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Publisher's Summary

Following an ambush at the Upton Rail Station in 1921 Ireland, British troops burn Ailis' home to the ground and arrest her fiancé, Liam, for murder. She and her younger brother Paddy flee to an enchanted glen. Lured by a haunting song, Paddy is abducted by forest folk. Perilous obstacles and a questionable stranger hinder Ailis' attempts to find her brother or free her fiancé, until her only hope for survival rests on the magic of the fae.

©2017 D.L. Gardner (P)2017 D.L. Gardner

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  • norman
  • burlington, nc, United States
  • 11-02-17

Historical fiction/fantasy

Although I rarely read historical fiction, I enjoyed this interesting mix of fiction and fantasy. The story was entertaining and makes me want to learn more about the causes of the Irish-English conflict. The narrator did an admirable job with the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

I really enjoyed this audiobook. The mix of contemporary Ireland with Fae lore was interesting and intriguing. The characters' devotion to each other and their cause had me rooting for them to succeed. This story describes a period in history I did not know much about. The Irish weren't even allowed to use their given names, and had to use English versions! I was impressed by the very strong female characters, especially Ailis. Be warned, though, although there are Faeries in this story, it is NOT a fairy tale. This is definitely a PG-13 listen due to some violence and angst.

The narration was excellent, with different voices for the different characters. The very genuine accents really brought the story and the characters to life for me. I got a lot more pleasure and entertainment out of listening to the audiobook and Lee Brophy's delivery than I ever would have gotten from reading the book myself!

I will definitely listen to this one again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great listen!

Intriguing story with a great narrator. I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing lore and interesting characters!

*I received a copy from the author for review. This in no way affects my review*

I found out about this magical story from Facebook when the author was searching for reviewers. Being new to this author, and having never heard of this book, I was intrigued and gladly agreed. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it far surpassed anything I could have imagined from the blurb. While it sounds interesting, it's the writing style and characters the I love. The characters are not only Irish but are written in such a way that they come to life, and I'm so glad I got the chance to listen to this on audio. What a magical experience! I loved how they were portrayed, and their deep sense of traditional values, friends, family, and what it means to be Irish.

The Far, or faery folk, were a treat all to themselves! Not the fairies we think of from Disney, but the darker, more traditional version. Full of tricks and deceptions, yet willing to help for the right price. I loved the fantasy side of this story, but more so because D.L. Gardner wrote both a wonderful historical fiction and a magical tale, which combined seamlessly into this treasure! Not only did Alias and Paddy seem real, but I could also easily imagine faery folk as real as any human! The descriptions are rich and detailed, making it easy to play out like a movie as I listened. This is one you definitely don't want to miss!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!!!!

I listened to this story with my 14 year old and we both really enjoyed it! Great story and the narration was really well done!

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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Very enjoyable<br />

i would recommend this book to all my friends ..its a must read an extreamly entertaining!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Where history and Fae meet

I enjoyed reading Thread of a Spider by D.L. Gardner, but I wondered how to pronounce the Irish names like Ailis, Eistir, Pàdraig, Fianna and Fin Haden Rath. I was delighted to learn that an Audible version was available, and that the narrator, Lee Brophy, is Irish. The author gave me a copy of the audiobook, and this is my honest review.

Thread of a Spider is very good and extremely well written. It is both a thrilling historical fiction about teen siblings caught up in the Irish Rebellion, and a fantasy story about a boy who is spirited away by the fae and his sister's efforts to bring him back. These two subplots are expertly woven together, and both are brought to a satisfying conclusion by the end of the novel. At many points during the story I was impressed with details that made the story seem so real, and how well the dialog was written.

Although the book is a joy to read, the Audible version is even better. Lee Brophy does an excellent job reading the story, and changing his voice as different characters talk. The lilting Irish accent is a joy to listen to, and adds realism to the conversations between the characters. The pace of the reading varied with the tension of the scene, adding drama to an already exciting story. I highly recommend listening to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

Wow, I just went to Ireland. The sights, the sounds, the smells were all around me and I felt like I could actually reach out and touch the things described in each scene. DL Gardner's writing is so vivid you are there with the characters, running, hiding, fighting and weeping. Thread of a Spider is such an amazing story, I had book depression when it ended. I wanted to go back to Ireland and spend more time with these wonderful characters and roam in this amazing country.

The main characters in the story are Paddy and his older sister Ailis. It is 1921 and the Upton Rail Station ambush had just taken place in County Cork. The IRA had attacked a passenger train carrying British soldiers. In retaliation, the British burned homes and beat or killed anyone they suspected of being involved with the rebellion. The story begins at this point in history. DL Gardner weaves the actual history of the time period with the folklore of the Irish. I really loved this idea as the reader is introduced to both real history as well as Irish myths. I liked very much how the real world stood in stark contrast to the beautiful world of the Fae, it really added to the imagery. I also felt anyone who has lived through war or desperate times ‘would’ wish that mythical worlds, creatures or magic were actually real and might provide some escape from their plight.

The story is appropriate for 13+, but adult readers please note this is not a childish portrayal. It is based on real history with its violence and horrors as viewed through the eyes of young adults. We study a lot of history in our family and I wish this book had been available when my kids were younger, though they will still love it now. Thread of a Spider is a part of history that kids today should learn. The characters are very normal teens living during a terrible time. They are brave, loyal and very likable characters that you root for all the way through the story. Their care and concern for each other is the light that keeps them fighting against the darkness brought by the Black and Tans and the dreaded Auxiliary soldiers.

Some favourite passages:
‘A soft evening to you.’
'I'm a coward, but I swear I'll get over it!'
‘He was so calm, a sharp contrast to the quivering of her heart.’
'Iridescent colours danced in the sunlight teasing the eye with shades of blue, purple and green.’
'I hear mournful hearts.'
'Humans puzzle us and often irritate us.'
'None of us has much defense, but we fight anyway.'

Stand-out moment: When Ailis takes the Webley and does what she has to do. Amazing scene with no fluff or needless conversation. Unfair that she is in this position, but there is no option.

Narration: Lee Brophy did an amazing job narrating. His beautiful Irish accent was perfect for the story, and combined with DL Gardner’s writing it really was a brilliant match. Lee did a great job of giving voice to each of the characters and expressing their emotions. I will be looking for more stories narrated by Lee.

Full disclosure: I listened to the story twice it was so good!

For those who like to know... there was no profanity or sex. There was violence, but not gore.

I received Thread of a Spider Free in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What's in a hero's name...

Be wary of giving yourself a hero's name... what's legend and myth to you, may be actual history to those of another race, and they just may come a callin' on their hero!
  The threads of this story weave together as history and legend come into play in this historic-fantasy. It takes place in 1921,  as the Irish rebels fight against the Black and Tans for their independence... A brother and sister join the fight after their house burns... 
  This story covers actual history that I know little to nothing about ( except for maybe a folk song or two ), and I just loved it... the author did an exceptional job getting me into the moment... and the narrator, Lee Brophy, swept me away... There's a fun additional touch to the tale... The Fae are Real! Between that and the narrator's accent, it made this story a must-listen!   Get this book, and like I was, be swept away!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Adventure of Bravery

It brought back fond memories of Catholic grade school where many of my teachers were Irish nuns, and still had a beautiful Gaelic accent when they spoke. Even when they told me I was "playing the fool" , or "I'll give Ye a hot bun with a curl in it"!
The structure of the story was well laid out with an excellent ending and still possible to do a sequel.
I would recommend this story for ages 8 to 100! It was a good clean adventure
that is relatable

I listened to this audiobook at my own desire to hear a good story, and have left this opinion at my own free will.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful