Thursday, July 21, 2016

Beric the Briton from Heirloom Audio ~ A Crew Review

Today we are once again featuring Arlene as the main writer of our review. See below for Carol's additional comments.

Beric the Briton, Heirloom Audio Productions, Audio Theater

For those of you who have been reading our blog for a while you will know that this is the fifth Heirloom Audio Productions audio theater set. We have reviewed all five titles and I will tell you that you will not be disappointed as they just keep getting better. The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty: Beric the Briton  is about the Roman invasion of ancient Britannia in this story Beric and his best friend Bodouc have the journey they will never forget.  During the story Beric and Bodouc are enslaved by the Romans, sent to be trained as gladiators, and then gain their freedom while working for Emperor Nero. When a mysterious story circulates about a man named Christus, Beric and Bodouc are forced to confront the pagan religion they thought to be true. Through this they learn how to overcome their wish for revenge and discover forgiveness through Christ. 

As we discussed in the literature class I went to last year G.A. Henty has many recurring themes in his books including but not limited to:
A romance: What is a good adventure if you don’t get the girl in the end? Usually the girl is at first on the opposite side from the hero. It makes a good plot point.
Lots of adventure: Every story takes you to exciting new (and real) places, with intriguing conflicts.
A good friend: There always good to have in tight situations.
They are long: Don’t worry these audio adventures take long (and sometime dry) books and make them come alive.
Real people: Part of the fun of historical fiction is meeting famous people from throughout history. 
A different take: A lot of Henty’s stories’ main characters are on what history usually tells you is the wrong or loosing side. Having stories from the “Other side” can help give us a full picture of a particular time in history. 

So does Beric the Briton have all of these plot points? Yes! Lets start at the top of my list:  
A romance: Yes, usually the girl is at first on the opposite side and this is true in Beric the Britain; Amelia is a Roman. 
Lots of adventure: Definitely yes! This story includes everything from battles in Briton, to ship wrecks, to Colosseum fights.  
A good friend: Bodouc in this case. He is loyal and brave some of the best things you could ask for in your best friend. 
They are long: I not sure exactly how long the original book was but this story is about 2 1/2 hours. Its never dull, I would say it my even be more exciting then most adventure movies. 
Real people: What are fictional characters compared to Queens and Emperors? In this story you will meet Queen Boadicea and Emperor Nero. Both powerful and fascinating people.
A different take: Most history books just tell you that the Romans conquered everything. But what of the people they ruled? How did they feel about the Romans? Here is you chance to find out.

We loved all four previous Heirloom Audio Productions and this one is no different. We have listened to it several times already! Just like the other four it comes with two disks and we also received the digital study guide which is full of great discussion questions to help you further explore history in the  early A.D. years.

At the beginning of the story Mr. Henty tells Ned and Gerald of a new story about Ancient Egypt. The next Heirloom Audio Production: The Cat of Bubastes comes out later this year and it is already on The School House Review Crew list of upcoming products, I can’t wait!

These stories are fun for the whole family so get your copies today and start listening.

From Carol:
Besides the two-disc Audio Theater production, we also received several bonuses: Beric The Briton MP3 set, Beric The Briton E-book, Official MP3 Soundtrack, Printable cast Poster, PDF Study Guide and Discussion Questions, Printable Inspirational Verse Poster, and access to the 35 minute Behind the Scenes Videos.

If you're thinking that is a lot of extras, you would be correct! We enjoy listening to the soundtracks from the Audio Theater productions and the behind the scenes videos, but what I want to focus on is the Study Guide. 

The Heirloom Audio study guides are a treasure trove of learning that go right alongside the CDs. Each major part of the story has three additional sections in the Study Guide: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words. The defining words section is easy to understand. Not everyone will know all of the unusual words in this Roman Era story before you put in the first CD to listen to. Words and terms that you may need to look up the definitions for include: Druid, Tiber, legion, scourge, toga, paces, cower, insolence, reverberation, and military standard. These are just some of the words listed in the first few sections. Because it has been so long since I studied Roman history, I found myself stopping to think about the words use door ethane I had in previous Heirloom Audio Productions. The Listening Well and Thinking Further sections really turn this Audio Theater into a unit study for the entire family. They ask questions designed to help you gain a better understanding of daily life, superstitions of the time, and the Druid (pagan) religion. 

All throughout the study guides you will find extras to enhance your learning. It begins with a brief biographies of G.A. Henty, Queen Boadicea, and Emperor Nero. If you have not yet studied Roman History, I would suggest looking through these biographies and the first section of the Study Guide before you begin listening to the story.

What I love most about these Henty stories from Heirloom Audio Productions is that they entertain and educate, while always pointing our family back to the truth of Christ! No where else have I found audio theater so masterfully well done that still challenges and convicts us to look at our own lives and choices while keeping us on the edge of our seat. No one ever wants to get out of the car at our destination if we are listening to one of our Heirloom Audio sets! 

As Arlene mentioned in her portion of the review, this is the fifth title from Heirloom Audio Productions. Voice talents this time around include returning favorites like Brian Blessed and John Rhys-Davies, as well as wonderful contributions form Tom Baker (Dr Who,) Brian Cox (The born Identity,) and Cathy Sara (Downtown Abbey.)

We would love to have you read our previous reviews as well! 
The Dragon and the Raven

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1 comment:

  1. that seemed odd at first, reading a review with two writers, but you know... it worked. :)