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Song of the Spirits

In the Land of the Long White Cloud, Book 2
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
Length: 20 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (272 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New Zealand, 1893: William Martyn is better educated and more cultivated than the other men breaking their backs searching for gold near Queenstown. William is the son of landed Irish nobility, and he comes to town ready to invest in the best equipment. On his search for supplies, he encounters spirited and beautiful young Elaine O’Keefe, who promptly falls in love with him.

He is captivated by her charms until Kura, Elaine's half-Maori cousin, comes to visit. William succumbs at once to Kura's exotic beauty and free-spiritedness, and tension develops not only between the two cousins but also between the colonial settlers and their Maori neighbors.

©2013 Sarah Lark (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 06-01-15

1893 New Zealand, Book 2 in Series, EXCELLENT!

This second book in the Land of the Long White Cloud series is just as good as the first. The beauty of New Zealand shines through, as does the history and ruggedness of the era, 1893 through 1898 (sixteen years after the first book). The story continues as Kura, Gwyn's half Maori granddaughter falls in love with William Martyn (stealing him away from her shy cousin, Elaine). No one has ever been able to tame or discipline, Kura, whose Maori mother, left her with Gwyn to raise at an early age. All the family from the first book blend naturally into Song of the Spirits, growing, changing, maturing, finding their places with children and grandchildren . . .and with the land. The writing has such depth and beauty . . . and is clean and refreshing (although it does contain Maori tradition and historical content true to the time period). Although the books are lengthy, I wouldn't change a thing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Princess
  • WENTZVILLE, MO, United States
  • 04-28-16

Great Story and Heart Warming

Warm and loving story with multiple story lines that came together in the end with heart warming love.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Can be read as a stand-alone novel

Following extended families of the heroines we met in the first book of the series. More lively and entertaining story that definitely holds the reader! I liked this more, than the first part. The book can be read as a stand- alone novel, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable

Any additional comments?

The second in the series, this book recounts the second generation. As with the other novels in the series, I had hoped for more Maori participation with less emphasis on 'tribe' and 'witch doctor' type stuff.

The Maori are a wonderful people with a rich and proud history.

It's a romance novel, and fiction, but some of the things the characters get into are eye-rolling.

Still, I enjoyed it and did purchase the whole series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Easy listening story, narrator is not my cuppa

The series is enjoyable. It's simple, easy to follow, nice escapism, good story lines with characters you can get to know over the long haul. It lacks any real level of historical detail so you won't get distracted by historical inaccuracies. The story is about the characters and the author relies very little on historical details of the period in which the characters live. The sparse descriptions of fashion, industry, sheep farming, mining operations, etc. are all era appropriate but shallow enough to escape any dissection for historical accuracy. Nobody was wearing watch chains, tricorn hats, short pants, bikinis or stilettos when the Singer sewing machine made its debut.

Narrator is too 'breathy' for my taste...imbuing words and sentence ends with forced breath / whisper hues makes my ears cringe. Avid audio listeners know what I mean. I've been cringing for 40 hours now but, I'm going to listen to the last installment because it's an enjoyable enough story.

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Enjoyable family saga

This is book 2 and the same disconnects continued from the first audiobook. That said, it's still a very enjoyable family saga. I still got what I wanted out of this book, interesting and twisted characters, a fast-moving plot/storyline and historical insight into New Zealand's European colonial beginnings.

Would recommend to family & friends.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling sequel or wonderful on its own

As good as part 1 Pulls you right in and great narration Looking forward to part 3

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  • Gabriela
  • 10-17-18

Brilliant trilogy

Even though for most it might get boring to read/listen to the similar stories, the way the plot unravels and the evolution of characters makes it a captivating story.

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Profile Image for Bernadette Higgins
  • Bernadette Higgins
  • 05-18-17

Song of the spirit

Book two of a trilogy "song of the spirit "picks up the story of Irish immigrants who travelled to New Zealand seeking their fortune ,ladies seeking marriage ,children at a young age sent out from Irish orphanages to work as servants.
The story follows onto the next generation and explores and develops accounts of their lives, loves and losses
Harrowing accounts of abuse against a backdrop of beauty and life on the large sheep stations and the developing towns, coal mines and railroads
A story of passion, intrigue, struggle, triumph and endurance

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Profile Image for Kerrie
  • Kerrie
  • 10-27-15

Lost in translation

Written by German author Christiane Gohl under the pseudonym Sarah Lark, the saga of life in New Zealand seems a rather odd subject choice however I found the story interesting. The first book held my interest enough to purchase the second and third in the series. Translated from the original German by DW Lovett and narrated by English actress Anne Flosnik, some faults can be found. I noted that a review of the first book In The Land of the Long White Cloud mentioned the somewhat awkward pronunciation of Maori names. Not being a Kiwi, I cannot comment on these but there were some very strange pronunciations of opera names and characters. One of the most outstanding discrepancies in the translation is the use of the monetary term "dollars" referring to New Zealand currency. I would have thought that even the most rudimentary researcher would have found that the currency of the late 19th century in NZ was shillings and pounds. These minor annoyances not withstanding, I enjoyed the first two books and I am looking forward to continuing the journey with book 3 Call of the Kiwi.