Podcast Review #106: Prophecy of Swords

Title: Prophecy of Swords
Author: M. H. Bonham
Genre: Fantasy
Released: 11 April 2005 – 10 September 2007
Located: iTunes, Podiobooks
Formats Available: podcast, dead tree, ebook
Rating: PG for violence and mild language

Prophecy of Swords is another story I picked up by perusing Podiobooks shelves. I noticed that it was quite a long story and was anxious to hear a good long epic fantasy.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: To End A War Nearly a thousand years ago a great warrior named Lachlan sought to unify his people, using the power of the Three Swords of Destiny. Before his victory, Lachlan was killed by his trusted friend, Allarun. Now, Allarun is still in power but haunted by dreams of Lachlan’s death curse: that Lachlan would return to avenge his death. Allarun’s decision is to destroy the very people Lachlan tried to unite. Only two men have the power to stop the slaughter. Romarin, the last of a line of kings, and a half-blood mercenary named Shadowhelm. One may be destined to be Lachlan, but can they unlock the secret to Lachlan’s power before Allarun kills them? (stolen from podiobooks.com)

Production: For regular readers of this blog it should come as no surprise when I admit that I look for things to like in each story that I listen too. It isn’t that I won’t point out issues, but I also like to find the good that almost every story has. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to like in the production for Prophecy of Swords. There are a lot of episodes in this book. Probably at least twice as many as their needs to be. Each episode contains one chapter from the book, and the chapters are short. Instead of combining chapters, the author made the decision to keep the episode content short. However, the episodes might be twice as long as the content of the chapter. The author always does a fairly lengthy intro, and even more before closing, so a 15 minute ep can (and does) occasionally offer less than 5 minutes of story. If that weren’t enough to drive the casual listener away, the audio quality of the book is very poor. There are many artifacts from the author’s recording environment that made their way into the production, as well as the music being much too loud.

All of these elements produce a listening environment that is not friendly and severely limits the listeners enjoyment.

If there is one saving grace about the production, it is that this podcast was started in 2005. That is very early on. However, as much as the story is appreciated, I doubt more than a rough 10% make it beyond the 1st episode.

Grade: D-/F

Cast: Ms. Bonham reads her own story with A Prophecy of Swords, and she does only an adequate job of it. There is very little in the way of inflection or voice cues to let you know whom is talking. Some might describe the reading as somewhat wooden. I believe that to be a fair description as well.

Grade: C-

Story: Prophecy of Swords is truly an epic fantasy. This is a big story that a listener might become lost in. Not because of the impressive tapestry, but due to the similarity of names and places with other epic fantasies you might have read. It isn’t a bad story, and in some ways it is rather unique. However, is it unique enough to allow the audience to truly enjoy? If you’ve listened, you tell me.

Grade: C

Verdict: Pass. Unless you are desperate for an epic fantasy that is overly drawn out and boils down poorly, I can’t recommend that you take the many hours of effort to listen to Prophecy of Swords. I’m not saying some won’t enjoy it, but for me, the story wasn’t worth the effort.

Disclaimer: I do not follow Ms. Bonham on twitter, nor to the best of my knowledge does she follow me.

Comment Pages

There are 4 Comments to "Podcast Review #106: Prophecy of Swords"

  • Katharina says:

    I think I’d sell my mic if that were me :D. I think that was the single harshest review I’ve ever read on here. Call me out if I’m wrong, but also the worst grades.

    Will I listen to everything that Odin recommends? Maybe not, there are not enough hours in my day.
    But…

    Will I pass on something he told me to pass?
    Absofrigginlutely!

    Thank you for the review and it’s one of the times where you suggest to someone not to give up the day job…

    • odin1eye says:

      LOL.. well, I hope she doesn’t sell her mic, and I will always appreciate the efforts of the authors, and quite possibly it wasn’t as bad (by comparison) when she wrote it, but yes, you are right. The worst grades I think I’ve ever given as a whole.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Thomas says:

    if she reworked the story and re-recorded it or had it done by a voice actor, then maybe i’ll give her a try. i have too much to listen too. i have the suspicion that i would enjoy this one, but i am not willing to put up with bad audio and too much chatter.

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