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Summary

In this prequel to Crown Duel, teenage Shevraeth is invited by a king his own age to train in command at the cavalry academy in Marloven Hess, known for its violent history. Shevraeth is reluctant to leave his own comfortable and civilized Remalna for this warrior kingdom, except that Remalna is slowly becoming less civilized and more violent under a bad government. In Marloven Hess' elite academy, Shevraeth finds every assumption overturned, including his own identity. He discovers action, laughter, terror, enemies, friendship - and even romance - as world events move inexorably toward conflagration.

©2008 Sherwood Smith (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Kyahgirl
  • 08-03-16

The making of a leader - not to be missed!

4.5/5; 5 stars ; A

This book is, by far, my favorite of those I've listened to by this author. The fantastic narration is a big factor. Fred Berman has a voice that can seamlessly move between young and old voices, as well as male and female. I liked how the bulk of the narration was done with an American accent and then when Vidranic was speaking or the letters between him and his family were referenced it was with a different accent.

Anyway, this is a character driven story of a young man, thrust into the foreign world of a military school in a foreign country. He has a shaky start but through determination, intelligence, kindness and wits, he excels and spends the next four years learning and growing into a man and a warrior.

The 'big bad' in this story is mostly a looming shadow, providing impetus for much of the training at the military school, but doesn't really play a role action. The focus is on Vidranric's education and his growth as a person and a leader. I really enjoyed it.

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  • GrandmaE
  • 25-04-18

THIS IS WHY I READ!!!!

I can not express how wonderful this story is and frankly every book Sherwood smith has(that I have read)written!!!!! If I could give it 10 stars I would!!! ❤️ I don’t like sex written into books that’s not real story tailing, and so many new stories copy each other😝 but the real character building and laughing and crying. This book makes you want to be better and isn’t that a novel thought 😉

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  • Marisa Poulsen
  • 05-01-18

wonderful

loved the performance! the accents and flair were perfect. the story is hard to follow when listening, but he did a great job.

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  • E. Lewy
  • 09-07-15

A Very Strong Effort by Berman and Smith

What made the experience of listening to A Stranger to Command the most enjoyable?

This is a well-done prequel. In essence by reading Crown Duel first, this book felt like a long secret handshake between the author and reader. This may be Fred Berman's strongest book. I love it to piecese and listen to it again and again.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Shevraeth, the main character, but his best friend Savona is also great and is one of the best characters I've ever read. I love Savona!

What does Fred Berman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Fred does an excellent British accent in this book (although I am American so I am not sure if this would hold up for British readers but I think so), and also lends a lot of emotion to the climax.

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

YES.

Any additional comments?

This is one of my favorite books of all time now! The Crown Duel series is one of Sherwood Smith's strongest.

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  • Hanna Yang
  • 12-02-15

Excellent

Wished there was more. A brilliant story. There are moments where you must struggle to comprehend certain aspects of the story if you do not know previous works but overall I thoroughly enjoyed the narration and the tale.











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  • Emily
  • 18-01-15

An impossible truth: Even better than Crown Duel

What did you love best about A Stranger to Command?

A Stranger to Command is a triumph of prose and performance! Sherwood Smith's dynamic characters and elegant writing style converge with Fred Berman's skillful narration to create a "page-turning" audiobook that surpasses its sequel, Crown Duel.

Which character – as performed by Fred Berman – was your favorite?

Fred Berman's Vidanric is an utter delight! The British accent is an excellent choice to mark Vidanric as a foreigner in the text.

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

Absolutely! I had to tear myself away, and I couldn't wait to return to this text.

Any additional comments?

Read it. You'll love it.

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  • Lisa
  • 02-06-21

Pretty good story


Smith’s writing is very hit or miss for me. To start, I will admit I greatly disliked Crown Duel and Court Duel, where the main character of A Stranger to Command is the love interest. The story in Smith’s early works could have been interesting, but my intense dislike of the main character ruined it for me. That tends to be one of the big things with Smith’s books. The characters are either great or pushed on you to annoyance.

Now A Stranger to Command is a book I can keep returning to. The story can be interesting, the comparison of the culture the main character knows to one that seems completely different makes it a fun read. I really enjoy some of the main characters, Vindaric’s determination to take what he can learn and figure everything out is a fantastic driving force for the story.

My only issue with the story is, again, some characters. Sometimes the characters are portrayed as more then we are actually given. We are told how important or even how loved they are, but it’s never shown in a way that works. Particularly the Marloven king Senrid, who is also a main character in another book. He is continuously talked up as a character, never gives anything of interest except as a plot device, and is in the book enough it lowers my enjoyment a good deal.

For the audiobook, I needed something to listen to and decided to see how it was done. The narrator does a fantastic job, and is amazing at some of the voices. Where in some audiobooks I will speed it up because the slow reading can drive me crazy, he speaks at a good pace with great diction so nothing is missed.