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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!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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.