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After years of waiting, the book finally came available as an Audiobook. Since I already have the book on Kindle (and as a hard copy), Audible.com let me buy the audiobook for just $4.59, a bargain I was delighted to snatch. A steal!
After being terribly disappointed in the recording of Kevin Hearne's Hunted (disappointed enough to ask for my money back), I was delighted this book was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. Maybe better. Narrated by Claire Christie and Jeremy Arthur, I was (again) surprised at how much more I get from an audiobook than from print. I think it's because I read very fast. When I listen, the pace is that of human speech, perhaps slightly slower than normal conversation. I absorb more of the story listening than reading.
The dual narration works well. Aiden and Lara having their own voices and perspectives is appropriate. Usually I don't like multiple narrators, but I like them in this book.
Song of the Beast is Carol Berg's is a standalone book. I wish it were a series. I have it on good authority that another story (short story -- not an entire book) will be coming out based in the same world, though not featuring the same characters. I would prefer a book or two, but I will happily settle for whatever I can get.
If Carol Berg writes it, I will read it. I think she's brilliant and not nearly as appreciated as she deserves.
I came to love her dragons. There is a faint whiff of Pern to these dragons, except no dragonrider of Pern would so mistreat a dragon. I'm a sucker for dragons. Any dragon. And these are fabulous dragons.
I found the story's characters well-drawn and three-dimensional. Many relationships are between different species because, unlike her other books, not all characters are human. The relationships are logical extensions of the cultures from which they come. The slightly abrasive relationships between differing humanoids is fundamental.
The main character -- Aidan McAllister has been imprisoned and tortured. His beautiful voice has been silenced, his hands brutally destroyed. His music, which offered solace and hope to war-torn Elyria, is gone. The god in whom he never lost faith and nurtured him and his music since he was a child seems to have abandoned him.
Yet no one has yet told him what his crime was. He has no idea what earned him such punishment. He has emerged from prison a broken man, battered beyond endurance, wanting nothing more than peace and safety ... and the end of pain. Having lost himself, he must find his way back to himself, remember who he was because that's the key to what happened to him, what is happening to the world and the dragons. There is, of course, a beautiful woman.
Through it all, Aiden remains a gentle soul in a cruel world, a man to whom violence is abhorrent no matter what was done to him. He's neither vengeful nor mean. Music is his magic.
I wish there were a sequel to this book. I wanted to know what happened next, how this society evolves. The book left me with lots of questions. It isn't a cliff hanger -- not exactly -- but it didn't seem quite finished to me. There's plenty of room for more stories as this world realigns and reconstructs itself in the wake of a new understanding of dragons.
I liked the book so much I was sorry it ended. I never want any of Carol Berg's books to end.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Finally a fantastic Dragon with fantastic Narrators for Adults It's been months since I've been able to find one and I always listen to a couple books a month. It's about the slavery of dragons and their last hope of freedom. I wasn't sure about buying this book, because the Publisher's Summary was so short it doesn't really give enough of an idea of what the book is really about. However, I finally bought the book, because Brandon Sanderson says that Carol Berg was one of the writers that influenced his writing, and I'm trying to read the books that influenced him until his next Stormlight is available. The narration was fantastic too and I think the narration was spot on in this complicated audiobook that has several internal dialogues going on St once at times. I wish there were more books to follow. I'll definately liston to this book again and I'm going to purchase more of Carol Berg's books. I highly recommend this book for any fan of Fantasy.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This could have been a great experience if this book had been read solely by Jeremy Arthur. Unfortunately half of it was read by Claire Christie, who ruined her portion of this wonderful book, with stumbling, stuttering dialogue and long pauses. Having read the printed book years ago, I knew that I liked the story, and when I began to listen to the Audio version, I was well pleased, as Jeremy Arthur reads the first portion, which is Aidan McAllister's part of the tale. Then we came to Laura's portion of the story, and it all fell apart, as the reading was taken over by Claire Christie. I would definitely listen to other books read by Jeremy Arthur, but just as definitely I will avoid anything done by Claire Christie.