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Have you listened to any of Sally Hanan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This narrator is great and perfect for this story. It creates a haunting, surreal effect that's needed in this particular one.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I love Merrie's books. This one didn't disappoint.
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
We start with the banishing of the faery from Ireland by the Milesian. Then see through Eire's eyes and mind that the fair folk are dividing, and she's losing standing with her people. But, Eire will find another life years from now.
Sally has a slight accent that fits the tone and place of the story. It's not strong, but slight so to feel the story setting. The nice thing here is there are lyrics of songs for Eire to sing, and Sally does sing them. It's lovely to hear. I'm starting to think my iPod is acting up, but it sounds okay for other stories. At times it sounded as Sally was in a bucket and not near the microphone. Then the next chapter it's back to normal. There were a few small moments of mouth noise, closing or opening lips. There are moments that Sally sounded a different feel to her words than what felt to flow with words afterward or in the moment I would have thought would have fit. But these last two items were limited in listening. The lilt she uses to tell the story feels true to the characters and a lovely addition to the story.
This is a tale of the battle the faery folk have to fight, how it started. Not only do they have an enemy that comes to take their beloved land, but as they travel to exile their people start to divide between the queen who's lost her husband in battle and the man who's stepped up to control the army.
People, immortal and mortal, are not perfect but in terrible times what one experiences steers them to what they will do. Their actions then starts to drive who they are. We start to see this with the faery folk.
Eire is the Queen of Faery in Ireland, and who the story is focused on. When the faery are exiled and the betrayal of one of her own, it brings her to another life she'll live. Yet Eire still has some strong allies and carries a love for her people as she's on the run for her life and her twin boys.
I very much enjoyed the Celtic and faery feel to the story along with events that take place. It feels as the old stories were used to create this story and the world we find them in.
This is a short story but each chapter moves forward for Eire and tells how she comes to where she is in the end. And how she finds love. This story is not a light read. It's deeper with Eire's story and the events that come to pass. Each event important to move the story quickly along. There is also a dark blood magic that is present in the story as well.
The story does bring us to Christmas time, making it a very nice creation for a Christmas story. There's a blend of Christmas brought to an Irish Faery.
What made the experience of listening to Fairytale Christmas the most enjoyable?
the narration was top notch!
I love anything Sidhe. I fell in love with the Fae folk as a little girl- listening to my Grandfather tell me stories from Ireland and I have devoured all the old tales. I love reading about them, and even have written about them extensively myself.
Would you recommend Fairytale Christmas to your friends? Why or why not?
No. my friends don't like prophecy in their novels either.
What does Sally Hanan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
I got chills when the first few lines of this story drifted into my ear.
Sally’s voice is perfect for this narration; soulful and with the tinge of mourning in tone, as the main character relates her sadness, she carried me into this ancient land with a smooth and strong hand. I love hearing Gaelic in the correct enunciation and the novel had a strong voice that Sally pulled right off the page.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Definitely would recommend this to anyone who likes stories about Sidhe; especially ones that are well researched and show it. You can tell Merrie has dug into not just her myths and legends, but the lifestyle and way of people in the bronze age.
Any additional comments?
I will admit, I think this is a great example of an audio book pulling something off that I wouldn’t have immersed into on a page; the scenes flowed very naturally when spoken.
I was really melting into the beautiful and haunting story when I did have a bit of a pull-back with words I’m not too keen on ‘ancient prophecy’ and ‘chosen one’-- these are giant red flags. Early in a novel they make me jump ship, and I am afraid they did this time too. But if they are not red-flags for you, read/listen on!