The Endless Knot (Song of Albion #3) (Audio)

c65bed0b1c8c6d2a0155f281ee11d90bThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Endless Knot

Series: Song of Albion

Author: Stephen Lawhead

Narrator: Robert Whitfield

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Minutes: 740

Format: Audio Book edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Lhew Silverhand reigns in Albion. But his and Cynan’s wives are abducted and against the wishes of his Bard, Lhew and Crew head to the cursed land to mount a rescue.

Lots of bad things happen in the Cursed Land and eventually Lhew comes face to face with Simon, who surprise, surprise, didn’t die. Instead, Simon is now looting the Other World and sending it all back to our world, which puts both worlds at risk of dissolution.

Simon kills Lhew, takes the Stones of Albion for himself and then the stones kill all the badguys and remake the Cursed Land back into what it was supposed to be.

Lewis wakes up in our world and with the help of Susanna, begins to record his memories.

 

My Thoughts:

I remembered the beginning of this book and the end, but absolutely NOTHING in the middle. So the whole journey/adventure in the Cursed Land was akin to reading a whole new story.

The narrator was different from the previous 2 books and I didn’t particularly care for his pronunciation of certain words. Biggest one was the henchmen Palladyr. In the previous book, and in my head, it was pronounced “Palla Deer”. This new narrator pronounced it “Pa Ladder”.  A change of emphasis on syllables, but it is still annoying.

Listening to this, Lewis comes across as a whiny, selfish man. I really want to read the books again to see if that comes through in the writing or if it just the take I get from the audio because I don’t remember him being that way at all when I read this 16 years ago.

Overall, I liked the story but I did not like the narrator having his way with the words I was listening to.  I am going to try another trilogy of audio books because I really like filling in that 20min gap to and from work, but if the next audio experiment falls flat, I’m just going to give up on the format.

The Silver Hand (Song of Albion #2) (Audio)

2ac499243d5b7a7f7c0b429af6e3c32cThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Silver Hand

Series: Song of Albion

Author/Narrator: Stephen Lawhead, Stuart Langton

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Minutes: 760

Format: Audible audio edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Lewis, now known as Lhew, has been proclaimed King by Tegid. However, poisoned by Simon, Meldrawn kills all the bards of Prydain, blinds Tegid and cuts off Lhew’s hand, thus making it impossible for him to be king.

Lhew and Tegid make their way to Caladon where they find a small hidden valley to rest and recover. Meanwhile, Meldrawn begins to conquer all of Prydain, using bribes, fear and intimidation. Lhew begins to create a safe haven and refugees from all over come to be safe from the predations of Meldrawn.

Eventually, Meldrawn and his host, led by Simon, find Lhew. A battle ensues and while things go bad for Lhew, roles are reversed in the end and Meldrawn dies, Lhew is magically given a silver hand and Simon is sent back to our world, supposedly with a mortal wound.

 

My Thoughts:

I had forgotten that the whole book happens before the Silver Hand actually occurs. Also, the point of view is from Tegid instead of Lewis this time around. Considering that he is blind, but magically given inner sight, it all works out. There were times however,  where the inner sight, leaving or coming, felt like the contrivance it was.

I like this story. I like this book. But this whole audio thing is just killing it for me. I’m currently listening to book 3 but after that, I think I’ll stick to books that I don’t really care about and are filler. The odd thing is, I grew up with my mother reading to me before I could. I loved it. It was a huge part of me learning to love books and the written word. But now, I don’t know. Maybe it is because when I read, I want to be in total control and a narrator takes a big part of that away?

With that being said, I’m definitely not giving up on audio books. If I can listen to an extra book a month to and from work, that is 12 extra books a year. Considering that my average rating is 3.1, and half my reads are filler anyway, using filler books for audio doesn’t seem like a waste. It is an efficient way to utilize 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon. And right now at my stage in life, consuming books like pixie dust is my goal.

The Paradise War (Song of Albion #1)

afd1451a9808161194404eaab164749eThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Paradise War

Series: Song of Albion

Author/Narrator: Stephen Lawhead, Stuart Langston

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Minutes: 795

Format: Audible audio edition

 

Synopsis:

Lewis and Simon, 2 graduate students at Oxford, stumble upon a portal to another world. Simon goes through and Lewis stays behind. Upon investigation, Lewis finds out that the veil between the worlds is thinning and that passage between and our presence over there, could irreparably damage both worlds.

So Lewis crosses over to rescue Simon and to save both worlds.

Only to discover that the other world is everything our world is but bigger, brighter, better. Lewis is seduced into staying and becomes a warrior. Upon his finishing Warrior School, bad things begin to happen and it appears that it is up to him to set things right.

But how does one fight against the lord of the underworld, his undead and demonic forces while your allies are filled with jealously, greed and self?

And when betrayal of the ultimate kind happens, Lewis realizes that he and Simon MUST go back to their own world.

 

My Thoughts:

Read and bought these as they came out in the 90’s. Re-read them in 2000 and then they’ve sat on my shelf, looking awesome. I thought about using these in my Project Re-read, but I have been wanting to explore the “Audio” side of books and figured that this trilogy would be a good experiment for that.

I enjoyed this just as much as I did almost 25 years ago. The story, the action, the magic were all still there. I listened to this on my drive to and from work and there were several times where, once I got home, that I just left my bluetooth connected and kept it playing from my phone until I forced myself to stop. If I had been reading this, I suspect it would have been demolished in a day or 3 at most.  I did notice how whiny Lewis was and that he was pretty much a wish-fulfillment of Lawhead’s.

As for Audio. I found that it took very little to distract me while listening and that I would then miss some of the book. I tried to go into a grocery store on my way home once and I ended up just stopping the book because I couldn’t pay attention.  It also took me quite a while to get used to the narrator. I didn’t really like him but by the end I had gotten to the point where he didn’t bother me. I think he does the next 2 books as well, so it is just as well that I’m resigned to him.