Book 2 of The Wode series
Author: J Tullos Hennig
Narrator: Ross Pendleton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Story Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
The King of the Shire Wode. That is what they will call you.
Years ago, a pagan commoner named Rob of Loxley befriended Gamelyn Boundys, a nobleman’s son, against seemingly insurmountable odds—and with horrific consequences. His home razed by order of the Church, Rob was left for dead, believing his sister, Marion, and his lover, Gamelyn, had perished.
But Gamelyn yet lives. Guilt-ridden by his unwitting betrayal of Loxley, one of the last bastions of the Old Religion, Gamelyn rides off to seek absolution in the Holy Land. Rob vanishes into the greenwode and emerges as leader of a tight-knit band of outcasts who revolt against the powers that be.
When the two lovers meet again, it will be in a brutal, blindfolded game of foxes and hounds that pits Templar assassin against Heathen outlaw. Yet the past cannot be denied, and when Rob discovers Marion is also still alive, the game turns. History will chronicle Robyn Hood and Guy of Gisbourne as the deadliest of enemies, but the reality is more complicated—and infinitely more tragic.
My View – Story:
As with the first book, Greenwode, Shirwode was an epic tale of magic, love, loyalty and betrayal. Throughout the novel, the tension was palpable and had me on the edge of my seat with impatient anticipation.
The detail was superb; I could feel the mists of the greenwode on my cheek, I could see Nottingham Castle rising before me, I could smell the rot of the oubliette. I could feel Robyn and Guy’s anger, and Marion’s confusion. The language kept the time and place in mind and I appreciated the attention and research needed to provide these details. There was the odd word choice that seemed too modern for the times, but could be overlooked as they were very few.
There is also very little sex in this book. In fact only one, very brief and not very graphic scene is found, but it feels appropriate. I didn’t feel cheated. The romance isn’t as strong either, as this is a lovers to enemies back to lovers story. All the romance of their love was in the first book. This is about whether time and circumstances can be overcome to rekindle that love.
I really enjoyed this tale, and while it seemed to take forever to finish, I think that was partially due to it being in audiobook format (see more on this below). You need time to immerse yourself in this world though. If you do, I think you will find it wholly satisfying and enjoyable.
My View – Narration:
I loved the narrator’s voice. He had a different one for each character so you always knew who was speaking. It added greatly to the ambiance and feel of the book. I don’t think there was a fault in the presentation, but everything seemed to take forever. This narration is 20 hours long and they didn’t fly by. I didn’t ever feel bored… I just wanted to get to the next exciting part of the story, that you could see coming, but weren’t sure what was going to happen, and the narration seem to hold me back. I quit listening around chapter 18 and switched to ebook format and found that the second half of the book went much quicker, time wise. It didn’t take me the 8 hours that was left in the audio book to read it. As well, we were coming to the climax of the story and so perhaps the pacing of the book itself picked up and helped to make things seem to go faster.
I would definitely listen to this narrator again.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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