Narrator: Chris MacDonnell
Published by Spoken Realms on 25 April 2018
Length: 20 hours 5 minutes
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Source: Narrator, Submitted
E.R. Edison’s The Worm Ouroboros inspired the epic-fantasy writers that followed him. This production is of the first edition (1922).
The Lords of Demonland are celebrating Lord Juss's birthday when an envoy arrives from Witchland. He brings demands from King Gorice XI of Witchland that the Lords of Demonland "kiss his toe, and acknowledge him to be their King and they, his ill-conditioned, disobedient children". The Lords of Demonland reject this utterly and, to settle the matter, they challenge King Gorice to a wrestling match against their champion, Lord Goldry Bluszco.
But the situation is worsened by the result of that match and ultimately, war is declared. A war that includes dark magic, sorcery, quests, mystical lands, and heroic high-adventure. Ursula K. Le Guin called it "An eccentric masterpiece", C. S. Lewis said it represented "A new climate of the imagination", Orville Prescott said it was "A literary event of the first order."
Critics compared Tolkien’s writing to it when he first published The Lord of the Rings and he freely acknowledged its influence. Eddison writes his narrative in a lyrical, medieval style and in the tradition of Norse mythology, Arthurian myths, and Greek tragedy. In his short dedication he says, "It is neither allegory nor fable but a story to be read for its own sake", however, the theme of repetition (the cyclical nature of life, history, and war), is undeniable. The "worm (serpent or dragon) Ouroboros" is, after all, “The serpent which eats its own tail”.
Public Domain (P)2018 Chris MacDonnell
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
Witchland and Demonland shared a common peace for many years until Witchland arrives and begins making unpopular and humiliating demands. Peace becomes nothing more than a memory and war ensues. Juss and Spitfire send their brother Goldry to defeat the witch king, King Gorice, and exact revenge. Goldry’s success is short lived as he must be rescued. There are manipulations and using magic and deception, the quest to overcome the evil doers of Witchland begins.
This is not a book one can listen to in one setting for several reasons – first, it is an epic length audiobook; second, it is spoken in archaic English; and third, there are several things at the beginning that are distracting – I had to listen to the first couple of chapters two times just to be able to follow the plot. This is not necessarily bad, I found I had to do this with many medieval based stories. The language is difficult to understand at times but once the listener gets into the flow of things, it becomes easier. It is well worth the listen.
Chris MacDonnell, the narrator, did a magnificent job! His voice flowed without error. His voice was very relaxing but engaging as well. His reading was smooth and seemed almost effortless. An amazing feat given the use of the ancient style of language. MacDonnell saved the book for me – his voice kept me interested.
If you are a fan of JR Tolkien – Lord of the Rings series, this book is perfect for you. There are light moments as well as dark ones, but the style follows Tolkien.
Although I enjoy medieval style writing – Shakespeare, Tolkien, Chaucer, etc. this one was difficult for me because it is not something I am used to hearing. The distracting bit – the man in the beginning who then just fades away … that bothered me throughout most of the book. I don’t like loose ends, and this was a major one for me.
There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.
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