Thursday, July 3, 2014

Podcast Review: Tales of the Children

Tales of the Children
Land of Caern Anthology

By:  P.G. Holyfield

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Anthology of stories by several authors in Land of Caern world. The world of Murder At Avedon Hill.

Recommendation:  Oh yes. There is magic here. You see it through those that are children of the gods touching the world in different ways.

Tales of the Children is a podcast anthology, with content that will focus on the history of the Land of Caern... and the Children that shaped it.

The stories in the anthology are going to feature or at least touch upon some aspect of the Children of Az. Some of these stories might be legends told by characters living today...and by today I mean during the time of Arames Kragen and Murder at Avedon Hill. They might be fables told by mothers to their children to help them sleep at night. They might be from the point of view of one of the Children, or of someone directly affected by one or more of the Children living in the world.

Listen At:
iTunes  /  P.G. Holyfield's site

**I listen to this podcast for my own enjoyment.

Overall Thoughts and Summary:
 It's neat to see the god and children. Seeing them return and in action in the world brings me closer to the world, even if done by other authors. All these stories highlight different Children of Az and their influence in the Land of Caern. Some come as children others don't realize until they are too aged. But each story gives a view of a fantasy world where magic is ever present.

I enjoyed seeing a world I enjoy and see as having vast potential and want to know it all come to life in different ways.

Episode 1:
Swimming Lessons

Written by:  Gabrielle Harbowy
Narrated by:  P.G. Holyfield

Format:  Podcast, 30:20 minutes

My Thoughts and Summary:
Priest of Caern have been condemning those not of clergy that are tapping into the River of Magic. Punishing them. Jorrin, a clay worker, wakes in prison after his arrest for dipping into the River of Magic to help balance a pot he was making. He is waiting his time for hanging. But finds a new friend who can teach him how to use what he can touch.

This is a lovely story to start with in the world of Caern. Gabrielle does an amazing job of bringing up the feel of the world and their restrictions on magic and the River of Magic. She surfaces some feelings and questions I had of the magic when listening to P.G. Holyfield's story - Murder at Avedon Hill.

We meet a Child here. Nice the way she connects with Jorrin and sounds as though several others as well.

The magic is more than just the Priest use. But, the fear (and I think this is part of what the Priest are trying to prevent) is that someone with evil intent will learn to use the magic. However, that is a risk that is known and worth taking.

I got the feel more is coming, in the future here. And makes me want more from Gabrielle and PG in the world PG has created. Love seeing the magic here. I loved seeing one of the Children in action. Wonderful highlight of the magic and River of Magic here.

Episode 2:
The Old God and The Sea

Written by:  Patrick E. McLean
Narrated by:  P.G. Holyfield with Voices by Patrick E. McLean

Format:  Podcast, 32:54 minutes

My Thoughts and Summary:
Things are great for Rigar. Good food and large wench collection. He's feared in the land and has grown to a Lord of his own making. One of his men returns, with his whole crew killed by one man in a fishing town. If you want something done right, you must do it yourself. Rigar makes a trip to show this town who they are messing with. To be surprised with the man that has made this place his home.

This fishing town had a different view of pillagers as they had a different history in their dealings with them. So when Rigar's men came to collect they didn't get the response they had hoped for, until they started killing.

This tale is of a god who didn't know he was one until he'd aged to far. But he does get to do a little bit of good and work in the world. I liked seeing that not always do the gods know who they are and what they are to do when they are birthed into human form.

I enjoyed Patrick's voices of the characters. It brings another dimension to the characters.

Episode 3:
First Blood

Written by:  Alex Briggs
Narrated by:  P.G. Holyfield

Format:  Podcast, 29:17 minutes

My Thoughts and Summary:
The unsuspecting army is attacked and slaughtered. They take her to caves, chain her and torture her. The Orc leader tells her this is not torture but a test. She finds a way to escape the caves, but fights on and hunts for her torturer from those caves. When she finds him she learns something new.

This one was a little harder for me to follow in the beginning, as it picked up to fast and I wasn't sure where we were or what to expect. It was rather interesting the way Az's child comes to realization in this story. This story sounds like a legend in it's telling rather than from the character herself.

Episode 4:
Big Axe, Small Hands

Written by:  Dan Absalonson
Narrated by:  Dan Absalonson

Format:  Podcast, 42:13 minutes

My Thoughts and Summary:
Halflings are kind farmers. This is a story of a determined Halfling who is unlike any of his kind. He's strong and wants to learn to be a warrior. None in his home town could teach him so he had to leave to seek those to teach him. Meeting an Elf and then later Dwarves, each who could teach him something different. This Halfling has to prove himself to learn a piece in turn from each. Then one day he can help his own kind defend themselves, or he defend them when in need.

This is one I enjoyed seeing different races in this world. Also this has a meaning in the story, don't deny others what they are determined to do. They just might be strong enough to get there, and help you in the end.

I liked the legend of the Halfing. You don't realize until the end that the child is connected. This story gives a view of dangers and other beings in the Land of Caern. You see the fantasy side here. Lessons in life and world. Along with how different is needed.

Episode 5:
Love & Fire

Written by:  Philippa Ballantine
Narrated by:  P.G. Holyfield

Format:  Podcast, 24:49 minutes

My Thoughts and Summary:
The human ancestors come to the Land. Almost all the elves greet them as they walk on the land, but there is one group Acolytes of the goddess of war who strongly oppose humans here.The acolytes see the greed in the humans eyes. The humans come to make their little toe hold in a corner of the world. One Elf is very against the humans, but enjoys the chance to show her people what the Acolytes can do to protect them. She and her elves come at the fort built protecting the humans, calling upon the river of magic. Heron is a man caught in the city when the fires erupt, searching for his family and helping others escape. Heron doesn't know it, but the magic is called to him. And a god is born.

This is very interesting. I love the feel of hatred from the elves that protect the land to the vultures coming to pillage it from them. The determination to extract every last one of them, then to come and see that their god has chosen one of these unwanted beings to be a god.

This tale is one remembered and shared through the land of Caern. Very magical. Hate and Love. This is how the humans arrive in this magical world and a god is born. Yet there is so much more to cause humans to be accepted in this world.

Strength and fierce yet love too. Nice.

Episode 6:
Ruby's Child

Written by:  Philip Carroll
Narrated by:  Vivid Muse

Format:  Podcast, 10:00 minutes

My Thoughts and Summary:
Ruby's journey wasn't all it was to be. A man had bought her ale, bitter tasting ale, and stole what she was not willing to give. She's with child now. Dwarves do not like humans, and will not accept the baby. They will even shun Ruby, one of their own, for the thing she cares. Ruby takes a poisonous daft then her goddess comes to save her and her baby. Yet the clan needs to learn compassion. Her goddess tells the baby will be a curse or a blessing to the clan, they are to decide.

The cruelty to Ruby and her baby is terrible. Yet Ruby maintains the compassion and care for her clan. She will help them not matter what, even when they cheat her. She teaches her disfigured child the same, even though they are shunned.

We see the Dwarfen life and another god.

This is a longer story, but I grew attached to Ruby and Cragthar. In the end it was a touch sad and then the curse. Wow. I actually really liked the ending. It was fitting. Perfect fit. Wow, what a tale!

Episode 7:
Love's Sacrificial Song

Written by:  Tabitha Grace Smith
Narrated by:  P.G. Holyfield

Format:  Podcast, 54:13 minutes

My Thoughts and Summary:
This is one that's hard for me to summarize, which is a lacking on my part and not the authors. This tale is two stories in one. We have a current happening, a storyteller sharing a tale when Raiders show. Then we have the story the storyteller is telling of a god child and her need to save her sick husband and what she must do in order to do so.

Oh this one had me so curious and wanting from both stories. We got enough of each story before we converted to the other to keep me listening. The author did an amazing job at distinguishing the difference and lead in to current time and story telling. The pauses were well placed in each story line.

There is magic in the story, with the storyteller, and with another in current time. This story brings together different magics present in the Land of Caern found in people and another child of Az.

I really liked this one!


  1. Oh I'm curious about an anthology on audio. I might have to try this one!

    1. Melissa (B&T) it was really neat hearing stories in this world of others with powers. :) Thank you!


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