Friday, September 28, 2012
The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French
When thinking of this book, the phrase "delightful romp" comes to mind. Add to that Renee Raudman's absolutely awesome reading and you have an absolutely compelling audiobook.
I probably would have enjoyed this book just reading it to myself. It has all of the elements that make it fabulous: humor, endearing characters, exciting chases, and absolutely entertaining villains. The plot is slightly predictable, but the dialogue makes up for the slightly formulaic storyline.
There are some references to modern day devices, I think a roller coaster is referenced at one point, but I don't have a complete grasp of what the world is like. so much time is spent with the characters that there isn't a ton of explanation of what the world of the Five Kingdoms is like. Which is kind of okay, you don't really need it. The real draw are the characters. They are so well done, simplistic yet there's just the right amount of depth to them to make them memorable. I especially loved the bat Marlin and Gubble the troll. They were both so delightful! Yes, Gracie Gillypot is a bit of a wet blanket as she's just so perfect and such a True Heart. But who cares? Prince Marcus makes up for her (and he's not even the best character!) and she's not in it too frequently.
I really want to also talk about Renee Raudman. She was so perfect for this, each voice and accent she did for the individual characters was so spot on. She had an incredible ear for pacing and tone. I think she might have spoiled me for all other audiobook readers. Sublime.
As I did listen to the audiobook, I didn't get to partake in the illustrations within the book. They're done by Ross Collins, and from what I can tell they're excellent. They seem to really encompass the style of the book.
I'm also sharing a video off of Vivian French's website, I think her hairstyle is fabulous.