“The Dame”
by R. A. Salvatore
read by Erik Singer
produced by MacMillan Audio
Approx 12 hours

After becoming a fan of R.A. Salvatore’s writing through “The Demon Wars Saga,” I became curious about some of his other works, I’m constantly hearing about his famous anti-hero, Drizzzt, but have yet to tackle that side of Salvatore’s worlds.   I decided to stay within the realm of Corona with this audio book, “The Dame.” I rarely ever read the middle of a saga but this time I started with the last of the 3 books in “The First King Saga.”  During the first section I had to listen very closely this was when the characters were pretty much introduced, but having a past history in previous books there was some information that was assumed to be known so it took a bit of deciphering, once the story evolved the enjoyment of the adventure moved along so that the listening was easier and made for a nice fantasy novel.

The reader, Erik Singer, had his work cut out for him with numerous characters and several different races and different types of regions from where they came.  The nice thing about fantasy is that the accents are the reader’s choice.  The choices made by singer were a hit.  With one of the bands of characters involved they were a combination of what could be construed as Turkish assassins and Ninjas.  Singers accent for these characters were a perfect combination of the two, making these characters really come alive.

“The Dame” follows the continuing adventures of Bransen Garibond, The Highwayman, and the land of Honce’s continuous battle over who would be king of all Honce.  Bransen wants no part of the fight that is continuing between the Lairds of Honce.  Bransen only wants peace for his family.
However a recent occurrence not only puts Bransen in the sights of one of the Lairds who now calls himself King, because one of the Lairds,  Delaval, is assassinated by a group of mystic warriors whose abilities could only be the Jhest warriors. The Jhest warriors use a type of blade that is curved and has intricate carvings along the blade, Bransen’s mother was Jhest and he uses her blade.  One of the warriors blades is broken during the assassination and the blade found is wrongly identified as that of The Highwayman.  More intriguing to Bransen is the chance to connect with his mother’s people and to delve more deeply into the abilities that he has developed and possibly even to find a Jhest teacher that might free him from his dependence on the gemstones.

Bransen Garibond was once known as The Stork, due to his clumsiness.  A brother of Mere Abell gave Bransen a soulstone so he may become more in control of himself and led to Bransen to become the legend known as the Highwayman.

Speaking of the Mere Abell church,  the monks of the church are caught in the middle in the battle for King of Honce.  The church has been a neutral party to the war and have healed and housed soldiers from all sides of the war.  Now the new king wants all that opposed to him to be put to death at the hands of the monks.  They rebel, and establish their own sovereignty, creating St. Mere Abell as a power to be dealt with in the land of Honce.

If you have read any of “The Demon Wars Saga,” books then this one will give you a nice background on how the world of Corona developed.

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