The Orc King : Forgotten Realms - Transitions

  • by R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by Mark Bramhall
  • Series: Forgotten Realms - Transitions
  • 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Drizzt is back, and facing a world changed forever! An uneasy peace between the dwarves of Mithral Hall and the orcs of the newly established Kingdom of Many-Arrows can't last long. The orc tribes united under Obould begin to fight each other, and Bruenor is determined to finish the war that nearly killed him and almost destroyed everything he's worked to build.
But it will take more than swords and axes to bring a lasting peace to the Spine of the World. Powerful individuals on both sides may have to change the way they see each other. They may have to start to talk. And it won't be easy.
This book wasn't just the next installment in the long-running saga of the famous dark elf, but the beginning of a bold new trilogy that will help change the face of the Forgotten Realms world forever.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Narration

Didn't recognise some of the characters due to changed pronunciation. Very distracting. Spoilt the book.
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- BB

Alright

Don’t have much to say about the story; like other entries in the Drizzt series it’s nothing that will blow you away, but is a solid enjoyable outing nonetheless. It is (or at least this version) however hampered by the narrator.

Bramhall isn’t a bad narrator as such, but various points detract from his performance:
1) the change from Victor Bevine who has narrated up to this point is an abrupt one and is distracting, most notably because they don’t use the same voices for the characters (which in fairness isn’t much of a surprise as it’d require a very skilled voice artist to replicate the voices of another). Now everyone is entitled to their own take on the characters, but the effect is like if in say season 4 of a tv series every single character was recast, which would break emersion; and as it looks like Bevine is back for the next arc in the series, to extend the analogy it’d be as if all the original cast was brought back in season 5.
2) early on Bramhall sounds a bit bored, or as if he’s phoning it in. As things go on he gets a bit more lively and into the role, so hopefully this problem won’t be present in the next book in this trilogy.
3) he over enunciates some words. Regular words in the English language he’s okay with, but various names and the like he puts a lot more stress on than needed; the best analogy I can think of is like in a dub of an anime where the voice artists speak normally when speaking English, but put on a strong Japanese accent for the odd word of Japanese (such as names) that’s still present which sounds abrupt and forced.
4) inconsistent pronunciation. This is partly a mix of 1 and 3 as some words he pronounces differently from Bevine. Again, this isn’t an issue with regular English words but with fictional names/words (eg Menzoberranzan). A handful he’s even inconsistent with himself (eg ‘Wulfgar’ is pronounced as ‘Wolf-gar’ half the time and as ‘Woof-gar’ the other half).
5) some times when he uses the letter ‘s’ it sounds as if he’s spitting all over the script. I’m unsure if he has a slight lisp or if it’s an issue with the recording equipment, but either way it can be distracting some times.

Overall he’s not a bad narrator, but all these issues together snowball to detract from the performance. If this was the only Drizzt book I’d listened to/planned on listening to I’d probably have rated the performance higher and if he was narrating a stand alone book or a different series from the beginning they wouldn’t stop me from listening.



Overall I’d rate this audiobook a 3-3.5 out of 5 and I’d probably bump it to a 3.5-4 if it were to be re-recorded with Bevine for sake of consistency.
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- Owen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-09-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio