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Publisher's Summary

France 1789: a time of terror; a charismatic boy, Yann, who must find out who he is; the daring rescue of Sido, an aristocrat's daughter: these are the elements in this tremendous adventure by a consummate storyteller, a marvellous tale of the first days of the French Revolution.
©2007 Sally Gardner (P)2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 'Nathan
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 09-01-14

Good overall, but not engrossing

I listened to this coming and going from work, but unlike most audiobooks it took me almost four months.

So here's the thing about this book - I did enjoy it. I did. But the pacing didn't particularly lend itself to pulling me forward through the narrative. I would listen to it for a half hour or so, and then decide to listen to some music or a different book for a while. It's not that I didn't want to know what happened, it's that I felt no urgency about it.

Obviously, the audio performance by Tom Hiddleston was lovely - with one very grating exception. The voice he chose to perform the dwarf with was so scratchy and annoying that a lot of dialog with that character would often be the impetus to swap out for music for a while.

The story itself, which involves gypsy magic, revolutionary France, murder, secrets, betrayal, the theatre, and the plight of a young man and woman who might be fated for each other was well woven. I liked the setting, and it was obvious that Gardner did an excellent job with her research.

All in all, I'm glad I read the Red Necklace. I liked where the tale ended enough that I'm not sure I need to keep going with the series, however. I might physically read the second book, rather than listening, however.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 11-11-13

Absolutely superb!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes I will and I have

Who was your favorite character and why?

ooo thats hard I fell in love with so many of the characters good and bad.

Which scene was your favorite?

That's a hard question. I cant really pick one as there where so many that were so moving and others that were genius and funny. The ones that moved me the most was Topolain's last stand, the bravery gave me shivers. Another one was Sido's scene when she pulled her self together and walked with her head high to face her judgement.

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

Yes definitely. It took me 2 days to listen to it. I listened to it everywhere, even in the shower and fell asleep to it at night. I will most defiantly listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

The performance was superb! I connected with all of the characters could not have imagined that it was read by only one person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Unlike any other audiobook I've listened to

I bought this book as an escape from my business and personal development books, and because Tom Hiddleston narrated it. I didn't know much about it, and had no expectations. What I got was a story filled with magic and mystery, and was pleasantly surprised when I realised Tom was playing all the characters as if he were in the theatre. The way he can manipulate his voice is impressive. This book kept my attention and I was entertained from start to finish. A fantastic plot, and a brilliant performance from Tom. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this book is adapted to the big screen now. Thank you Sally for your imagination, and to Tom for your devotion to bringing the audiobook to life.

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

Amazing

It was truly enjoyable, I became addicted to lessoning to it. I think for a first audio book, I picked the right one.

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

Good book for younger audience

Overall, the book would be a great read for a younger audience or an audience who knows little about the French Revolution. As someone who has done their homework on the subject I did find several inaccuracies but that wasn't enough to ruin it for me because the devil was only in the details.
Unfortunately, there are way too many British common phrases and expressions used by the characters which periodically pulls me out of the French setting. I know that some would argue that it is the dramatization which may do that but I am not bothered by Tom Hiddleston's impressive array of accents. I am used to watching many shows set in France played by British actors with British accents and take no issue with them. The dramatization was wonderful and engaging, albeit the voice of the dwarf does sound like Dobby the House Elf from the "Harry Potter" movies.

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

Fantastic story!

The story is wonderful, and read with amazing character voices by Tom Hiddleston. Looking forward to reading more of Sally's books, and hearing more of Tom's narrations.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nevina
  • CT, United States
  • 09-11-08

Brilliant!

I never listen to abridgements on principal. When I listened to this I didn't realise it was abridged. It was only when I noticed "The Red Necklace" listed as a new addition and for 2 credits that I realised what I had done. I may have to revise by "rule" regarding abridgements. This is an astounding, historical fiction novel written primarily for the Young adult market. Don't let that put you off. You will love this tale of adventure , suspense, magic and friendship. I bought it because my son (9) is interested in the time period and there is a dearth of material on this subject for children. Because of the subject matter I previewed it and decided very quickly that it was a little mature for a 9 year old boy, but much to my son's annoyance I did not stop listening. This is one of the best audio download decisions I have made. I have not heard the narrator of the full unabridged 2 CREDIT version, so I can't compare but Tom Hiddleston does a brilliant job with this book. I just cant imagine anyone performing this story better than he did. I am going to listen to it again very soon. I very rarely do that. Definitely credit worthy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicola
  • 08-23-12

Step into history...

This is wonderful!! I'll be honest I bought this purely based upon the fact that the audio version is read by the delectable Tom Hiddleston and boy does he make it entertaining! His wonderful and varied accents breathe such life into the characters.
The story itself is beautifully written, not knowing a great deal about the French revolution myself, Sally Gardner lets you almost taste history with her wonderful descriptions and colourful cast of characters.
I have such fondness for Yann and Sido and their respective path in and out of each other’s lives. Tetu is the kind of guardian you could almost wish for and both the marquis and dastardly Kalliovski are interesting and scary in different ways.
Perfection!!!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hannah
  • 06-29-12

Truly seductive narrator

I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and kept me in suspense but the credit is largly down to Mr Hidleston's voice. I was hooked from the moment he read the title and like the reviewer before said it is a shame there is not more on her read by him.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kerie
  • 09-20-10

Luscious narration ...

Tom Hiddleston has the most wonderful voice for audio (and the talent / looks for so many other things) - I long to hear he's recorded more than just this rather good tale of the Revolution. Much, much appreciated ..!!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • jessica harby
  • 08-28-18

Narration

This is not a good book. But if you, too, are ovulating and would like to hear Tom Hiddleston talk nonsense for hours, then welcome to your destiny.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona
  • 04-23-13

Surprisingly Gripping

I have to confess that I bought this solely for the pleasure of Tom Hiddleston's dulcet tones alleviating the tedium of this years lambing.

It took me a few attempts to get into and the magic is a little far fetched but I found myself hooked and wanting to know what happens in Book 2.

In the hands of a less able narrator however, it would probably not have been so enjoyable. Mr H gets full marks.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Batwench
  • 04-08-13

Enjoyable

I will admit that the reason I bought this book was to have Tom Hiddleston whispering in my ear. However, saying that I have listend to this version of the book twice as I actually got really into the characters and the story. There are times when you can tell this this is an abridged version as the story seems to 'jump' and the flow is lost. Characters are well thought out and from what I know about this location and period in history the author has done some good research to place the characters and story in the correct context. I have added the unabridged version of this book and book 2 to my wish list so I can find out what happens next, even if the velvet tones of Mr Hiddleston are not caressing my ears.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elle
  • 02-09-18

Tom Hiddleston: an exceptional voice actor

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story itself is very enjoyable, and the narrator enhances it tenfold.. Too many times I've started an audiobook and ended up abandoning it because the narrator couldn't carry the story, preferring instead to read it myself - not here. Tom does an incredible job of making each character sound distinct and unique by employing different accents, vocal pitches, varying speeds of speech etc. and generally exercising his full array of talents to bring the story alive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Beccy
  • 08-16-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

I found the names hard to keep up with at first (I don't speak French) but once I got into it found it enjoyable and moving

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-18

Tom Huddleston is brilliant in everyway!!!!!!

The sound of Tom Huddleston 's voice is so dreamy, that you are transported to the actual places and meeting the characters in the book!!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rozeena Janjua
  • 07-03-18

Outstanding

I absolutely loved it. Tom's characterisation is brilliant. He brings each and every character to life. Beautiful to listen to!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Skye
  • 05-18-15

Pure listening pleasure

While I will admit that I bought this title purely because it was read by Tom Hiddleston and had no expectation as to the content, I found this book thoroughly enjoyable. The story is well written and the characters well developed. Hiddleston's reading was nothing short of superb, the way he slipped from narrator to character, giving each character a different voice and, in some cases accent, brought the book to life. I highly recommend this title.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dannielle
  • 10-13-16

Beautiful story, Beautiful performance

This brilliant story is definitely a highlight of my audible library and I have no doubt that I will listen to it time again!

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
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-18

Perfect!

Tom Hiddleston is amazing at creating unique voices for each character. I wish he did more audio books.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-18

first audible book

i was totally captivated and at the same time haunted by the story thanks to the amazing narrative. the different accents were creepy and painted images of characters that wouldn't have been the same if it's read them on the page.
enjoyed the experience and would read on if there is a sequel to this story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily Parker
  • 03-02-16

Fantastic

Beautifully written and incredibly well read. Hiddleston brings a unique voice to every character and pulls you into the narrative.