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Publisher's Summary

This is the classic story of the young Theseus - Prince of Troizen, King of Eleusis and Athens, slayer of the Minotaur. Mary Renault's powerful novel captures the modern imagination by weaving myth, legend, history, and fiction into the story of a young hero's search for his destiny, or moira. With divine guidance, Theseus faces countless challenges in his quest for his moira. From Theseus's early life as a prince, to his leadership of a captive team of bulldancers in Crete, not to mention his thrilling encounters with Poseidon, The King Must Die captures the full force of adventure, battle, and an epic quest.
©1958 by Mary Renault, Renewed in 1986 (P)1987 by Dove Books on Tape

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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    12
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    10
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    15
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    5
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    15

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
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    6
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Sad treatment for a classic of historical fiction

The full version of The King Must Die by Mary Renault is a glowing, convincingly detailed retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Unfortunately, this painfully truncated abbreviation sacrifices not only most of the details and all of the grandeur, but even the narrative logic of the original. The very talented reader tries to help the listener make sense of the muddled remains, but has been left too little to work with.

51 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

very disappointing

What disappointed you about The King Must Die?

First why adbridge it , Mary Renault is a wonderful intellegent writer and it is great story.

What didn’t you like about Michael York’s performance?

He has a great speaking voice , but what a waste . I couldn't finish it . I felt like I was being droned and lectured at :(

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The King Must Die?

Cut none of it !!!

Any additional comments?

I would love to have her books available , part of the problem with her books is they are not for the lazy reader , she uses language and words you rarely hear these days . Alot of the pronunciation is difficult as few of us know Greek . I had been hoping for a lazy way to enjoy her books and didn't get it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 10-26-11

WARNING! The abridgment ruins everything!

I loved this book on paper, but could not even listen to it after getting halfway through the prequel, The Bull From The Sea. All of the nuance, the personalities and the motivations of the brilliantly drawn characters has been deleted. If only someone would record an unabridged edition!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Poor Mary Renault

What disappointed you about The King Must Die?

The abridgement

What could Mary Renault have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

She did it. The books are wonderful. The abridgement is an abasement.

Any additional comments?

This

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • thomas
  • MORRISVILLE, PA, United States
  • 01-30-13

This is not abridged. It's decapitated!

Would you try another book from Mary Renault and/or Michael York?

Only if it's not abridged beyond all recognition. York does a splendid job.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mary Renault again?

See above

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The King Must Die?

I'd just read the whole book. It's meant to be long, evocative and involved.

Any additional comments?

Make it foolproof that purchasers know that they are buying an abridged work.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ravin
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado United States
  • 02-05-13

This is ABRIDGED

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It's an interesting listen, but due to the way it's abridged you come away asking "is that it'?

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The One thing that drove me nuts was how the narrator jumped from place to place with out any transfer.

Was The King Must Die worth the listening time?

If you can find an unabridged copy It's worth the time, but this one I'd say read the book instead.

Any additional comments?

I'd love to listen to the whole story, the wording was great the story was sound but the chop job they did on this ruined it for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Michael York! record unabridged!

Where does The King Must Die rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is too good to abridge

Who was your favorite character and why?

Theseus. Boy grows to manhood; true to Renault's superb portrait of this critical period in Greek history

Which character – as performed by Michael York – was your favorite?

Michael York renders each of the voices so that all the characters come alive, and the descriptive passages are as spell-binding as the dialogue

If you could rename The King Must Die, what would you call it?

The title is central; a king must be willing to be sacrificed for his people; a princess to sacrifice to save the children

Any additional comments?

PLEASE GET MICHAEL YORK TO NARRATE AN UNABRIDGED COPY OF THIS BOOK AND ITS COMPANION, THE BULL FROM THE SEA. I USED TO TEACH THIS AS PART OF THE CURRICULUM FOR THE NINTH GRADE, AND NONE OF THEM WERE EVER BORED.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • HL
  • CA
  • 05-16-14

Story is abridged = gutted

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I got this book since I heard good things about Mary Renault's writing, and I like books based on myths. Listening to audio books saves my eyes fatigue. I knew that this book was strongly abridged, so I wasn't surprised that the story felt gutted, so to speak, nothing but the outline of the plot. I still enjoyed the great prose and descriptions, but unless they create an unabridged version, I will still have to read the book at some point to get the full story. This is why I gave the story three stars- as a warning for people that the story is drastically shortened.

Which character – as performed by Michael York – was your favorite?

I really liked York's performance as a whole, and it's unfortunate they couldn't just have him narrate the entire book. Renault's books are popular- surely there's an audience for a full version! I for one would love that.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Depends on the movie!

Any additional comments?

They should create full, unabridged versions of Renault's and Mary Stewart's Merlin books. These abridged versions are unsatisfying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A work to be read by Mary Renault

Where does The King Must Die rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is among the top audio-books that I have had the privilege of listening to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I was in awe of the entire book. Therefore, each character was enjoyable to me.

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

Michael York's voice tone made me enjoy listening to the story.

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

YES! Pardon me for shouting. Mary Renault keeps me interested in her style of writing,

Any additional comments?

I wish I could find other authors with her style.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Doubly classic...

Would you listen to The King Must Die again? Why?

for the sheer pleasure of the English language.

Any additional comments?

A classic and timeless story delivered by a classic and timeless voice.