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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1018 and the war with England is finally over, but the unified kingdom ruled by Cnut of Denmark is far from peaceful. Halfdan has lost everything to the war but his sense of humor. Once a proud nobleman, now he wanders the country aimlessly powered only by his considerable charm and some petty theft. When he finds an unlikely ally in Winston, a bookish former monk, the two set out together for Oxford, the seat of the new king. The pair's arrival in court coincides with news of a murder, and Cnut has an idea only a king could get away with: Why not enlist Halfdan and Winston - the Danish womanizer and the upright Saxon intellectual - to defuse a politically explosive situation? They're given just two days to solve the murder and they set off to uncover the truth, on the order of the king and with the reluctant assistance of the agitated townspeople.
©2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.; 2013 Martin Jensen
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Thomas More on 01-05-14

Interesting mystery and promising new series

I bought this story on the cheap as a whispersync set, hoping for something good, and I was not disappointed. This is the first book in a series from Danish author Martin Jensen, his first translated into English. It promises to be an excellent mystery series with great, enjoyable characters. The story takes place during 11th Century England in which the country has not enjoyed much recent stability in leadership. The new king Cnut, a Dane, is trying to unify the various sects of the English population in order to provide a lasting peace across the land. Unfortunately, during a large gathering of his most important Saxon and Danish subjects, a murder takes place that implicates him, as well as threatens to bring complications to his plans for his country. Our two protagonists, Winston (a smart, sensible illustrator of books) and Halfdan (a sly, womanizing opportunist) are placed on the case by the king, and our mystery story takes off from there. There is a fun Sherlock/Watson rapport between the two very different personalities of Winston and Halfdan, and the reader is quickly drawn into the story, with a good appreciation for the historical setting. Not knowing much about this time period in England, I found this aspect fascinating. The narrator Napoleon Ryan has one of those mellifluous English voices that you could listen to all day. His pacing was a bit pokey for my taste, but an adjustment to 1.25 speed helped to alleviate that problem. All in all, it was an excellent listen, and I look forward to the release of the second title in this series in spring of 2014!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Debbie on 04-29-15

Early English Espionage

Interesting and delightful listen! Early kings and kingdoms, jealousy and double crosses . . . and an ex-monk turned private investigator . . . the narration is first rate . . . and the twists and turns keep you on the trail trying to figure out whodunit.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Christine on 12-30-14

Interesting era

I gave this book 3 stars, which is what I give most books that are interesting without being particularly compelling. The whole idea of the Saxon / Dane clashes during the reign of King Cnut is worth a read. The only problem with this audio is the very slow delivery by the narrator, particularly when voicing Winston. I tried speeding it up, but found I couldn't keep track of the plot at a faster speed. None-the-less, I will probably give book 2 a go.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 05-02-15

Don't buy! Truelly dreadful!

What disappointed you about The King's Hounds?

There is nothing to recommend this audio book. From the instance the narrator starts his horrible drawl you know you've made a mistake. Was it just the awful narrator spoiling an otherwise good book? No, the story line is weak and flawed, the characters are poorly developed and quite frankly repulsive in parts, the pace of the book and narration, tortuously slow. All-in-all this book was a tremendous disappointment. With the wealth of fine historical mysteries and dramas out there ...give this one a very wide berth!

What will your next listen be?

SGMcLean or Hilary Mantel or CJ Sansom or Rory Clements

What didn’t you like about Napoleon Ryan’s performance?

He had a ridiculousy forced accent which rapidly became extremely annoying and his character interpretation was often inappropriate and sleezy, doing nothing to enhance the story-line.

What character would you cut from The King's Hounds?

None of these characters gained my interest.

Any additional comments?

Gave up several times, listening to other books hoping that when I returned I would see the whole book through. I failed. A book I definitely regretted purchasing.

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