Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $26.60

Buy for $26.60

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Everyone knows the story-how Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, how Camelot came to be, and about the power struggles that ultimately destroyed Arthur's dreams. But what of the time before Arthur and the forces that created him?

How did the legend really come to pass?

Before the time of Arthur and his Camelot, Britain was a dark and deadly place, savaged by warring factions of Picts, Celts, and invading Saxons. The Roman citizens who had lived there for generations were suddenly faced with a deadly choice: Should they leave and take up residence in a corrupt Roman world that was utterly foreign, or should they stay and face the madness that would ensue when Britain's last bastion of safety for the civilized, the Roman legions, left?

For two Romans, Publius Varrus and his friend Caius Britannicus, there can be only one answer. They will stay, to preserve what is best of Roman life, and will create a new culture out of the wreckage. In doing so, they will unknowingly plant the seeds of legend-for these two men are Arthur's great-grandfathers, and their actions will shape a nation . . . and forge a sword known as Excalibur.

©1996 Jack Whyte (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Skystone

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    385
  • 4 Stars
    159
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    32
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    331
  • 4 Stars
    149
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    30
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    350
  • 4 Stars
    128
  • 3 Stars
    60
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    27

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Narrator ruined this book!

What did you like best about The Skystone? What did you like least?

I could only complete half of the book. While I liked the story, I could not listen to this narrator any further.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I liked the historical aspect as I have not seen anyone write about this time period of British history before.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I have listened to many, many books since I joined Audible and I knew I would run across a book that I wanted to like, but whose narration would prevent it. This is that book. The narrator's timing is choppy at best, just plain off at worst. He seems to be trying so hard to enunciate each word that, to me, it sounds as if an elementary school child is giving a speech. I tried to continue, hoping that perhaps I could get used to the rhythm and cadence but I just could not. If I want to continue this series I'll have to read it. I can not listen to this narrator any further.

Was The Skystone worth the listening time?

No

Any additional comments?

No

15 people found this helpful

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

Fascinating new series

I am no expert on Arthurian history. I did see "Sword in the Stone" when I was a kid, sang songs from "Camelot", saw that movie, and have watched a lot of documentaries on the History Channel (some of them questionable). Just so you know...

There is a lot to like about this book. The author has created some interesting characters, and it will be interesting to see how they fare. The pacing is good, and the story is not so complex you can't figure out who's who and what's what. The narrator does an excellent job.

It has violent stretches, some much too graphic, but you don't feel like you need to wash the blood off you after hearing them. The sex scenes would get a movie version a definite "R" rating. This is a dilemma I find myself in more and more as the years pass. The price of admission for interesting or challenging fiction is enduring more graphic sex and violence than my tolerance. (I’ve been married for 36 years and we raised three boys, so it isn’t like I’m a prude or a bachelor still living with my parents.)

If you have a passing interest in the King Arthur legend, or if you’re interested in a story that takes place in Britain during the last days of the Roman Empire, or you want to try a story that’s just different, this book will satisfy.

28 people found this helpful

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

painfully boring performance

I read this book straight out of high school. loved it so much i hunted for, found, and devoured the rest of the series. as a much older adult it's difficult to find time to sit and read so i opted for audio. i wish i hadn't done that. this reader has no emotion, no love for this story. not even an attempt. he might as well be reading the news. no matter how exciting the content, i find it difficult to concentrate because of his painfully boring performance.
if i could go back in time I would slap myself silly for wasting a credit on this disaster.
It's absolutely depressing that I begged the author for years to release an audio format... this is what i have waited almost twenty years for?
it would have been a better choice for Jack to read it himself.

i dont know if I will bother purchasing the rest of the books since it appears the reader is the same.
so sad.

2 people found this helpful

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

The Narration is terrible!

I gave up after 6 hours. Enough was enough, I could not focus on the story due to the narrator, he sounds more like a news anchor.

5 people found this helpful

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

Great for adolescent guys and history buffs

Would you try another book from Jack Whyte and/or Kevin Pariseau?

Great interweave of history and myth.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jack Whyte? Why or why not?

Yes. To see if the series grows as the story here did.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin Pariseau’s performances?

Not sure sounded like an ad man delivery.

Any additional comments?

Way too much gratuitous sex and poor female character development relegates this very good work to high school boys. But for this kind of old adolescent, a fun listen.

5 people found this helpful

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

The Dragon Story

I remember when this series first came out. I briefly read a bit and put it down. I then told my father of the series. Knowing he grew up during the time of the great depression. Loving the stories of King Arthur and Prince Vallant and the infamous stories the Templars. He soon snubbed all of Jack Whyte's books in pure delight. I am now going back to the books after my father's death and enjoying the first story with immense gratitude. I can only tell you, it will be hard to not to stop wanting more. Enjoy

1 person found this helpful

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

Not another Arthur Story

What did you love best about The Skystone?

I didn't want to hear just another Arthur story. This is a Roman to Britain transitional story. I very much enjoyed the flow of the story. I enjoyed the historical detail. When places and buildings are described I recognized them from accounts of archeological diggings.

What did you like best about this story?

The flow and it's ties to historical accounts and legends.

Have you listened to any of Kevin Pariseau’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I love Kevin's performance. All of his performances are his best!

5 people found this helpful

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

HIS FACE WAS LIKE THUNDER

I like Historical Fiction and I hate History texts. This book can not decide what it wants to be. It has some interesting characters and some interesting stories, but it is mostly lectures. It is long detailed descriptions of Roman Warfare. What they wore, full descriptions of most of the weapons they used and how they used them. A lot on tactics, etc. There are lectures on Smithing. There is even lectures on slavery. These lectures often add little to the story. It is a real shame, because when Jack is not lecturing, his well developed characters are doing interesting things. I did not sign up for a Great Courses on Roman Warfare, so six hours in, I called it quits.

14 people found this helpful

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

The Detail Makes It Real

I quickly got into the story and found myself sitting in my car or driving around the block one more time to hear what happened next. It was like reading a book you couldn't put down. The detail in the first person narration painted a graphic detailed story that I found fascinating from the first chapter

4 people found this helpful

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

Great historic novel - little to do with Arthur

This book is billed as a prequel to the legends of King Arthur, and there are references at the end of the book that refer to parts of the legend of the Lady of the Lake and the sword in the stone, but this is an extremely minor aspect of the story. It is more the story of the Roman Legion in Britain and how the collapse of the Golden Age of Rome affected the rest of the Empire. The author and narrator do a great job of creating believable people with complex lives and relationships in their own times - no fairy tale view of the past.

4 people found this helpful