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The First Girl Child

Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
Length: 14 hrs and 32 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.7 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

©2019 Amy Harmon (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"By far, my favorite book of 2019. Addictive, engrossing, completely unputdownable. Amy Harmon's The First Girl Child needs to be at the top of everyone’s reading list." --Penny Reid, New York Times bestselling author

"The First Girl Child is a unique and lovely read set in a world that is both familiar and strange. Rich, fast-paced, and romantic, this book will thoroughly satisfy fantasy readers craving a story with meat on its bones. It’s going on my shelf next to Robin Hobb and Patricia McKillip." --Jared Garrett, bestselling author of Lakhoni

"Utterly brilliant. A sprawling tale of love and magic, of leadership and the sacrifice that comes with it. I cannot recommend this book enough." --Bestselling author Staci Hart 

What listeners say about The First Girl Child

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Epic Adventures

Wow It's truly fabulous when you find a new author that can capture and keep your interest all throughout a story. This was one of those fantasy books of old, the full length fat book 😊 I loved the whole story, not bits and pieces, it's one of those that you don't want to end but you want to get to the end to find out what happens* The narrator did a fabulous job, hus voice was easy to listen to with just the right amount of inflections* I will definitely be listening to this again and again, and am looking forward to more from this author*

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chanda Reads
  • 05-09-2019

Loved it

I struggle to write a review for this because I can’t do the book justice. The story Harmon wove and the characters she brought to life sunk deep into my soul. It was a slow-burn invasion, but consuming nonetheless. The First Girl Child is a tale loosely based on Norse mythology that takes several main characters on a 20 year long journey through birth, death, love, heartache, joy, and self-discovery. There are four main characters: Bayr, a boy we watch become a man throughout the book. His heartbroken and love scorned mother cursed the land with her dying breath, promising that her son would be Saylok’s salvation. —I’d just like to note that Bayr is so perfectly written. I haven’t fallen in love with a character so completely since Archer Hale (Archer’s Voice). Alba, a girl presented as the first born daughter since the curse began, and whom Bayr has sworn to protect. Dagmar, officially, a keeper of Saylok, who is entrusted to help keep the balance of the kingdom. Unofficially, a keeper of secrets that could crumble the kingdom. Ghost, a woman of many faces; a slave, a mother, a shepherd, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes having a multiple POV cast can lessen the emotional attachment the reader has to the characters, but I can assure you that is certainly not the case here. I felt every blow alongside the warriors, the mental weight the Keepers carried, the heartache of the daughter of Saylok, and the anguish of a parent unable to protect their child. Every character, main and supporting, was so well developed I felt a connection with them all. It was clear that Harmon thought out every single supporting character introduced and gave them their own layered backstory, even if we only saw snippets of it. As I mentioned above, this is a slow-burn book. There are stretches of character development without any action, but the characters are so engrossing it works for the story. I strongly recommend this book for any lover of fantasy, mythology, and epic love tales. A note about the romance: while the underlying theme is love, it is not just romantic, and none of it is explicit. Narration: Rob Shapiro did a fantastic job narrating the book. His voices were easy distinguishable and unique to each character. He was able to show vulnerability in the characters without making them sound weak or simpering. Not once did I find his narration to detract from the story, rather he made it come to life in the way that all listeners yearn for when they choose to listen to a book.

144 people found this helpful

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  • kristie
  • 21-11-2019

Disappointing

I love me some Amy Harmon books! I was eager for this one! the story's first chapters started out well, intriguing, a good story line.... then it got boring!!! I waited and waited for it to pick back up and almost gave the story up, but decided to follow through dozing in and out of the remainder of it... I wanted more put of it, the idea was there, but it never pulled through IMO.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Vasquez
  • 19-09-2019

A Really Great Story!!

I just have to write a review for one of the best stories I have listened to this year! This is. without doubt. a love story about a boy that is blessed at birth with incredible strength. The boy falls in love with a beautiful baby girl. Bear, the boy, ends up as the baby girls protector. She is the daughter and princess of a really nasty, deceitful and back stabbing King. The boy and the younger girl grow up together and can rarely be separated. When the young girl is seven years old, the King finds a way to drive Bear away. Finally, after a decade goes by Bear comes back and now the girl is seventeen years old and is so, so, beautiful. The boy and the young girls love has never faulted and they both have patiently waited for each other to be together, In all the ways that two people in love can be together. But of course, the unfeeling and uncaring King has brought the terrible hulking King of the North back with him and he has decided that the Princess will marry this King. The King has made up his mind and he really does not care if anyone else is not happy about it. The story has many twists and turns but things just don't turn out the way you might expect them to. I really enjoyed listening to this one. Well worth a credit!

22 people found this helpful

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  • Rachael E. Drullinger
  • 15-12-2019

Amy Harmon does it again, but in a completely different way.

Wow. The First Girl Child was absolutely captivating. I am a huge fan of Harmon, but I was not expecting something so wildly different from her other writings. I loved the Norse mythology, the setting, the culture, the people. A narrator, however, can make or break a book for me. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Rob Shapiro’s narration. The characters came alive through his voice, no matter the gender of the character. I was truly sad when this book ended; I could have listened for many more hours. Well done to both Harmon and Shapiro.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Roland
  • 21-08-2019

4 stars

There were so many things that felt different for me reading this book in such a good way. Especially with the setting, vikings, clans, warriors, Norse Mythology that its an untouched subject I don't think I have come across before or maybe its just been a few years. Towards the end though everything felt rushed. I highly applaud Amy for embarking on a Fantasy journey. I STILL enjoyed it. I also thought Rob did a good job narrating.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Tara Wagley
  • 22-08-2019

Once Again

I love ALL things Fantasy and Romance....then you make those woven together by the Amazing Amy Harmon and well.....you get MAGIC! Like, I did Not accomplish ANYTHING today, because I devoured this book in one sitting type of MAGIC ♥️♥️♥️

15 people found this helpful

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  • GDN
  • 23-08-2019

Everything

This author takes you away to this other time and place. The narrator is an amazing facilitator! There is sadness and loss, pregnancy loss in the beginning of the book. As the mother of a stillborn, this can be upsetting to me in some books. Amy Harmon used all of the subtle ways to make it part of her story, but gentle for the broken hearted. If you watch Vikings or read Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, you will get sucked into to this winding tale!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Joan
  • 13-01-2020

I loved this book

I loved this book, the story, the characters, how it was written, everything. I could not stop listening to this audiobook and I was hooked from the start. My favourite quote from this story is "Comfort is not love".

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kentucky Bohemian
  • 20-12-2019

That Was Exciting

This was a really different read for me, but very enjoyable. Inspired by Nordic myths (think Thor, Loki, etc.) this story features the fictional people of an island inhabited by six Nordic tribes and a temple of "Keepers." It's a tough, gritty time when women have few rights (if any), and men rule with weaponry. War with neighboring peoples is nearly constant, as is the fight against the cruelties of nature. As different as life was in this time, so many of their issues remain the same for us today: bigotry, cruelty, disloyalty, murder, greed. But there's good stuff, too. Bayr and Alba remind us of the purity and beauty of love in all its forms, and how wonderful it truly is.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 22-11-2019

Unique and one of a kind

Following the lives across generations, cultures and religion, little heroes grow to be good, self-sacrificial leaders in the face of a lying and tyrannical king. There is love between siblings, parents and children, pure love between innocent friends and romantic love in something cross between mythology and modern fiction, barbarians and knights and prophets. I recommend

3 people found this helpful

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  • Book addict
  • 26-09-2019

Last third fizzled out

Amy Harmon has an amazing talent and weaves a great story. She did the same with this book, mostly, but it sort of lost its way for the last third. Didn’t really feel the relationship once they were grown and whereas the book gripped my imagination and heart to begin with, I found by the end that I didn’t care that much any more. Still a good story though!