©2003 Mercedes Lackey; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Really enjoyed listening to this. I'd highly recommend it. The reader is very skilled and the production work is excellent, and the story is wonderfully retold as only Mercedes Lackey can. The Elemental Masters series are well worth the read and the Listen.
"Fantastic and compelling!"
The narrator was amazing, really made all the characters come to life. The voice for Madame was perfect! Exactly how I imagined it would be when I read the book. And Marina is a great character, very realistic with her love of the fine clothing and dreams of "society".
I love a good Fairy Tale parody! Sleeping Beauty didn't let me down.
Absolutely! As it was, I drove slower than usual since I only let myself listen to it in the car .
"Enjoyable, light yet with character"
As with this entire series, this book plays with a folktale. Part of the fun is to see how the author unfolds the predictable parts in a unique or clever way. Easy to listen to, good for a younger audience if you share your books with family and want to steer away from hot romance and vivid violence.
It was easy to listen to while driving or doing other things. A break in the listening did not dampen the books story.
"Great fairytale story!"
Great fairytale story, beautifully read! Good vs evil, love vs hate, strong heroine, likable hero. All the elements of a great story.
This is the only title in the series I really didn't enjoy. The others kept me interested. Yes, they are all a bit formulaic, but they are fun and lighthearted reads. I can't pinpoint why this one seemed to be lacking, but it just didn't keep my interest, which is rare for me because I love to get lost in these stories.
"So boring I couldn't finish it"
Most of the Elemental Masters series read like Young Adult fantasies. Sweet, not complicated bits of fantasy fluff that can be enjoyable if listened to with the right perspective. This one was just bad, bad, bad. Seriously the most boring thing I have tried to listen to. Obvious plot, ridiculously stupid characters, and uninspired narration. Yuck. Save your credits or money.
"Better than 1st recording, still needs improvement"
The Audible version is better than the cassette recording, at least this reader sounds like a human being instead of a machine. However, she's still not as good as other readers of books in this series. She mispronounces words, mixes up accents and character voices, and for some reason, reads a lot of the loving aunt's lines as if she was the evil aunt (aka, sounds angry or sarcastic).
As for the story, it's better than some of the later books in the series, but not as good as "The Fire Rose" or "The Serpent's Shadow." We start to see what will become her pattern of long chunks of exposition-heavy text with little or no tension. While I enjoyed seeing Mari's childhood, it could have been condensed. A lot of information could have been contained in scenes, instead of long blocks of exposition. The evil aunt needed to be reintroduced earlier to add tension earlier on. I can understand the editing decision to not break the close third-person narrative, but I don't think it worked in this case, especially when we start to split the narrative later, anyway.
All that said, it's an interesting take on the story of Sleeping Beauty, and one of the better books in the Elemental Master's series. Bonus points for the references to Serpent's Shadow characters.
Not what I'm accustomed to from Mercedes lackey. very predictable story line, characters that lack depth, all around dull.
Good story. Not as great as Serpent's Shadow, but still worthwhile. Some of the historical details were very thorough, which I loved. I wished a few parts of the plot had been more detailed. Overall, I'd recommend it and am happy to have it in my audio library.
"WHAT KIND OF GOWNS DID SHE BRING?"
IT WASN'T HER BUSINESS WHY ELIZABETH WOULD NOT MARRY HIM.
Your may be wondering why a He-Man like me would read this. The truth is I read the first book in this series and liked it. I have read some of Lackey's stand alone novels and liked them, such as Take a Thief and Brightly Burning. I also enjoyed Owl Flight. This had a good start in Chapter One, with this mean spirited witch putting a death curse on baby Mirana. In the next chapter Mirana is talking to water sprites and seeing the magical world, others can not see and I am still with it. Then we get into teenage angst and talking about hats, gowns and corsets.
This was obviously written for the female audience and I am sure many women will love this. I on the other hand am not interested in gowns, hats, corsets and teenage angst.
"A delightful fantasy"
This kept me happily amused, as the arts and crafts background is fun, the Sleeping Beauty parallels don't make the plot too obvious and the narrators voice is plesant and well paced.
There were a lot of 'retakes' left in, so that you heard the sentance read incorrectly, then a pause followed by the corrected version. There were also a lot of words pronounced in a non-standard way- 'sere' as 'sir', 'mulish'as 'mullish', as if no-one had bothered to check the recording before they published it.
This was odd, but didn't really stop me enjoying the suspense or the romance and I'll probably buy the rest of this series.
"What was wrong?"
I tried very hard with this book, but it fell short of the the previous book for me. I wonder if it was the book or myself? But I would recommend that all the reviews are read and the preview listened to several times. I will keep an open mind with the next in the series, but will take my own advice and listen to the preview a couple of times before I take any action.
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