A.D. 1432 - The blood lines of six great houses come together in the greatest knight of them all. Prepare yourself for the beast.
He bears the name of de Russe, but the bloodlines of six great houses converge in the greatest knight England has yet seen. As the grandfather of Gaston de Russe, the dark one, Sir Bastien de Russe beholds a great and terrible legacy - one that makes him both the target and the leader, the hunter and the hunted. His story is the most powerful of all. Greatness and darkness abide in the man known as the beast.
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I Will Listen To This One Again and Again!!
It's definitely in my top five! Top two, if I had to base it on how much effort the narrator put into the story.
I would compare 'Beast' to 'Guardian of Darkness.' Both were written by Kathryn Le Veque and both narrated by Brad Wills. The two stories are vastly different, but there are moments of great tragedy and poignancy in both.
Everything! Come on, it's Brad Wills!!! The best of The Best!! Seriously, this book is by far his best effort! His range of emotion in 'Beast' was much wider. He read the voice of the 9-year-old king very well. As always, I was struck by how he can switch voices in a conversation and the pacing never lags. Imagine trying to read the male lead, the female lead and a child all in the same conversation without losing a beat!
There were quite a few moments in this book that I thought were particularly moving. One moment was when Joan of Arc addressed the French people gathered at her execution. Another moment was when Bastian's wife screamed at him that she would hate him all the rest of her days.
The part that really got me, though, was the entire portion following Sir Braxton's death. Grief-stricken at the news his father had died when their home had been invaded, Bastian raced home to ensure the welfare of his wife. When he burst into his father's chamber and saw him, and then got the reaction of his grieving and angry wife, he was just broken. When he continued, in tears, pleading with his wife to open the door and listen to him, he reached the end of his rope. By the time I listened through to the end of that scene, I felt gutted!!
I will definitely listen to this audio again and again. Get it - you won't be disappointed!
Make it a movie!