Narrated by Sophie Eastlake
I must admit when I first heard that Lord’s Fall featured, once again, Pia and Dragos as the main characters, I was kind of worried. Partly my concern was the tension – could it be maintained in a story where the pair already had an HEA? But mostly, it was because I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed Dragon Bound. The characters are the best element of this audiobook. Catching up with Pia and Dragos was such good fun. In terms of conflict, there was a low-key storyline having to do with the meaning of their “partnership” and Dragos learning to temper his autocratic nature when it comes to Pia. But primarily, the story is about the prophecy of doom given to Dragos in Oracle’s Moon.
Having read reviews of the print version, I expected Pia and Dragos to be separated for much of the story, meeting up for alone times in dream spells cast by the dragon. So it was with pleased surprise that I discovered the separation was only for the first half of the book with the couple together in the latter half.
Sophie Eastlake is a wonderful narrator for the Elder Races series, capturing not only Dragos’ stern arrogance but also his baffled wonder at Pia and the changes he’s prepared to make for her. Her performance of the other characters is also very good and they’re fairly easy to differentiate.
Pia’s bodyguards on her trip to Lorithriel Wood include Eva and Hugh, two new recurring characters. Eva is a sassy black woman and, at times, Ms. Eastlake sounds spot on as such, while at other times, she sounds very much like a white woman trying to speak in African American idiom. I found Hugh’s Scottish accent faltered a bit at first but strengthened as the story went on. Occasionally the wrong character voice was used but it didn’t greatly impact my enjoyment of the listen.
I was so entertained by this audiobook and its characters that I finished it very quickly although I have to say that it is light on plot. The Wyr games were mainly window dressing and not a separate source of story or conflict and the Elven threat ended with a whimper, not a bang. Then, in a shift that felt strange in audio (but may have been signaled in print by an obvious line break), there was a jump forward to Pia and Dragos’ wedding some months later.
I continue to be enthralled by the world Ms. Harrison has built and which Ms. Eastlake delivers so well to my ears. But Lord’s Fall is very much for fans of the series and the joy of it is in the characters rather than the story.
Breakdown of Grade – Narration: B+ and Book Content: B-