The story was great - I was so intrigued by the series that I finished listening to the 3 books within 3 days. While this story loosely based on the l..Show More »ife of Catherine the Great was very interesting, it was completely ruined in this book by the poor production and narration.
From the first minute of the audio book, there was annoying background noise and an echo, which seems like it was not recorded in a proper studio and the sound editing was either poor or just non existent.
The narration was at times very rushed, with extremely poor phrasing and pauses in weird places that chopped up sentences in inappropriate places. Because of this, sometimes some words could not be heard clearly. The announcement for each chapter also sounded like a machine voice.
The narration also made Catherine sound ditzy, fickle, or sarcastic at times when it should not have sounded that way given the context, and made other characters sound really stupid - especially Peter (yes he can be stupid, but he didn't need to sound that way).
The narrator for book 1 and 2 was very good, so it was extremely disappointing that they changed to a different narrator for book 3. If I wasn't so intent on finding out the rest of the story, I would have stopped listening from Chapter 1.