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The Orc King

Transitions, Book I
Written by: R. A. Salvatore
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Drizzt is back, and facing a world changed forever!

An uneasy peace between the dwarves of Mithral Hall and the orcs of the newly established Kingdom of Many-Arrows can't last long. The orc tribes united under Obould begin to fight each other, and Bruenor is determined to finish the war that nearly killed him and almost destroyed everything he's worked to build.

But it will take more than swords and axes to bring a lasting peace to the Spine of the World. Powerful individuals on both sides may have to change the way they see each other. They may have to start to talk. And it won't be easy.

This book wasn't just the next installment in the long-running saga of the famous dark elf, but the beginning of a bold new trilogy that will help change the face of the Forgotten Realms world forever.

©2008 R. A. Salvatore (P)2009 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

New narrator is terrible. Where's Victor Bavine?

As far as I can tell, Audible cheaped out and instead of getting the narrator that voiced the last 19 books to read this one, they bought another company's audiobook.
I think I'll just read the remaining books, at least the ones not narrated by Victor Bavine. They should have gotten Victor for the remaining books. Big mistake.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Good book dry reading.

Not sure why Victor Pavine wasn't the narrator. he does a reat job. The narrator of this book is dry. Doesn't put any effort or emotion into the reading. I personally disliked the reading right off the bat. The book starts with a great action sequence but the narrator makes it sound like someone who doesn't like what is being read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Poor Pronunciation

I can't really tell if he tried to pronounce names wrong on purpose or not.

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

A bit of a jarring change

I generally liked this story. It was a good one showcasing the non-standard race actions that make for good intrigue.

What I found hard about this listen is the shift to Mark Bramhall. Mark is a great orator in his own right. I would greatly like to hear him read the Necronomicon collection of HP Lovecraft stories. His voice is perfectly suited to that. Far more care from himself and the voice directors should have been taken to try for more consistent regional accents and pronunciations that have been established by Victor Bevine for the past 12 or so books.

It takes the listener out of the story experience to hear common place, character and sentient weapon names pronounced completely differently and with a whole different accents.

By the end of the story I adapted, but I may have to listen to this again to hear what I missed in the first time around when I'd be struggling to determine what was being referred to and by whom.

Still... a good story and worth a listen.

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

very good

I laughed and cried captivating from start to finish no break in the movement always swinging

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story performance lacks

loved the story, but was very disappointed with the changing of major characters and magic items names. they were no longer pronounces the same as they had been for many years.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worst narrater on the planet

I’m disgusted with the narration of this novel where is victor bevine the mark Bramhall can’t even pronounce drizzts name the book is amazing like the rest but audible really screwed over the fans by getting this narrater would never recommend you get the novel from audible go to your local book store and buy it or off a book stores web site such a disgrace to an amazing book.. shame on you audible

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

Narrator is Mediocre does try

I'm not going to talk about the story just read a plot summary online somewhere. As far as the narrator goes, he's very choppy with focusing way too much on the pronunciation of each individual word as he's reading. He gets the names of the characters right but a lot of the names for other things like the names of swords and towns he pronounces those wrong or really obscure compared to Victor Bevine (who in my opinion is the leading Authority on R A Salvatore books).

But I do believe that Mark Bramhall tries his best to deliver as engaging a performance as he can and his performance does improve as you get further into the book. The accents he gives the characters are barely distinguishable at best off the beginning but towards the end it is very clear on who is speaking just based on the accent that he's giving that character. So there's definite Improvement even through this one book.

Still I wasn't a big fan of his tone or the feel of the performance and there was no flow at all. It was impossible to feel captivated by the action scenes because Mark just could not stop with the over emphasis on the pronunciation of each individual word. When Victor Bevine reads, he seems to have an beautiful ability to meld the words and sentences together like Silk.

Nutshell: Mark Bramhall does seem to give it his best and there is signs if improvement as the book continues. Perhaps The Pirate King and The Ghost King will benefit from that.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Randy
  • 2014-06-27

I miss Victor Bevine!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Orc King to be better than the print version?

No

Any additional comments?

So if you've been listening to all of these Drizzt books be prepared for a new narrator. He changes the pronunciation of every name. I get he wants to put a flare of his own scent on this but seriously... Luskin is pretty dang basic yet he calls it Louskon. I almost didn't continue the story at first because of this.

81 of 81 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Aaron
  • 2014-06-24

Good story, bad narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if you are a fan of R.A. Salvitore novels you will want to hear this story. It is a good story, although I think some of his other books are slightly superior.

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

Bad. Granted I've grown used to Victor Bevine's narration, but Mark Bramhall was just bad. Not only did he mispronounce "made up" words like Bruenor and Drizzt, but he also badly mispronounced some of the standard English language. I can only presume that other narrators were unavailable, or that Mark Bramhall was extremely inexpensive.

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

No, the story was good, but the constant narration errors were grating.

65 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bentley
  • MURRAY, UT, United States
  • 2014-07-29

Needs to be re recorded with Victor Bevine!

Awesome book, but needs to be re recorded with the voice of Victor Bevine. Mark Bramhall does not have the same rhythm, finesse, and grasp of character that Victor does. After listening to Victors previous 16 performances in this amazing series, I was devastated that they decided to change actors for these three books. BRING BACK VICTOR!!

54 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel C Gallagher
  • 2014-08-04

Poor Performance

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

Very disappointed with the performance on this one. I understand that things are going to change when a new person is reading... but this just shows a great lack of effort. After spending hundreds of hours listening to this series I was appalled that the Bramhall, or someone in charge of production, couldn't take the time to at least maintain the previous pronunciations of the characters' names. The reading is flat, almost as though Bramhall is reading through a list and not a story.

43 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Raz
  • 2014-07-25

Horrid Narration. Read it instead.

What did you like best about The Orc King? What did you like least?

Story is great. It continues the adventure. But the narration makes me want to ask for my credits back or have audible send me the books so i can read them my self.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Drizzt for obvious reason but again how could you even let this go out with such bad narration.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Bramhall?

Victor Bevine. Hands down the best choice for this.

Was The Orc King worth the listening time?

I could not even finish listening to part one let alone the whole book. The voice is dry and the narrator reads it as if reading the news or pronouncing one word at a time.

Any additional comments?

If would like to get a refund of my credit or the physical books so i can read them. This stop the story for me right in the middle of the series.

36 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DanC
  • MA
  • 2014-08-21

Please bring back Victor Bevine

What did you love best about The Orc King?

Story was great.

How could the performance have been better?

Narrator mis-pronounces most of the key names, and has downright dreadful voices for the characters. Why was the narrator changed? Please bring back Victor Bevine.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • EastBayRae
  • Raccoon City
  • 2014-04-28

The reader is horrid!

What would have made The Orc King better?

Have Victor Bovine read it!

Would you ever listen to anything by R. A. Salvatore again?

Yes, I like his style of writing.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Bramhall?

Victor Bovine! Mark is horrid. His pronunciation is terrible, little to no change in tone regardless of what is happening, almost no difference between male and female characters. He ruined this series of books.

What character would you cut from The Orc King?

None

Any additional comments?

I wish I had listened to the sample of this narrators voice. He ruined this entire series! Let the man Victor Bovine read these books. If I had it to do again I would have bought the kindle version of these books and read them by hand like a caveman. Seriously disappointed.

65 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • *Geek'ster
  • 2013-12-14

Not a good starting point by any means

What made the experience of listening to The Orc King the most enjoyable?

Continuing to accompany Drizzt Do'Urden and his friends on another adventure

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

After listening to a dozen books in the Drizzt Do'Urden series narrated by Victor Bevine, the narration from Mark Bramhall was utterly jarring. I expected a difference, for sure, but I was unable to find any redeeming qualities in this performance. It sounded like a lecture from a textbook - Mark's spirit seemed far removed from the book in front of him. The character voices were distinguishable but flat, Drizzt was harsh and angry, and the dwarfs were just poor imitations of Irish accents. I wonder sometimes with his inflection if he actually understood anything he was reading. Victor Bevine may have just set the bar way too high, because his reads are nothing short of fantastic. I am dreading listening to the rest of the "Transitions" series with Mark Bramhall reading them...

Any additional comments?

This is not a good place to get into the Drizzt Do'Urden series... it really is foolish to jump into the series here without reading the earlier novels. The author already assumes you know a lot about the characters at this point. Start with earlier books in the series both for the sake of the story and characters, and also to hear Victor Bevine give a narration that will make you fall in love with these beautifully written stories.

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matt Faltesek
  • 2014-06-22

Performance Shaky

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Bramhall?

Victor Bevine has been doing a great job on the other books in the Legend of Drizzt. Mark's portrayal of Drizzt makes him sound bitter and angry as at least one other reviewer has noted. Mark also pronounces some of the names of the characters in ways that vary so greatly from Victor's that it is confusing.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • T. E. LaMonte
  • 2015-02-07

ReDo the Transitions series

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

Mark reads this series like an instruction manual. His voice never changes tone. He adds his own commas, breaks, pauses and periods. The only reason I didn't fall asleep listening to him is because of the voice changes between characters. Drizzt always sounds pissed off. The Orcs sound human. The dwarves sound like a bunch of drunk Irish or Scotts. His pronunciation is extremely horrible. He changed Bruenor's name from 2 syllables to 3. Luskin is pronounced Lou Skin etc.... Did he even listen to Victor's previous readings? You don't come in the middle of a series like this and start making up your own pronunciations. Readers/Listeners are looking for continuity, especially after hearing Victor for so many books. I wasn't even remotely able to enjoy this book because the only thing I could think about was how excruciating Mark's voice was while he was murdering the read!

Any additional comments?

I'm extremely disappointed in Audible and whoever is responsible for hiring the readers. You charge 3 times what the book costs to buy and you pick someone like Mark? Why didn't you quality check your own product? If you did quality check it, fire that person because he/she doesn't know how to do their job. You shamed yourselves, your listeners and R.A. Salvatore.

44 of 45 people found this review helpful