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This is quite different from what I usually listen to, but I'm very glad I made the break. It's 1348 and the black death is sweeping England. Nine unlikely travel companions are thrown together and unite in their quest to outrun the pestillence by heading North.
The characters are nicely drawn and we get to know them through the stories they tell while sitting around the campfire trying to keep warm. The author evokes the mid 14th century well and the book seems to be well-researched (although I'm not an expert on medieval England, so it could all be rubbish!!). There is a bit of mystery thrown in, but although there are murders involved, it's not a traditional murder mystery. The end of the story is not as strong as it might have been, and clues to one of the twists in the tale are given early in the book. There is a final twist, which some might find cliched, but I enjoyed. Finally, what made this a 5-star for me was David Thorpe's narration - the story on its own would have been a four. The voice characterisation is great and consistent throughout - he really helps to bring the characters and the stories to life. Highly recommended!
111 of 112 people found this review helpful
This is an excellent read. Very different, well written and a good mix of characters. Set in the middle ages at the beginning of the plague, each character slowly unfolds their own story, an intersting mix of myth, legend and reality, covering some big topics like incest, homosexulaity, murder, religious bigotry and racism - lots of deaths and an intersting twist at the end. Well worth the read and one of the best books I've read in the last 12 months.
61 of 63 people found this review helpful
This author is brilliant and has storytelling skills far beyond most. There are tales within tales in this book and characters you are not likely to forget soon. The one armed story teller is one, but there are more. This like all really good novels is a journey, ie; The Wizard of Oz. But this journey is through a plague ridden England in the 1300's. And no, it isn't a story about the plague. That would be everybody dies, horribly. The end. This is so much better. I listened to every word and couldn't get enough. I can only compare this book to Pillars of the earth by Ken Follett. This is a very high comparison as that is the best book I have ever downloaded and is of the same period as this. This book confirms my low opinion of the church though and I am sure not all feel the same. Some would be religious no matter how many they burned alive. I am ever amazed at that but that is not what the story is about. It is just part of what these travelers faced. One strange thing though is there are two copies of this on Audible. One is one hour less and costs two credits but can be bought for 34 bucks. The other is one hour longer with a different narrator for one credit or about 48 bucks. Both narrators sound good, so make your choice on how you are paying. The narrator on the one credit version is excellent though and would be hard to beat. Either way it is money well spent. Bravo
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
The time period (1348), the group of characters, and the situations they encountered as they journeyed through plague-ridden England were quite interesting and I enjoyed these aspects of the story. The narrator was excellent. However, it turns out that after many hours of listening, the end, which I expect was meant to be mysterious and thought-provoking, was simply unexceptional, leaving many questions unanswered, and providing minimal resolution - quite disappointing. Ultimately, the entire story was a long journey that lead nowhere.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful