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The Diamond Throne

The Elenium, Book 1
Written by: David Eddings
Narrated by: Greg Abby
Series: The Elenium, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sparhawk, the Pandion Knight and Queen's Champion, returns from a long spell of exile to find his native land overrun with evil and intrigue, and his young queen grievously ill. Indeed, Ehlana lies magically entombed within a block of crystal, doomed to die unless a cure can be found within a year.

But as Sparhawk and his allies - who include Sephrenia, the ageless sorceress, and Flute, the strange and powerful girl-child - seek to save Ehlana and the land, they discover that the evil is even greater and more pervasive than they had feared.

©1989 David Eddings (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"[A] graceful, fluid style of storytelling." ( Publishers Weekly)
"[Eddings] draws once more on his particular strengths, combining heroic yet humorous characters with exotic settings and tangled politics to create a fast-moving fantasy that will appeal to his large readership." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Love these series

I could listen to these books all day long theses were the stories I grew up on #Audible1

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Trope Filled in a Good Way!

The Diamond throne and the rest of the series always felt like it was designed to show that all the nuanced and innuendo the characters did in the Belgariad and the Mallorean to be shed off here, only really happening around one particular character but otherwise showing a semi-realistic dose of inter-politics and also a meshing of magic and knightly orders. The plot itself is fairly straight forward, with a character who is cynical at times but determined all the same, and has far too much experienced in dealing with all the bumps and interruptions the world can throw at him. The incentive to speed along the journey feels sometimes thrown in there as an arbitrary device to make some notion of emotional drain on the protagonists and perhaps it should have been extended and then limited which knights died; for the impact was much better struck home when we met each knight and were given a taste of the character before they passed on.

The antagonists start out very clumsy and a little obvious, but get better with time. You will question why one particular king seems to have all the authority a lot, fair warning. Greg Abby does a good job, though his pronunciation has me very confused on character names that seem straight forward and got made complex for no reason.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Becca
  • 2009-12-11

mispronounciations make the book unlistenable

I've enjoyed Eddings' Belgariad and Malorean, so I thought I'd like this trilogy. So far, it's typical Eddings, with a bit more convoluted politics, and a fairly slow leadup to the main quest part of the story. The narrator, however, ruins whatever enjoyment I'd have, however. He's limited, and recognizes his limitations, doesn't try to voices, for example. But his mispronunciations are making the book unlistenable. One word, in particular, is "hierarchy" - it's used a lot in the book, and the narrator consistently massacres it, which jerks me out of the story every time he hits the word. I'm not sure I'm going to continue on with the trilogy because of this.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Homescholar
  • 2013-02-27

Could have been

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not. The story line is pretty good, but it was hard listening because of the reader. I think it could have been good, with a good reader.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrators timing, emphasis and inflection were all wrong. I found it so irritating to listen to that I had to stop listening several times. I wouldn't normally bother finishing a book with a reader like this, but the story had potential and then, I had already listened to all of my downloaded books and had to wait for my new credits. I won't be listening to the rest of the series!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christina
  • 2009-02-03

Surprise book

The first part was slow and I thought for sure this book was a dud, but when Sparhawk's friends enter the story they liven it up. I am very picky about my fantasy stories and this is one that has made my list. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good book.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bryan J. Peterson
  • 2009-09-19

Quirky pronunciations but overall a worthy job.

I read the Elenium and Tamuli serieses back in 1996 when I was sixteen. I'd just finished reading the Belgariad and Malloreon novels earlier that spring, so I was slightly disappointed that the Elenium and its sequel series took a different turn. But the humor found in what has become one of if not my absolute favorite fantasy serieses continues in the Elenium universe. The Elenium tells the story of Sir Sparhawk, a member of an order of knights known as the Pandions, soldiers of the church of the Elene God, a deity similar in many ways to the Christian god. His worshippers often behave in similar ways as well, right down to the inflexibility and intolerance of other religions that some Christian fundamentalists display. The Pandion Knights, however, as well as the three other Militant Orders of the Church, are exempt from certain restrictions of Church law, such as the prohibition against the practice of magic.
Sparhawk, having just returned from a ten-year exile from Elenia, comes home to a much-changed kingdom. King Aldreas is dead, seemingly killed by the Falling Sickness, and his daughter, the strong-willed Queen Ehlana, is suffering from a fatal disease and being sustained by powerful Styric magic while the search for a cure is undertaken. But now the kingdom is being run by the corrupt Primate Annias, who seeks dominion of the Elene church. It soon becomes apparent, however, that something far more sinister than ordinary politics is at work.
Greg Abby's narration is very well-done, although I did notice that he tended to mispronounce some fairly common words such as Impudent or Hexagonal. His voice, however, reminds me of a combination of those of actors Neil Dickson and Lex Lang. In short, very well-done aside from the quirky pronunciations. He does manage to give life to the many characters in the story. When humor is called for he manages to pull it off quite nicely. In short I'm glad I bought the series.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cliff
  • 2014-02-12

My favorite Eddings Series

Opinions varied on David Eddings throughout his life, but I really like this series. Yes, his work is derivative but he is good at following the formula he developed. This serues was more gritty and mature than the Belgariad and Mallorean. I read this series as a young adult and was pleased to find that it holds up just as well in audio format.

Maybe I am in the minority but I had no problems with the narrarator and really liked this novel . Eddings did tend to write more for young adults (basically the J.K. rowling of my childhood) which is good because I was able to listen to a book I loved as a child with my daughter who is about the same age. After listening to the series with me she made me buy them in print and she read them repeatedly until the books fell apart. That is a pretty major endorsement.

This one is definitely worth a credit.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly
  • 2013-02-11

Love the story but the narrator needed work!

Any additional comments?

I have have enjoyed this series for years but this is my first listen on audiobook. I have to say I am so disappointed that the narrator didn't bother to learn the correct pronunciation of words and names. It seems so elementary an idea to get the basics right. Each time he mangles a name or word it jars you from the story. Additionally, his voice portrayal of several of the characters are so incongruous to the story. There was so much potential to bring this story to life but it fell short. The narrator is not without talent but was apparently lacking in direction. Still love the books but I'm unsure if I can continue to listen to the audio version.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Todd A. Howard
  • 2013-03-11

reader is adequate, book is good

Would you listen to The Diamond Throne again? Why?

Yes, I like the story and the characters.

What three words best describe Greg Abby’s performance?

mispronounces many words

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Abby's voices for the characters are good, but he has a faulty grasp of the pronunciation of a number of words over two syllables. One is "impudent," of which he accents the "pu", and another is "ramshorn," which should be pronounced "rams-horn" and not "ram-shorn." This word occurs in the 2nd and 3rd books of the series, repeatedly.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AvidReader91
  • 2012-11-27

Good story, so-so narrator

I first encountered this story in the early 1990's, and have re-read it many times. It remains one of my favorite fantasy series. Sparhawk's quest to find the cure to his queen's illness is filled with entertaining characters, sufficiently vile antagonists, and plenty of suspense. There are a few twists and turns to keep you guessing, as well.

Anyone who is familiar with the Belgariad will recognize specific roles (comic relief / older advisor / young rogue, etc.) It's sort of fun to analyze the characters in comparison to the other series, trying to pinpoint how they correlate. There's a lot of overlap. There's also plenty similarity in the larger, over-arcing storyline - simple human (Garion / Sparhawk), powerful artifact (Aldur's orb / Bhelliom), and evil God (Torak / Azash). Anyone who enjoyed Eddings' earlier series will likely also enjoy this one (and its sequel).

While the narrator did a reasonable job, it was not easy to distinguish between different characters' voices. This could make conversations rather hard to follow. My other complaint with the audio version has to do with pronunciations. Having such a familiarity with the book has a few drawbacks, especially when it comes to my internal pronunciation of names, places, and so on. I was constantly jarred by oddly accented words here, a strangely pronounced name there. I would estimate that a good 50% of the names in the book were said differently than I had imagined them. I don't claim to be an expert on how David Eddings intended things to be pronounced, but it made it more difficult for me to enjoy the book as much as I had hoped. Others will likely have a different experience, but if you are wary of things like this or have previously read the book, I recommend listening to the sample audio clip, to see if you like the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2012-07-14

A Favorite

Would you consider the audio edition of The Diamond Throne to be better than the print version?

No, the audio edition would have been better with a different narrator..the narrator made Flute sound like an old women instead of a young girl and i didnt like the way he pronouced Sparhawk's name or any of the names..every time he mentioned a named, it would draw me out of the story

What did you like best about this story?

i love the story itself, i have read the story several times..its one of mine favorites - that is the main reason i purchased it in audio

Would you listen to another book narrated by Greg Abby?

No, there was no really differentiation in the character's voices..

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

yes, love the story but the narration was okay - would have been better if Mr. Abby was able to show each character's personality more

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • 2008-08-24

Love the book, not the narrator

I love these books. They are great, classic fantasy. I red them years ago and was thrilled to see the audio release. But the narrator leaves a lot to be desired. He mispronounces many words, like impudent and hexagonal, and unfortunately those words and others he butchers, are in the story a lot. He seems only to have a few voices, and his street slang american accent just did not work for me. The stories are worth it, but I hope the next series has a different narrator.




19 people found this helpful