The kids on the good side are united in one thing: regarding Senrid as a villain. So what do you do when you're fifteen, supposedly king of one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world, but all you have on your side are wit, will, and maybe a few skills? And what if the people you like best are your enemies, and your relatives want to see you dead?
This is actually three novelettes and a novella, forming an arc with Senrid at the center, first written when Sherwood Smith was exactly Senrid's age, fifteen.
Prolific writer Sherwood Smith is back; this time, she brings with her swashbucklers, villains, magic, and a teenaged king. This king and his sister must fight their power-hungry uncle to regain control of the realm. Though the plot feels disjointed at times, James Patrick Cronin performs this coming-of-age story terrifically. Listening to his powerful alto is easy as pie. His steady voice engages with the young king's serious tone. His pace is patient, and no word feels lost in the mix. Meanwhile, Cronin endows each character with a unique voice. With his help, YA fantasy fans will watch Senrid's extraordinary world come to life.
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A fascinating character study
I haven't read the print version, but the audio of Senrid is enjoyable. There are a few places where the narrator stutters or mispronounces words, but overall, he is expressive and fun.
For fans of Crown Duel and A Stranger to Command, Senrid is a fascinating character study that explains many of the mysteries and backstories of Sherwood Smith's excellent fantasy world. As some reviewers have said, the book does seem incoherent, so it's important tto remember that it is actually 4 novellas – not one novel. The final novel is the best: here is where Senrid comes into his own and we gain real insight into his thinking.
Cronin creates distinct and expressive voices for each character. I'm especially amazed at his portrayal of aged women in the story, and I love the voices he does for Senrid and CJ.
Every time I read a Sherwood Smith book, I want to go back and reread all the others I've read before. Her world is intricate and her characters are deeply human. Each book reveals new layers of meaning and offers riddles for the reader to figure out.