Category Archives: Audiobooks

Lucia by Steven A. McKay – Audiobook Review!

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Lucia by Steven A. McKay on available on Audible!

Here’s the blurb

At eight years old, Lucia is torn from the life she knew. Her village burned to the ground and parents murdered by Romans, she is kidnapped, sold and shipped abroad to the Villa Tempestatis in Britannia to serve the young Roman army officer Castus.

Faced with a bleak future of decades of servitude to her master, as well as sadistic brutality at the hands of his slave and manageress, Paltucca, she finds herself fixated by one thought alone. Fuelled by hatred and a belief that the gods saved her for a reason, she vows to never taste freedom until she gets her revenge.

As she and her fellow slaves are exploited mercilessly by the master and his ‘noble’ friends – and brutally punished for even the smallest misdemeanours – Lucia’s longing for vengeance only grows stronger. Despite warnings from her loyal friend, Sennianus, that her hatred won’t bring her happiness, she continues to plot the downfall of Castus and Paltucca.

When Paltucca performs an unforgivable act, cruelly destroying a chance of happiness for Lucia, the manageress seals her own fate and unwittingly becomes her own undoing. But what will become of Castus? Risen within the ranks and trusted by the master, Lucia must decide whether or not to exploit her power and risk everything to fulfil her lifelong desire.

Genre – Historical Fiction.

Review

Lucia is a slaves tale told from the very beginning when she is brutally taken from her family and those she loved left for dead.

Quickly Lucia learns her new place in life but struggles with the horrible Paltucca.. an evil manageress who never seems to be happy with the work no matter the standard.

Her master Castus is an enigma or sorts at first.. as a Roman officer he’s not always at home but when he is the wine and food flows.. some of his guests are less than delightful and their urges quite abhorrent. Castus shows himself to be a good master at times ensuring the youngest slaves aren’t unduly harmed but as time goes on he himself changes…his own deprived tastes come to the fore and Lucia feels the brunt of his affections for a time.

While Lucia learns to deal with her masters demands she proves to be a good slave.. she’s part of a family. Of course she hates those who oppress her and she swears one day to get vengeance on all those who have wronged her.

As time goes on some important events happen to Lucia and her fellow slaves..the most important is her saving the estate from thieves. It’s a catalyst which sees Lucia’s fortunes change.

To say Lucia is a tough read is an understatement… don’t get me wrong.. this tale is gripping and it’s tough to put down.. what I mean is it’s harrowing… real heart wrenching.. to see someone downtrodden..treated like they don’t matter.. it’s hard to imagine a time when slaves were common place. The hardships these people suffer arent easy to forget.

Along the way we see friendships forged..and tested. Sennianus wants nothing more than to live an easy life with Lucia but she’s broken…Senni stands by her but struggles at times to accept the situation.

Regalis is the biggest character for me and plays a pivotal part.. he’s a slave but also has the job of delivering punishments on behalf of Paltucca…the thing is everyone likes the man.. he’s as honest as they come and is just doing as commanded by his master.. there’s no malice in his actions.

Sosthenes, while not very well liked he knows his place. There’s a moment your feelings for him change as you see the man in a different light.

Dentatus, a horrible creature of a man who will do anything if it sees him in the good books of the manageress.

The point I hope I’ve made clear is that this story is not just of Lucia.. yes the main focus is on her life but there’s so much more going on.. each member of the cast play their part and stay with you… they each have their own motivations and you can’t help but feel for them all. Some find it easier to adapt to their new lives than others but under everything they are humans..and their lives are worth more..

Lucia is an Audible book only and the narrator Imogen Church did superbly at making me commit to Lucia with everything I had. I like audio but can get distracted easily..Imogen Church commands your attention.. her tone perfect for each character.. emphasis just when you’d expect.

A compelling 5* story from McKay, an author who continues to amaze me with his writing.

To find out more head to Audible or Goodreads!

The Serpent Sword by Matthew Harffy, Narrated by Barnaby Edwards – Audiobook Review

Now I’m sure you heard of of Matthew Harffy before and If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a massive fan of his work.

As luck would have it Matthew has kindly offered me the chance to listen and review a copy of the 1st book in The Bernicia Chronicles series, The Serpent Word.

I reviewed the physical book back in August 2015! Has it really been that long??? This series has come a long way since then and truth be told the Audiobook adds nicely to the collection.

I don’t want to cover old ground so if you didn’t see my original review click here to open a new window – The Serpent Sword.

Here’s the blurb about the story –

633AD. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, powerful, action-packed historical thriller about vengeance and coming of age. The Bernicia Chronicles are perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.

Beobrand is compelled by his brother’s almost-certain murder to embark on a quest for revenge in the war-ravaged kingdoms of Northumbria. The land is rife with danger, as warlords vie for supremacy and dominion. In the battles for control of the region, new oaths are made and broken, and loyalties are tested to the limits. With no patronage and no experience, Beobrand must form his own allegiances and learn to fight with sword and shield.

Relentless in pursuit of his enemies, he faces challenges which transform him from a boy to a man who stands strong in the clamour and gore of the shieldwall. As he closes in on his kin’s slayer and the bodies pile up, can Beobrand mete out the vengeance he craves without sacrificing his honour…or even his soul?

So focusing on the Audiobook itself, what did it offer me over the written text? Well that’s easy, Barnaby Edwards the narrator.. Wow!

Now I’ve listened to a few Audiobooks so far and some things that can really bug me as a listener are the pace and also the oomph in which the tale is told. What do I mean by oomph? Well passion and emphasis..When I hear the narrator speak I want feel the emotion. This Barnaby Edwards got spot on for me. His tone of voice suited the tale and he just gave it that extra something to make the audio tale interesting. If a listener doesn’t like the narrator you’re screwed but Barnaby didn’t put a foot wrong for me.

Going back to the tone of Barnaby’s voice, well as I’ve said it suited the tale. He has what I can only describe as a grittiness to his voice and that was most enjoyable when changing from one character to another as he managed to make it feel like you were listening to different people.

Overall The Serpent Sword is one of my favourite books and the audio version does it justice.

The hard thing for Audiobooks is that I feel they need to work harder to keep the listener happy. With a written book the reader can read at their own pace and set the tone of voices and such in their own mind.. with audio you are relying heavily on the narrator.

So to summarise, this is one hell of a bloody and gritty tale perfectly narrated. The pace was spot on at just over 12 hours to finish the book and I bloody well enjoyed listening to it.

My only advice is don’t listen to it while your partner is asleep, when the action starts and you get excited they don’t seem to enjoy being woke up because you’re bouncing around the bed pretending you have your own sword.

If you want to know more about the book click the links below

Audible

Amazon 

My thanks go to the author for giving me the chance to listen to the book 🙂