleepy Hollow story by now, and if not, why not?? Stacey Rourke has taken that story and made it her own. She has created a seriously creepy and engaging book and one which I devoured. I listened to this over the course of 2 days and honestly didn't want to put it down.

I won't say too much about the plot because I don't want to spoil it, but what I will say is it's fast paced and creepy. It's told from 2 different centuries but flows seamlessly. We get to see the story told from Ichabods' time and from Ireland Cranes' time. I loved that it was like this and thought it added so much more to the whole book. Ichabod, Rip and Washington were fascinating to read about! I especially loved Rip in Ichabods time. He was a devilish rogue and quite lovable!

Ireland was a fiesty MC. She moves to a new town and gets a job at the school, only for the horseman to show up again after years being dormant. She goes through a lot and my heart broke for her at times! She was strong, brave and sassy, everything you could want in a female lead!

In all this was a unique take on an old story. The author has such a wicked sense of humour and it shows with the witty remarks. It's a well written and developed book and I am so looking forward to book 2!! The ending set it up nicely for the next one and I cant wait to see where Irelands' journey takes her.

Raven: Book 2....

I devoured book one of this series and couldn't wait for this to come to audio, so when I got the chance to review this, needless to say I jumped for joy!! Book 1 centers around Ireland finding out what she is, and this one centers on her trying to find answers to where and why she has the magical tattoo. Well along with Noah and Rip, Ireland encounters the enigmatic Ridley whom has his own problems in the form of him being like Ireland and having an alter ego by the name of Edgar Allen Poe. So again, like book 1, this book jumps seamlessly from era to era, regaling us with tales of Poes life and the antics of Ireland, Noah and Rip!

I must admit that I've only read a few Poe cause I find them so depressing, but if they were all like this, then I would devour them all the time! ;) The author has absolutely and utterly captured my attention, and indeed, my heart with this series as a whole, but especially the characters. Ireland is a feisty, no nonsense girl and easily relatable. Noah is..... swoon worthy ;), Rip is charming in the current era and a lovable rogue in the early era. Then we have Ridley, at first he comes across as egotistical but you soon see (two) another side to him!

Apart from Irelands quest for knowledge on how she can fix what she is, I really enjoyed Poe's story. His heartbreaking relationship with Lenore and what happened was so sad but also a little disturbing to say the least!! I loved seeing him from boyhood to what he is now, even if he has to hitch a ride through someone else.

Anyway, this is one amazing book chock full of action, adventure, love, loss, laughs and so much in between that you can't help but love it. It has a dark tone but one that will compel you to keep reading till the early hours. I have to applaud the author for the masterpieces that are this series!! She is an exceptional story teller and I urge everyone to give these books a go! Unique, engrossing and absolutely fan-freaking-tastic!!!

Steam: Book 3...

After the loss of her friend and mentor Rip, Ireland has agreed to follow H.G Wells in the search of a way to break her curse. But he has his own agenda and Ireland is just a means to an end.

So book 3 sees the introduction of some more new characters, Preen, a powerful Wiccan who lived during the Salem Witch Trials. Malachi, a descendant of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Peyton, a nun. Each of them have their own story but each play a role in the legend that is, the Headless Horseman. We also can't forget the already established characters, Noah, Rip, and Ridley. All of them make this the best edition yet.

I have grown to love these characters and their journey. The author has created extremely memorable ones and ones that will stay with me forever. In this one, my heart broke. Irelands journey for answers and for a way to find a cure was heartbreaking. She is hurting bad from the death of Rip and willing to do almost anything to fix herself. She see H.G Wells as the only way, but it involves letting the Horseman take control.

Stacey Rourke has created on hell of a world!! Filled with amazing characters, twists, turns, myths and legends, it was such an amazing experience to read. Even with the extra mystery of the witches, we still get everything tied up nicely, and there's even room for more in the series!! This edition in particular, is more complex and enticing than the other 2. Everything the author did in the previous two, comes together nicely in this, plus you have the added bonus of seeing the Salem Witch trials and where it all began.

In all, this series has been magnificent. It was action packed, unique, captivating and engrossing. I highly recommend everyone checks them out!!

Karen Krause narrates this series amazingly well. With the amount of different characters, I never had trouble following who was talking at any given time. She embodied Ireland perfectly and captured Rip and the rest of the gang brilliantly. She definitely brought the books to life.

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Legend.....ary

SO I honestly think this would make a great mini series on scyfy or any network really. The characters have all been thought out meticulously and there storylines intersect so well that you would think this was an original story.

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

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  • Zarah
  • St. louis, Mo
  • 02-07-18

entertaining enough

Crane

Pretty good. I finished the book still confused about some of the hows and whys of both the Horseman and the ghosts' reenactments, it's a bit hand-wavy, but I enjoyed my time with the characters (Ireland more than Ichabod). The loves are both a tad too insta-love for me, but there were hints that there might be a reason for this (some draw) that will be revealed in future books, so I'll forgive it. The dialogue and writing were witty and the narrator did a nice job with them. I liked her voice for the modern characters a lot more than the historic ones, but I think some of the reason might have been because they were written to be more formal (fewer contractions and such). All in all, enjoyable and I look forward to more.

Raven

While not bad, I didn't enjoy this one anywhere near as much as the first. It picked up directly after the end of book one, but I generally felt like the characters randomly went to meet some guy, who randomly had a tragedy befall him, and they all randomly went about trying to save the day. I actually wondered if I'd missed a chapter or two in there at some point, because it seemed to jump about.

It was still funny and the characters dropped lots of witty one-liners and I liked the pop culture references. Further, I listened to the Audio version and the narrator did a nice job. So, again, not bad, but a disappointment after book one.

Steam

I wouldn't go so far as to say this is bad, but I do feel like the series has run farther and farther off the tracks with each book. At the end of each subsequent book, I've been left with more questions than at the end of the previous one. As always, I thought Rourke's writing was easy to read (or listen to in my case, since I had the audio) and all the sarcasm and pop culture references are funny. But I never felt connected to this story. Why, the crew went along with Well's plan, for example, was a nagging question. Why introduce characters that were never more than props, was another. And I also thought that pulling the legends of the Horseman and Poe away from the mystical and giving them human(ish) origins diminished them. Basically, while finely written I just didn't like it very much.

All in all, I liked the books less and less as the series went on, but I started out liking it enough to never quite to dislike. The narrator, Karen Krause, did a good job with all of it though.

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook, but I chose to listen and review it.

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  • MelHay
  • Adamsburg, PA
  • 01-29-18

Three curses come together.

*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

CRANE:
The Van Tassel's helped build this town. Now, Tarrytown has just had Vic Van Tassel murdered in a hotel parking lot. Decapitated. Ireland Crane has only been in Sleepy Hollow for one week, and now has the cops at her doorstep. Vic Van Tassel's body was found with her last name carved into his chest. The police think it's a copy cat of the old legends. But tell Ireland to keep an eye out, with her last name she just might become a target...wanting to act out the legend with an actual Crane. Ireland finds an old man claiming to have woken from a sleeping spell because the Headless Horseman has returned. He's to teach her how to control the horseman, but he finds she's branded with the Headless Horseman's mark. What does it mean?

I had the pleasure of listening to this story. Karen has vocalized this story in voices slightly different for each character in sound and persona. I got a kick out of her drunken slurring in the first chapter. We do get a story from past and present, in which Karen has different sounds in speech for different time frames. The dialog for the characters in the past is something I didn't ever grow accustom to, though did feel to get better toward the end of the book. Each word spoken felt stiff and as if it was a sentence of it's own. I know it's of a time that is speech is proper and people watched what they said, but there didn't feel as if there was a flow to the words spoken. The story and narration of the rest of the story (past and current) along with dialog in present time were read with flow.

We get two stories in one. Boy oh boy do they parallel each other! We get Ichabod's story as he falls for Katrina and his friends, Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle. The story of Ichabod's life isn't as it's told in Irving's books, and there's a very good reason for that. We get Ireland Crane's story in the present as she's new to Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow. And how Ireland's life gets flipped upside down with Rip van Winkle waking in a secret room in her basement. Ireland's life is extremely similar to Ichabod's life, yet the two stories are unique in their own telling. Reading Ichabod's story gives us answers as things escalate in the present time, and fall into similar events as Ichabod's time. There is a reason for all of this.

We follow the murder's of the Headless Horseman in both times. There is more to the story than simply a headless man cutting off heads. There is also a question I'm curious to see explained in relation to the Headless Horseman. How to control him. There is indication of a talisman, which is in two forms. But also, there seems to be control in way of 'payment' (per say) which is used. It seems to me others could use this 'payment' method to make a deal and control the Headless Horseman at any time. I'm curious to see how this plays out in the series.

I was drawn into the story because I love the Headless Horseman stories. This is a twist on that tale with a lead to more to come. I felt for Ichabod and those around him. I was irritated by Rip's actions in the new town they arrive in, he's different in present though. I guess he's slept that desire away? lol. Ireland feels as she's a hard shelled character in the beginning. She's moved to Sleepy Hollow to start anew and leave things in the past, an ex-fiance that's turned her from her desires. The things she's unknowingly done here in Tarrytown are going to be an obstacle for her. But she's got a chance at a relationship, maybe. Ireland starts to grow toward the end of the story. She starts to let people in again in her life. She starts to accept what she learns of herself now too.

As the story here is finished, there is more to come. A mystery of who knows about the control of the Horseman. Ireland needs to find out. I'm curious as to what Ireland comes across with Rip as they search to find out who knows the secret that was buried in tales about the Headless Horseman.

RAVEN:
Karen catches my attention from the beginning as she voices a crone. She fits the part perfectly. At times Karen's voice feels stiff, but I wonder if it's suppose to feel that way with the characters. I found I enjoyed having Karen back to voice this book as she did the first one. The audio was clean in listening and went by quickly.

In The Legends Saga of books 1, 2, and 3 we miss the first chapter of Raven (between Prologue and Chapter 2). I know this because I usually follow along in the ebook version for the first pages/chapters supplied in the free view. And chapter one is not mentioned in the audio.

I found there were times where I was taken with the manner of description used. It fits for an Edgar Allen Poe era feel.

Ireland is on a search to learn more about her cursed tattoo. She never expected to find another cursed as she is. Ridley Peolte, who had painted the tattoo, is cursed to live with Edgar Allen Poe's curse. Ridley comes into his curse while Ireland is here. Is there a connection? I'm not sure, I have a theory though.

The story portrays Edgar as living a life where he's touched with death. He can see the dead, and he could bring them back. This has a terrible impact on Edgar. But he does find one person that brings life to his days, pushing the death away.

I enjoy the writing style in how we get the story from two different times. Ireland's search is blended with Ripley's story. We see Ripley take on his own curse and learn about it through him and Ireland. We also get a story from long ago through Edgar's eyes. The two different timelines told in Ripley's and then Edgar's times, based on how's at the top of the chapter. Then the two timelines cross and we get the details we were hoping for, now it's time to solve the problem that's risen.

Ireland has Noah, her boyfriend, and Rip Van Winkle with her. Rip, who woke in the last book, makes me smile from time to time with his comments. He's got a warped sense of humor with the time he grew up in and now. Noah is a great boyfriend. He's got a sense of humor that is perfect with Ireland's humor.

I was with Ireland throughout the book in hoping to learn more about her tie to the horseman along with her tattoo. However, we are left with more questions than answers on that front. I'm even curious about how Ridley came to have his tie as well. Why Ridley? These small things itched at the edge of my mind as I enjoyed the story told. This makes the story harder to rate. We don't get Ireland's answers, not even close, and stumble into a new situation that's as dire as Ireland's was in Crane.

We solve a problem that Ridley releases on the world, but the book felt like it didn't have to happen. I don't quite understand why Ridley was told to release this...problem... on the world. Other than to show what he shouldn't do with his new ability, or more like curse. I'm hoping this will be answered more clearly in the next book. There has to be a thread to this predicament, Ridley, and Ireland. The epilogue leaves me feeling to a possibility.

STEAM:
I had to dive right into this book because I wanted answers. I got some of them. Wells is more involved in their lives than we'd expected. He explains why and how. Also, the supernatural lives of our characters have crossed before, they are all connected in a strange thread.

This story is divided between Ireland and crew in the now and Preen and her coven in Salem during the witch trials. Once again, Preen's life is important to the here and now with Ireland and her growing crew of friends.

I enjoyed Preen's story as she lived and experienced so much. She truly had powers, and used them. It was something to see her evolution, then what she ended up being.

We learn the truth behind what's driving Wells in collecting this group of cursed individuals together. There's a place and time he needs to get to but he can't. This particular group of individuals may be able to do what others before them have not.

This book ties all we've learned of Ireland and her Hessian, Ridley and his Poe curse, and a new woman - Peyton and her ability, together. They are histories that are touched by an individual in time. They don't realize it, but they are tied by the same evil just in different ways.

When we get answers, I had hoped there could have been a bit more of a moment here. It feels to happen so fast as though it's breezed over. The ending... hmmm. I'm not sure what I think. We get an ending but I felt as though it didn't bring the characters to a closure as I was expecting. Will they find each other again? Between these two moments, I wanted more. I wanted a bigger moment that was clear for me. I felt I didn't get that. Another may love these moments, but for me they felt short.

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Excellent Story!

I received this audio book for free in exchange for my honest review. This is a collection of classic tales expertly woven together with a modern day twist. Add to that the impeccable narration and this is a story that you don't want to miss. Enjoy!

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Lots to love in these twisted classic retellings.

I was drawn to this series first through the striking cover art, and again after reading the series description. Three full-length tales are presented, with their roots in classic stories like The Headless Horseman, The Raven, and others. But here, in the hands of author Stacey Rourke, those stories become bent and twisted into something completely new. Darkness, wit, humor, and sarcasm are weaved throughout as we follow Ireland Crane, who finds herself cursed by the spirit of the Headless Horseman. She travels with her friends as they try and find clues that will break her curse and undo wrongs committed so, so long ago.

The first book, for me, took a while to get going. But once I understood Ireland Crane's place within the madness of her world, the series really took off and continued at breakneck speed all the way through to the end of book three. Applause for Rourke's written creation, coupled with Karen Krause's narrative performance, which is unwavering and masterful. Together they produced a fantastic three-part series that you will not want to miss. Well done!

I was provided a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my unbiased review. Many thanks for this opportunity!

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Review of The Legends Saga

Very clever the way Stacey Rourke has woven classic tales into current stories. Karen Krause has performed fantastically.

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Loved this!

Amazing listen! Loved the use of classic lit and the new twists put to the legends. Loved the storylines and characters, Ireland and Rip are my favorites. Excellent narrator as well, she gave each character their own voice. I highly recommend this one, especially since you get the complete series for one credit. I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

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interesting trilogy with a lot of action

What did you love best about The Legends Saga Collection?

A lot of action, supernatural stuff and some romance. It also made me curious about the books/legends that the trilogy is based on.

What does Karen Krause bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

different voices for the characters that I liked.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no, too long for that, but almost listened to the firt part in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

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

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Great collection

Overall, I adored the series and the characters. It has funny and sassy characters and scenes full of exciting moments. The stories have incredible twists to throw you for a loop, packed full of mystery and suspense as well as being a bit dark. IMO, the collection was one of the best classic retellings that I've listened to. All three books were equally captivating and entertaining. The narration was also well done. I received a free copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Jeff
  • 02-01-18

meaty gritty and quirky

What disappointed you about The Legends Saga Collection?

I did not feel their was life to the story

Would you ever listen to anything by Stacey Rourke again?

I would always try again as one book does not make a narrator

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I felt dull

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Legends Saga Collection?

just couldnt get into this book

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  • J Smith
  • 01-30-18

Loved it!

What can I say, I loved this series of books! :)
I had no idea of what was coming and it turned out to be Such a good intertwining of some old Legends with a modern day twist and manipulation of backstory.
It can be somewhat difficult at times when the 2 timelines switch, but it’s doesn’t detract much from the overall enjoyment!
The first story is my favourite, probably as it holds the key to the overall mystery but I would still have bought the others had they not been part of this whole collection and I will be looking out to see if there are any follow-ups!
As for the narrator, I think she did a great job too; yes, some of the characters I would have wanted to sound different and some of them have similar voices and were difficult to tell apart sometimes but I can’t complain too much and she’s a very good storyteller!
This is an honest review given freely of a review copy.