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The Heir and the Spare  By  cover art

The Heir and the Spare

By: Kate Stradling
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
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Publisher's Summary

An evil princess, a ruthless persecutor, a wretched match.

Tormented at home and bullied during her studies abroad, second-born Iona of Wessett hides in the quiet corners of her father's castle. Her art and music provide refuge, but her cruel sister Lisenn ever lurks like a monster stalking its prey.

Such has been her life for 20 years.

However, a promise of reprieve and retribution arrives when the neighboring kingdom of Capria proposes an alliance between their new crown prince and Wessett's heir to the throne. The treaty will rid Iona of the toxic Lisenn, and the potential groom is none other than her erstwhile bully, Jaoven of Deraval. The marriage could not be more poetic: Each deserves the misery the other might inflict.

Except that Jaoven, humbled by the war that elevated his rank, appears to have reformed, and the fate of both kingdoms now hinges on the disastrous union he's about to make.

Contains mature themes.

©2021 Kate Stradling (P)2021 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about The Heir and the Spare

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  • Overall
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A Masterful Story

The most important part of an audiobook review is that of the narrator--so I'll address that first. I thought it was very well read. While she doesn't have a wide vocal range, there was never any doubt about who was talking. Her delivery is sometimes a little breathy, but our main character still sounds like a young adult, so it worked for me. I honestly enjoyed the reading.

The story itself is a brutal romance. Iona's backstory is horror filled as she has had to contend with a psychopath or two in her family for her whole life. We have palace intrigue, good guys and bad guys, and the future of two kingdoms on the line. When I read the book, I read it in two days. When I listened to it, I did it in one day. Listening to it, I was once again on the edge of my seat, even knowing how it would end.

The relationship has a solid HEA. The kingdoms have a relatively firm HFN.

2 people found this helpful

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Freaky heir keeps this tale suspenseful

Kate Straddling has done it again in creating a captivating page turner of a story. I'd already bought this as a Kindle book and read it, but happened to find it had been turned into an audio as well, so grabbed it to hear "again". The tale is still very good, but I found the narrator's reading cadence became irritating after awhile, and her pronunciation of a number of simple words was just odd. That won't keep me from listening to it again, but my enjoyment will definitely be lessened.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic read!

It took me a minute to get used to the narrator, but the story is fantastic and I really appreciated the protagonist as a character—strong despite so much abuse. Plus, it’s clean! Well worth a listen!

1 person found this helpful

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I love the book cannot stand the narrator.

I love this authors books but this narrator does this book a disservice. The Legendary Inge was a much better narration. Compared this narration falls flat and definitely not as interesting. I would highly recommend reading the novel instead.

1 person found this helpful

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Very well done intrigue filled story

As with her other books, K. Stradling has written an excellent story with engaging characters and interesting plot.

I wasn't fond of the narrator, but she wasn't the worst I've heard. She just didn't use good inflection in the sentences. It was more like she was just reading through the book as though she wasn't sure what it was that she was reading. But, again, she wasn't terrible, just, off-putting.

Kate has so many books that I would love to listen to. I've read them all, and they are all so good. I just hope she finds a more emotive narrator, like she did for 'The Legendary Inge'.

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Whhaaatttt!!!!!

Whhaaatttt!!!!!, I didn’t see that coming!This is a good book. While, you take that ride into suspense fulness . You find that there are ups, downs, twists, turns. And, that slap over the mouth. Again, I didn’t see that coming. So of course I am rereading (listening to) it again.
Yes, get the book!!! I just wish the ending was a little different.
(You know, the Epilogue)
I wanted to hear a little more about the people, the wedding, and there LOVE!

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Liked it and recommend it

Great Story and characters! And clean from swear words and sex! Yippee!! I just didn’t really like the “sing-song” voice of the narrator. Really—not at all. She was amazing with all the different voices of the people!! But the narration of the story drove me nuts. I’m sure she is a lovely person. And I can’t believe she talks like that in real life. I hope future books in this series (because there has to be!) finds a different narrator.

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Cool idea, follow-through didn't hit

This book had a good start and was entertaining for about the first half. The evil sister angle was compelling in particular. Interesting characters and back-story construction.

The second half, though, felt rushed and underdeveloped. The romance needed a little more time to be fleshed out, in particular, but there were also several potential dramatic moments that were all set up to happen, but never took place. It felt like there were some missed opportunities. Also, the ending itself felt played out too fast with too much off camera. This book had enough setup to be a trilogy, and maybe then the end wouldn't have felt so rushed.

This narrator isn't my favorite, whenever she reads stuff, just because her particular cadence bothers me, but the recording was completely professional and her reading was solid.

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Fantastic narration, great story!

Fantastic pairing of two wonderful storytellers. Great writing and excellent narration. This is an epic tale, dark at times, it gripped me from the start. Lots of twists and turns. Loved the characters. They were really well written. The narrator voiced them brilliantly. Loved it.