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Audiobook DJ

The Tercentennial Baron

Title:The Tercentennial Baron: the Bellirolt Chronicles, Book 1

Author: Will Damon

Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds

Length:14 h, 34 m

Publisher: Odyssean Studios

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Percival has always had strange dreams, but the latest one seems more lifelike than the others. Standing outside of a burning barn, he sees an ancient warrior inside the barn, kneeling on the ground and unable to stand. Determined to help the man escape the inferno, Percival prepares to run inside the barn and drag the man out. His rescue attempt is interrupted when he wakes up. Is the dream a sign or an omen of some kind? At any rate, the unusual dream proves to be the start of a very unusual day, especially when creatures from the “otherworld” begin to appear in the hills surrounding Percival’s hometown of Bonnybield, Scotland.

Raised by his eccentric grandmother, Granny McGugan, 13-year-old Percival lives the quiet life of a typical farm boy. His monotonous, chore-filled days are made more tolerable by his keen interest in the many supernatural creatures that are part of Scotland’s culture. Of particular interest to Percival is an entity known as The Tercentennial Baron, a man whose appearance through the centuries has been associated with historic battles, death, and destruction. Because Granny forbids Percival to pursue his interest in ghosts and other goulish beings, he is surprised when he overhears her quietly reciting part of a children’s nursery rhyme. “Once, twice shrieks the wind, the Baron will come back again…”  

Author Will Damon has created a truly magical story which intertwines the lives of a centuries-old aristocratic Scottish baron with a young, impetuous, modern-day teenager. They both have things to learn from each other, and the end of their lesson is as much of a surprise to them as it will be to the listener.

The author is also an audiobook narrator with over 200 audiobooks to his credit. Knowing this, it should be no surprise that he writes with the spoken word in mind. It is a joy to listen to this audiobook and narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds uses his impressive vocal talents to transport listeners directly into the story.

An intriguing cast of characters requires expertise with a multitude of accents, including Italian, French, Irish, Scottish, British, and even an ancient wizard language. Reynolds voices all of these characters flawlessly, as well as effortlessly switching back and forth from male to female personalities. It's a pleasure to hear how he uses vocal nuance, slightly changing tone or inflection, to convey characters’ emotions.

I do most of my listening to audiobooks while I’m driving. For safety reasons, if a recording grabs all of my attention, I'll turn it off while negotiating traffic. This listening experience was so engaging that I decided it was best to listen in my favorite recliner rather than a moving vehicle. When a performance makes the listener want to do nothing but just sit and listen, that's the sign of a great story and a great story-teller.