Monday, February 19, 2018

Wulf the Saxon from Heirloom Audio Productions ~ a Crew Review

Jump in the boat with us as we sail away on yet another exciting adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions! This ninth release in the Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series tell a tale of loyalty, courage, and love through the story of Wulf the Saxon. We begin our adventure when Wulf is just a short-tempered 16 year old thane under Earl Harold Godwinson and follow him through the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Although these are historical fiction tales, you will step away wishing Wulf were real and alive today because you will want him for a friend, either for yourself or for your children.

Heirloom Audio Productions continues to excel at bringing audio theatre to a higher level as they combine great storytelling with superb acting and amazing sound effects. We like listening to these on long car rides, but I often wish I had the time to listen at home as well when I could close my eyes and better imagine the details the stories evoke. Arlene has enjoyed listening to all of the audio adventures over and over again ever since the first one arrived in the fall of 2014.

Wulf the Saxon is 2.5 hours of non-stop listening enjoyment. Having recently lived through our own daughters' learning those oh-so-necessary lessons of self-control, polite speech, and loyalty during the teen years, I think the story of Wulf's growth in this tale might just become my favorite! As a future landholder in a time of England's history where a thane's words and actions reflected upon the Earls, and thus the King, Wulf must learn to control his temper. Along the way he learns the value of self-control and the great honor and responsibility of loyalty to Earl Harold who would succeed Edward the Confessor as King.

While Wulf has the privilege of being raised as a page enroute to becoming a thane who will one-day rule his Father's lands, he also must learn the value of hard work. Beorn is in a similar situation, and during the time they spend learning from Earl Harold they become good friends. By the end of the story you will also come to love Osgod, Wulf's servant, defender, cohort, and friend.

I was fascinated by the way this story tells the details of what happened leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It has been a long time since I studied World History, but I do remember mention of the Bayeux Tapestry, and it is the springboard into this story. Once again, G.A. Henty as narrator is voiced by Brian Blessed, and he is joined by an amazing cast.

While listening to the story of Wulf the Saxon, Arlene and I often paused the CDs to talk about these themes of loyalty and hard work and various points in Britain's history. Questions she raised like "Why was someone always trying to conquer England?" and others make our study of history so much richer. We would definitely recommend these Christian audio dramas become a vital and well-loved part of your homeschooling curriculum! If you are looking to further your study of history, we recommend you take a look at the Live the Adventure Club from Heirloom Audio Productions! This online, subscription-only resource allows you to dig deeper into a wide variety of history topics, beginning with the audio adventures! We have a subscription and it keeps all of our audio adventures available for online listening,  along with any bonus content. There is an old-time radio vault for your listening enjoyment, plus resources for parents, online kids' activities, daily devotionals and a wonderful Live the Adventure Club Community forum. 

Throughout the story of Wulf the Saxon there is an underlying theme of patriotism (to England) that requires sacrifice. This is a lesson we Americans would do well to learn again. King Edward's, and later King Harold's goals were to keep England united from within to withstand the attacks that threatened to tear her apart. Some characters, like Lady Edith and King Harold, gave up their dreams of marrying for love, while others, like Osgod, gave up a part of their lives, all while fighting for the continuation of England as a free country. They are not portrayed as looking for their country to do something for them, but rather they are portrayed as being willing to sacrifice their personal wants for the greater good of their country and their countrymen. It reminded me of JFK's speech "Ask not what your country can do for you..."

Courage in the face of overwhelming odds or an uncertain future is something I want our daughters to learn. Courage is not necessarily the absence of fear, but the decision to not let fear rule your life or your choices. The story of Wulf the Saxon, while fictional, reminds us of the Biblical truths that God is the one who goes before us into battle, and He is the one who allows us to treat others with compassion.

While the adventures from Heirloom Audio Productions are designed for ages 6-16, don't be fooled into thinking those are the only ages that will enjoy them. Arlene will soon turn 18 and is still excited every time a new audio adventure releases! I am pretty sure some day in the distant future Kurt and I will be purchasing these for another generation of our family. Yes, they really are that well done!

From Arlene:

Normans and Saxons, if you have ever watched or read Robin Hood (I myself am a big fan of the 1938 Errol Flynn version) you know that the Normans and Saxons don't like each other. However, if you are like me, you were never quite sure why? Enter Wulf the Saxon, a tale that can help you understand their animosity, while still being an amazing story in its own right. The story follows Wulf, a thane, in his adventures with and for Earl Harold as the Earl works to unify the country of England he will one day rule. Harold is trying to keep peace with the other rulers and cultures around them. The story is never boring, with battles and adventures of Dukes and Kings. It is sure to both entertain and teach from start to finish.

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Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}


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