- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 10 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Jeffrey L. Love
- Audible.com Release Date: October 6, 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00O7ZRDZO
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Blood and Silk Audiobook – Unabridged
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Charles Alverdine, a formerly wealthy merchant, now fallen on hard times, his second wife, and 6 children have been forced to leave the city where they had resided and move to a cottage on the outskirts of a small village surrounded by forest. The merchant's older daughters grumble about the move but everyone else tries to make the best of things, including his youngest son, the beautiful Circelae, who loves the land, the flower gardens and later, after he and his father are called to meet with the town's Steward, the town library.
One afternoon, while heading home from the library, Circelae decides to find his way back through the forest. The forest that seemed to call to him. Losing his bearings, eventually he finds his way out where he is met by the Steward who gives him a stern warning to stay out of the woods.
This event will change the course of Circelae's life and that of everyone he knows. It seems he has caught the eye of a King and this King has sent word to Circelae's family that he desires Circelae's hand in marriage.
I won't spoil the mystery of this haunting tale and its exquisitely realized world and the unusual love story at its heart. If you are longing to read something that is both memorable and surprising then be sure to get a copy of "Blood and Silk" ( Oh! One more thing, it is illustrated with absolutely beautiful illustrations).
*POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD*
Blood and Silk follows a similar format but the story is in my opinion more engaging and more heartfelt than the source material that inspired the format.
One of the greatest aspects about this story is that you never lose sight that it is about love. It is about finding love and about how love can find us all in the strangest ways when we least expect it. But not just the beauty of it, but what makes it frightening, the sacrifices we make for it. The blood sweat and tears that goes into commitment and fully understanding and learning what it means to accept someone for whom they are. This is something that this story carries in spades.
From the opening where we are first introduced with our main character Alexiel Ravenswood. Almost immediately you get an introduction into the kind of character he possesses, his own unique sense of humor but also his sense of class. He however is not without his faults or his flaws, but he isn't a boundless jerk for no reason either. This is an advantage I give it over Beauty and the Beast. The synopsis in most peoples minds is "Prince is a jerk, gets cursed, becomes not a jerk, gets curse lifted. Life lesson, don't be a jerk and people will love you." There is more to it than that, but to the average person walking by that is how it is perceived(I blame Disney).
But in this story Alexiel very much stays himself both before and after the curse was bestowed upon him. The softening of his demeanor isn't something that never existed, he just had never found it yet. But one thing the story gives you is that he is fully aware that he is missing such a feeling and such a completion in his life and right away you understand his motives and his wants.
He is a main character that knows what he wants and what he feels is missing in his life and is willing to use anything.. or anyone.. in order to get what he feels that wish will fulfill for himself.
This is what eventually leads him into trouble in the first place. But as you see, it expands beyond "being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk.". The story makes you firmly aware of his motives and does a fantastic job placing you in his way of thinking and his mind as well as the minds of those effected by his very actions.
I always found it often interesting when you are able to see a story from more than the main character or 'protagonists' eyes and this story carries that as well, in spades.
I don't just get to see Alexiel's life unfold I get to watch how his decisions effect those around him, but I also feel as if everyone around him is living their own lives and speaking and living by how his decisions effect them and that is truly something that I do not get in the previous incarnations.
The story actually spends time away from Alexiel so that we hear how other people speak of him, you almost get a Christmas Carol feeling like you are being let into a separate world to see and understand how he is judged prior.
You are also introduced to the beautiful world of Alterra. A world as magical as the name makes it sound. But the prologue gives us an opportunity to at least get an idea of what it is like, so much so that it could fit in a story all on it's own prior to things going bad. There is just so much put here that you could feel as if several stories could take place within it. I got the feeling I get whenever I would read an Oz book. That feeling was.. I would love to visit and no more about this place and that is why it becomes such a tragedy when things do..indeed go wrong. You don't just feel it for the people in the Kingdom, you feel it as a reader who has been entranced by it before everything even gets up to speed and that is brilliant writing and captivation.
There is also a love story I wish I could elaborate on.. with every fiber of my being I wish I could tell you all of the beautiful triumphs, I wish I could tell you the infinite wonders, I wish I could tell you why it utterly defines love in a way so beautiful I have rarely seen in literature. I wish I could tell you why you'll be enchanted in ways you have never enchanted before..and your heart shall root for things you didn't know were deeply seeded within you, and how it shall open avenues of your heart that you'll have never felt opened by any story previous... I wish I could tell you why all that is true.. but it would be doing a disservice to spoil it in any way. All I can say.. is what I've just told you.. and say that my words are but a mere understatement.. to what you shall actually experience.
The villain of this story, the one whom curses Alexiel is about as far away from "good fairy in disguise" as it gets. But at the same time she feels real. Real in a sense that these type of people actually exist.
There are often times I feel that a fairy tale falls short when they create a standard for someone to live up to that is near impossible, a protagonist that is without flaws, always learns on the first attempt and 'falling short' is merely a distraction.
The characters in this story are either relatable or we know people in our lives that remind us of them, they are not the pinnacle of the unreachable and you don't see them as characters but you see them as people, living their lives and you are given the eyes of the globe to watch over them and their adventures, exploits, heartache and heartbreak, triumphs and failures.
I cannot spoil everything but what I can say is that there are more than a few gripping points in this story that strike me not just as impressive from a story standpoint but from a literature standpoint.. period. Many parts of this story will grip you, with their own original takes on scenes inspired by other beautiful works of literature as one such scene does where you can beautifully feel the influence from stories such as Phantom of the Opera within.
I will not spoil why, what I will say is that these inspirations are felt..as well as improved upon in ways I could never have imagined. The nods are in honor of a story and then having the creativity to do even more with it and spell it out in it's own way.
So original nods to Beauty and the Beast as well Phantom of the Opera? Those two nods alone should be enough to entice anyone to delve into a world and a love they may not potentially understand, but I guarantee you by the end of it all you will be one of the many applauding and glad you went on this journey and maybe find yourself a little enlightened by journey's end.
Did I mention there's magic? Yes there's lots of Magic, and loads of enchantment.. but it never draws too much attention to itself.. in fact..it draws just as much attention to itself as a world where such things exist..but offers a nostalgic feel that one may get of seeing and appreciating things long forgotten. Also, when this story enchants you.. it will enchant you and it will stay with you. In what ways you may ask? In the ways you're meant to feel. That is not something every book or story I've come across can say.
One of the greatest compliments I feel you can give to a story..is not what that story reminds you of.. but what it stands as.
To that I say.. there are parts that remind me of Beauty and the Beast..and others that remind me of Phantom of the Opera, and some others even may contain a whisper of Cinderella, but even in those parts.. they serve only as reminders... for it Stands on it's own.. as Blood and Silk.
This story did not keep me on the outside looking in.. it cordially invited me to live in Alterra and view it from the stars, through the eyes of the people living there, through every tree, through every enchanted creature, through every beating heart, every lightning bolt and every bit of atmosphere and by the end of the story, I did not want to leave it.
And I didn't... for I am reading it again, for the second of what will likely be many more times and I look forward to seeing all of my old friends.
Don't worry though, there is always a space available beforehand. Just be sure to RSVP.. and whatever you do, don't cut the Roses! :)