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