Arriving in the royal city of Cynegil just after the good king's death, Liam and his traveling troupe face arrest for entertaining during a time of mourning. The new king, Riordan, offers them a choice: play for the court as he demands or be punished for the crime. With little recourse, they acquiesce. While the troupe entertains within the hall, Liam witnesses the dissension between the king and his twin brother, Shamus. When Shamus enlists Liam to record the kingdom's history from his own viewpoint, the king becomes suspicious. And when Liam becomes involved with Molly, the mysterious redheaded washerwoman, and Tristan, the royal soldier with a deadly secret and a skill for causing unfortunate accidents, his life becomes even more complicated. As the kingdom staggers beneath drought, famine, and conflict, Liam and Shamus must flee Cynegil with prices on their heads. Will they survive their journey or will they become just another ballad to be sung?
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A Well Wrought Tapestry
A gorgeously rendered tale of blackmail, intrigue, divided loyalties, gut instinct and hard-earned love. No shallow, swoony period piece this: Minstrel is a finely crafted story with complex, sympathetic characters who are as endearing as they are beautifully flawed. Their moral dilemmas, prejudices, shortcomings, inherent talents, and temperaments knit the plot into a solid, character-driven story that fascinates and entertains. The narration is also extraordinarily well done - I am a sucker for audiobooks where the narrator does all the voices, believably and clearly, with distinct tones for each; and this one most certainly delivers. All in all a well told tale. Would heartily recommend.
I adore the main character, Liam. Just simply adore him.
- Angela Goff
A Ballad Well Worth Hearing
Yes. The story is engaging, and the performance is top notch.
The characters. Ames does a wonderful job of creating complex and sympathetic people.
The narration is solid and the character work is excellent.
I laughed quite a bit. I will also admit to getting a bit misty at a couple of points.
This is a delightful novel, well written and performed. I fully recommend letting yourself get lost in Tir Athair for twelve hours or so.