Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Audio Book Review: Serpent Singer and Other Stores

Serpent Singer and Other Stories

By:  M.H. Bonham

Publish Date:  December 31, 2008, Audiobook Release December 6, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 3 hrs 18 mins
Narrated By:  Kristin James

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Novella .5 ~ Set in Sword of Destiny world, before the series starts.

First Impression:  Adventures Shadowhelm has experienced, showing us who he is along with seeing the vast magical world he lives in.

Even before Shadowhelm became embroiled in the fight of his life against the demon emperor Allarun in Prophecy of Swords, Shadowhelm was fighting on the side of good. Join his adventures as he battles slavers, sea serpents, trolls, shapeshifters, pirates and a very nasty demon in these three stories sure to entertain and delight all who love epic fantasy and sword and sorcery.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I requested to review a copy of this audiobook for an honest review from the author or narrator.

For me, each story got better and better, drawing me to Shadowhelm and his world. By the third story I was curious of Shadowhelm and who he is in the world. He seems to have strong morals and yet of a humbleness of what he can do. I really fell for Shadowhelm and his place in the world by the forth story.

Each story brought another aspect of the world and Shadowhelm into view. This world is a vast magical one and I've started to see that here through Shadowhelm and his experiences before all goes bad in the series. I'm ready to follow him through his adventures of the Prophecy of Swords series!

Yuletide and Shadows
Shadowhelm is tracking the cold winter filled woods for an escapee that the sheriff of Caer Lloden wants captured. Shadowhelm is approached by a beautiful Fae. The Fae lady will give him what he wants, to spend Yuletide with them. Just one night...

This story gives us a feel of the different ancestry in Shadowhelm. He's Shara'kai, which is a mix of Eleion and Ansgar blood. The Fae are shadowy cousins of the Eleion.

I liked the way the author describes in this story. Not only do we start to see the world but we see it connected to Shadowhelm. The descriptions are double sided, in we see the world and Shadowhelm as well.

The Troll Kind
Shadowhelm is in a slave pit with many others. The lead slaver finds Shadowhelm impressive, his dragon mark on his forearm giving him away. He's been marked by the gods. The leader wants him to do what none other has been able to. Stop the troll kind from raiding her fortress and taking her best slaves. He can wait in the unguarded slave pit with the others with a sword or without one, but the three moons will be full tomorrow night and the creature will come.

This story gives us another short adventure Shadowhelm was on. He was captured when he was a soldier for the army. In the end, we see him go on to the next 'job' with pay as he moves on around the world meeting people.

Shadowhelm has a deep feeling for slavers and it shows here. We also get to see that there is more to the world than we know. There is magic present. And strange creatures. We learn of one god as well.

We learn that there is an army being built as well. An army of Northern men in the South. I'm curious if we see this group of men again as they seem to be similar to Shadowhelm in their ancestry.

Serpent Singer
The captain of the ship has brought Shadowhelm, as many sea farers do, because of his Eleion blood. When Shadowhelm sees the curve of a sea serpent in the waters. In working to use what few magic words he knows to help the ship, Shadowhelm hears the sea serpents thoughts. It hunts because the woman demands it chase the ship. The woman?

This is another aspect in the world that brings the Eleion heritage into light for us. Many on sea believe the Eleion help keep serpents at bay with the warrior gods favor. There is a lot of details to the world in this story. Wow. I really got a view of magics and gods here.

And even more curious of Shadowhelm after this story. He's got powers of his own that he didn't know of until now. And there's a past he doesn't remember. There is even a small gift, at the end, to Shadowhelm. A tip on where his destiny lies and where to find his love...

There is a moment I felt like I was suspended in air with Kristin's voice. It felt as if the moment paused with Shadowhelm as he stared into the serpents eyes, then the world came crashing down as the ship breaks and things speed up in the turmoil that's happening.

There was so much in this story and I really enjoyed how the world unfolded for me here. Makes me want to see more of this world and Shadowhelm.

Guardian of K'jiran
Shadowhelm's got enough money to get to Caer Sithar but Mic finds a job, for Lindar. They are to steal back the gem that once belonged to Lindar's family years ago and destroy the monster that guards it. But something about the hematite stone and Lindar seems wrong to Shadowhelm. Shadowhelm finds himself fighting a demon, and hints of his heritage.

I really like how this one starts with tying in after Serpent Singer. That Shadowhelm is heading to Caer Sithar, which is said to hold what he searches for. However, Shadowhelm doesn't believe in gods and needs jobs to pay in order to get to the next city. Mic finds that job, though Shadowhelm doesn't trust their new employer, they go. We get to see a fight with a demon and learn a drop more of history in this world. We also see Shadowhelm and his friend, Mic, at a bar fight...that they started. They had good reason!

I'm glad to see Shadowhelm with Mic. Mic feels like a great companion and friend for Shadowhelm to travel with. Mic gives Shadowhelm someone to respond to and correspond with, opening him up more for us.

We get to see more of Shadowhelm and his *connection* to the warrior god, Rhyn'athel. I'm starting to wonder if he's an actual son of Rhyn'athel. I want to know more! I'm hooked on Shadowhelm and his adventures.

The Heartwood
To ease Mic's superstition, Shadowhelm and Mic stop to leave a small offering at this city's goddess, Brianna the goddess of fire. Shadowhelm can feel the magic in the temple that the monks are calling, and doesn't like it. Before leaving, Shadowhelm sees a woman who asks for his help. A woman not seen by Mic. Shadowhelm has to know what this woman needs and returns to the temple.

I enjoyed the little twist with the goddess and the previous queen. Nicely done. Shadowhelm seems calm, and we see another aspect to him as having abilities - even though small.

We get our fights here as well. They aren't huge fights, but Shadowhelm never seems to miss out on drawing his sword once, if not twice. And yet again we get a view into another part of the world and gods.

I listened to my favorite narrator tell these stories. I enjoy her voices and emotions she brings to the story, making it a fourth dimension for us. This is a fantasy story of sword and adventure. Her voice felt a bit soft and caring for the stories. Shadowhelm comes across as a kind man who will help any and all in need, with her voice and the stories we hear. I've grown to believe that's the man Shadowhelm is from his actions. I love that she adds the lilt to a few of the characters voices. Also, there are different sounds to the personality of the voice in Shadowhelm's head compared to his own voice.

There are things mentioned about Shadowhelm that make me curious about him. The voice in his head that seems to know things and tell Shadowhelm these things. What is it? Shadowhelm's heritage seems to be a mystery to him and helps him in times he wouldn't expect it to. But he's got stories floating around about what he's done, who he's killed, and accomplished. He also seems to remember past lives he's lived, an old soul. Hmmm. Interesting! Shadowhelm has abilities that others do not. There is even a clue here that he could be more than he thinks he is. I want to know.

*Note: I listened to this book and don't know how the ebook version goes with editing. When I was looking through the very beginning on Amazon, it looked as there were spaces missing between some words.

***If you found this helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible.


  1. Sounds like they had an adventure! Glad to see you enjoyed!

  2. What is going on with that cover

    1. Blodeuedd, I'm not sure... I thought it was one scene in the book, but maybe a bit from each story? It's busy and hard to tell.

    2. Oh! And I remembered where the cover places in the stories. There is a story here that it is representing.

  3. Hm... might be a formatting issue.

    I have to admit that the cover is not one I like. They look too stiff and unnatural... and at the same time, I'm curious. LOL I think if I was to try this one, I'd also try it on audio. Sounds like the narrator really makes this one shine.

    1. Melissa (B&T) It might be formatting issues. But I wanted to warn as some people are very tough on that when reading. The cover is a tough one. I probably would have passed on just the cover alone.

      Kristin is one of my favorite narrators and I really enjoy her work. Hope you try it out. :)

  4. That's cool, an audio anthology! This is perfect for epic fantasy lovers. I am not digging the cover art, but I love the sound of the stories.

    1. Talk Supe, this is the second anthology I've listened to. I really think antho's are a great way for the narrator to show off their talents. :) The cover is a bit... well, many of us are feeling the same about it. Thank you!


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