The Dark Thorn

  • by Shawn Speakman
  • Narrated by Nick Podehl
  • 17 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Beneath the streets of Seattle, a long-forgotten war is about to be renewed...Richard McAllister, a spiritually destitute homeless man and Knight of the Yn Saith, protects one of seven portals linking his world to that of Annwn, where the fey Tuatha de Dannan of antiquity have been relegated by a long-running religious war. Unknown to Richard though, powerful forces are aligning against him and all he stands to keep safe.
In the wilds of a discarded world, Philip Plantagenet, son of Henry II, moves to claim a birthright nine centuries in the making, one that drives him to eliminate the Tuatha de Dannan - at any cost to both worlds. In the halls of Vatican City, Cardinal Vicar Cormac Pell O'Connor schemes to control the Heliwr - the Unfettered Knight - one who possesses the great power known as the Dark Thorn.
The three men are on a collision course with history - and their futures. For in the wilds of Annwn, death comes as easily as magic. Haunted by a past he can't forget and a knightly responsibility he can't shun, Richard is drawn into levels of machinations - and two worlds - far darker than any he has prepared for.

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What the Critics Say

The Dark Thorn is one exciting book. From start to finish, there are strong characters, dangers lurking around every corner and cliffhangers that will leave you breathless. A fine tale by a talented writer.” (Terry Brooks)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Really great!

I so enjoyed the short story by Mr. Speakman in the Unfettered anthology that I decided to listen to this novel too. I was not disappointed.

Any fan of the Merlin television series should love this book, though this story is set in modern day.

The reader portrays each character well and helps you see that movie in your head (always a goal of mine).

Richard McCallister protects the secret Seattle portal between our world and Annwn--the world to which all of the fey creatures (fairies, leprechauns, centaurs, and the like) had long ago been transported to protect them from extinction. The Knights protecting the portals use magical items but so do the forces of evil on both sides of the portal. Without giving anything away, some of those magical items are ones that you are probably familiar with. 'Nuf said.

The book is full of action and adventure as a small group tries to reunite the fey creatures to battle the forces of evil. Any war in Annwn threatens both worlds. In the meantime, the forces of evil are also after Richard and another character he is trying to protect. Can evil turn these two or bend them and/or their weapons to their nefarious purposes?

Which creatures are on which side (if either)? Can war be averted and, if not, can good triumph? Which men of our world are simply trying to protect the portals and which really have their own agenda? Can the two worlds be saved?

A minor disappointment for me that these knights are supposed to be Knights of the Word here on our side as defined by a certain church (i.e. the Word of God). But when people try to defend their actions in the name of the Word, no one actually uses any of the actual Word to refute them. That would have been fun!

That's a small objection though and it did not prevent me from giving this book 5 stars. I couldn't stop listening and that's one sign of a great book. I look forward to the next one!
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- GLENNO

Don't let The fact Podehl read it influence you!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The main character was nothing short of God Awful!


Would you ever listen to anything by Shawn Speakman again?

Never ever ever ever


Which scene was your favorite?

None. Couldn't make it through it.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance. The author made all of the characters so distasteful they ruined a pretty fair storyline.


Any additional comments?

Hard to slog through this - I bought it because I love these types of stories and I love Nick Podehl as a reader... but this abomination of a main character... ugh... was there ever a more disrespectful, unpleasant, and utterly unlikable character ever created?

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- Lisa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-14-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios