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Story was great but the narrator was awful. If I hadn't returned the previous 3 books due to a bad narrator, I would have returned it also. I think Victor Bevine has spoilt me.
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I had gotten tired of listening to the endless legend of Drizzt books and so wanted a change of pace. The Parched Sea is certainly that! At first I was really sceptical that the setting and characters wouldn't come together, but I'm really glad that i stuck with it. Both the story and characters are fun and interesting. The setting feels real and well thought out and the theme of the story runs true from start to finish. The weak link in the audiobook would be the narration of Marty Moran, Which isn't at all bad, several of his pronunciations I found to be a bit odd, but forgivable. He's not much of an actor, but the narration is well paced and clear. If you like this Arab/ 1001 nights style setting you might also want to check out the Al Qadim setting novels. I have no idea if they are available on audio book or not.
I purchased the audio book to listen to at work and being a Dungeons & Dragons player and DM I wanted to fall into the realms, to listen and learn, of the Harper organisation and the nation of Calishman. Which is did to a point. The book was written in 1991 under TSR publications, a fantasy novel shouldn't age. The story is average, and there are the protagonists vs the enemies wishing to bring destruction of dominion over powerful, wise but disorganised tribes of the Anauroch desert. There is love, loss and small skirmishes to large battles. There is of course more to this story also, mainly the use of magic, but only just about.
This is the first novel in the Harpers Series, so for one it is a good book to read, but there is not a great amount of depth to the Harper involved. That being said, there are seventeen books in total for the series, including Ed Greenwood, so this could be a huge answer to my problem.
If I would have picked my narrator for the novel, The Parched Sea, about the deserts of Faerun, with tribes, and cut throats. I would have picked someone different. Unfortunately the narrator, you can listen to the sample to get an idea, good in his own right does not suit the themes of the story and this does at points of climatic situations, descriptions and voices get irritating having to hear a young American narrator, instead of the aged middle eastern woman we really wish to be listening to telling us the story.
In short, the book reminds me a lot of Wilbur Smiths 'Warlock' novel. Although a fantasy, TSR twist.