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Publisher's Summary

For a handful of gold, Madame de Morville will read your future in a glass of swirling water. You'll believe her, because you know she's more than 150 years old and a witch, and she has all of Paris in the palm of her hand. But Madame de Morville hides more behind her black robes than you know. Her real age, the mother and uncle who left her for dead, the inner workings of the most secret society of Parisian witches: None of these truths would help her outwit the rich who so desperately want the promise of the future. After all, it's her own future she must control, no matter how much it is painted with uncertainty and clouded by vengeance.

"Take a full cup of wit, two teaspoons of brimstone, and a dash of poison, and you have Judith Merkle Riley's mordant, compelling tale of an ambitious young woman who disguises herself as an ancient prophetess in order to gain entry into the dangerous, scheming glamour of the Sun King's court. Based on scandalous true events, The Oracle Glass brims with our human foibles, passions, and eccentricities; it's a classic of the genre and unlike any historical novel you have ever read." (C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici)

©2012 Judith Merkle Riley (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Absorbing and arresting." ( The New York Times)
"Fascinating and factual." ( Los Angeles Times)
"Chilly, witty, and completely engrossing ... great, good fun." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about The Oracle Glass

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    19
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

disappointing narration

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who likes a monotone reader.

What didn’t you like about Linda Bruno’s performance?

Linda reads way too fast and without much emotion. The book takes place in 17th century France but it sounds like she's reading the evening news off a teleprompter.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, this is one of my favorite books. At first I couldn't understand why there were so many low ratings but now I know its the narration or lack of it. Is sad to hear a great book read by someone who could careless about what they are reading and can't wait to be done.

11 people found this helpful

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

Horrible narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narrator

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Again, the narrator

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Linda Bruno?

Katherine Kellgren

Any additional comments?

I suffered through 15 chapters hoping it would somehow get better- but, alas, I couldn't stand the mispronunciations, the lack of change in voice between characters, etc. this story seemed like it could have been a good story, but, until they do it with a better performer, I'll never know. Don't waste your credit on this one!

10 people found this helpful

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

Horrible narration

Would you try another book from Judith Merkle Riley and/or Linda Bruno?

I would NEVER try another book from Linda

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I couldn't get to the ending because the narration was horrible. This is the first time I've had to stop listening to a book mid-way through.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

YES

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Confusion. When more than 2 characters start talking, the story gets confusing, no pauses and no fluctuation of the voice. Very dry.

4 people found this helpful

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

bad narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

the book may be a good read.....but. the narrator has struggled to read the words, they seem stuck or perhaps to much for her to pronounce and read smoothly.

How could the performance have been better?

a different narrator

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I didn't finish listening..I may read it at some point

4 people found this helpful

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

The story is fun

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I wouldn't change the book...it is what it is..........but the narration is annoying. I won;t order another narrative book is Linda Bruno is the narrator. Where do you get some of these readers.....from some second rate acting school?

Would you listen to another book narrated by Linda Bruno?

NO!!!!

Did The Oracle Glass inspire you to do anything?

To read more historical information about the time period

Any additional comments?

The book was entertaining, but it was hard to keep up with all of the characters.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific book flawed by imperfect reading

I have read this book several times, but hearing it read in this version was an annoying experience. The reader not only can’t pronounce French words, but has trouble with English. For the first half of the book, she pronounces “hearth” to rhyme with “birth”, then suddenly she stared pronouncing it right. But several other words were consistently pronounced wrong, like “impudent” with the emphasis on the second syllable. A couple of times, words were just garbled. What a shame for a well-written and extremely entertaining book. Judith Merkle Riley is a wonder of a writer of historical fiction, taking us places we could hardly have imagined, but through her words can be there with all the sights, sounds and feelings experienced by her characters.

1 person found this helpful

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

Poor Reading of a great book

I'm a big fan of J. M. Riley, and this is my favorite of her books. I got this so that I could read while sewing/crafting, and so that I could hear the French bits as they are supposed to be pronounced, not as I think they're said. I was sadly disappointed.

I listen to audiobooks all the time, and know that the right narrator can make a book thoroughly enjoyable, and I've listened to hundreds of books. I'm a teacher, and value good oral reading. This book is not.

Why? At first, it was the somewhat flat reading. There was very little emphasis on the sentences, and no differentiation between characters' dialogue, rendering it difficult to determine just who was speaking. The pace of the reading is pretty much the same throughout, with little pausing for emphasis or emotions. And, worst of all, she mispronounced many ordinary English words/terms, which was not only annoying, but distracting. I gave up on the reading yesterday and finished reading with my copy of the book.

The worst thing about the mispronunciation is that is was frequent enough to make me question the pronunciation of French names and terms, which was one of the reasons I wanted to listen to it!

I thoroughly recommend you read the book, but discourage you from listening to this performance. It was very poorly done.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

HORRIBLE NARRATOR

I've returned a few books on Audible before, but I never was bothered enough to leave a review. That is until Linda Bruno butchered my favorite book of all time. If you're looking into this book, save your credit and get something else. But please!! Still read this book- the story is engaging, has in depth characters that you grow to love and is just really and truly one of the greatest books I've ever read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

gotta read or gotta listen....you won't regret it

the undercurrent of bemused sarcasm in the readers voice brings the characters to life through the lenses of a very observant young woman.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Some interesting bits, but way too long.

The reader spoke clearly, but sounded the same when reading all the different characters.

I don't know much about France during this time period, but the details sounded authentic. There were interesting things in the story, but the story itself was lacking.