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Dragon Connection

The Stone Crown Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Amy Soakes
Series: The Stone Crown Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

One crown can unite them - or destroy them all. 

The three kingdoms lie splintered, their aging dragon riders content with stories of glorious battle victories. But a new evil creeps across the land. Inyene, a powerful noblewoman of the Northern Kingdom, plunders valuable resources to power mechanical dragons in her quest to gain a foothold in the Middle Kingdom. From there she will ascend the High Throne, once again uniting the realms under a single crown. 

For the wearer of the Stone Crown can wield unlimited power - if it can be found. 

Narissea has spent a quarter of her 16 years slaving away in the mines, accused of a crime she didn’t commit. When word reaches her of the horrors assailing her village, Narissea knows she must act despite the risk. Already her arm is scarred with four brands signifying previous escape attempts. If she’s unsuccessful in her fifth, it will mean death. 

But her life forever changes when she stumbles upon an injured dragon, discovers an ancient shrine, and learns the true purpose behind Lady Inyene’s mechanical abominations. 

Now, Narissea has only one choice: gain Inyene’s trust and find a way to thwart her plans, even if it means sacrificing that which she desires most of all.  

Her freedom.  

This book contains violence.

©2019 Relay Publishing (P)2020 Relay Publishing

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

Cozy, delectable story with margin for improvement

I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review. Narration 6/10 Even though the narrator seems skillful and conspicuous effort is put into giving life to the characters, since the first moment I could not get past the sound tone chosen for the main protagonist, Nari. The voice, for me, was totally unfit for the character and it sounded more fit for the narration of something like "50 shades of grey" and I truly cannot understand why would someone designate a slightly silly and partly sensual voice to a fantasy hero, who should normally bear a more bold voice with some, either concealed or obvious, determination to it. In this regard, no matter how hard I tried, by the end of the novel I did not manage to get used to it. As a matter of fact, during the last few chapters I decided to speed the narration up to x1.5 which surprisingly helped, since the sped up voice took away an adequate part of the aforementioned sensual - silly hue. Additionally, although a minor issue compared to the above, I should mention that the lingual sound effects were a bit off-putting, since they sounded nothing like they are supposed to. To be more precise, a dragon roar does not sound like "squeeeeeel" and a whistle does not sound like "feet feet feet". For confrontation to the above and to give credit where credit is due, backtracking to my premise, the narrator does possess perspicuous skill with potential for improved recitation in future work, a dribble of which can be distinguished by the narration of several secondary characters whom she portrayed greatly. Story 7/10 The story is told via the perspective of Nari, a sixteen year old girl who has spent the last four years as a slave in a mine, when one day she will incidentally meet and befriend an injured black dragon - whose kind seems to have gone almost extinct for at least a generation - thereafter opposing Queen Inyene, who runs the slaver mines and utilizes them to gather the required resources for artificial / mechanical dragon construction, with the ultimate goal of obtaining the Stone Crown that will presumably bestow her the power to rule the world. Despite the story being delectable, cozy and well written, it just lacks some spark. It is a pretty straight forward story, lacking a bit of inspiration, mostly foreseeable when it comes to the main events and it can be a good one-two day listen that I'd recommend to be picked in the blank between other "heavier" and darker novels to ease down and reset before immersing yourself in another one of them. Taking into consideration the lack of danger I felt for any of the characters, combined with my apathy for anyone other than Nari, I'm left wanting for more when it comes to character development along with some intrigue and complexity to the story, more like numerous miscellany threads gradually being sewn together while the story goes on, rather than moving from point A to point B to point C and so on. Overall, I think this could be a great read for younger ages (10-16 y.o.), people getting familiar to the English language and people getting started with novel stories, as it is a pleasant, rather simple story, with easy vocabulary to tail after. Also, as mentioned above, it can be a good read for people who want to take a break into something brief and more easygoing.

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  • musicjunky
  • 22-10-20

Very good story but the narrater was distracting.

While the story is very good at the beginning I found the narrater distracting. After getting used to her it wasn’t as bad

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • HEATHER
  • 13-10-20

Get a different narrator

I love the Ava Richardson books. This was by far the worst narrator I have ever heard. Please redo this audiobook with someone else. I couldn’t even finish listening.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rictus
  • 30-07-20

it was a hard push.

I really wanted to like this story but the narrator killed it for me. I cannot stand this narrator, ehe has a poor cadence, no differentiating voices for the characters all topped off by the annoying tone of her voice. it was like pulling teeth or sitting in for a lecture about the history of fertilizer. the story was interesting, world building great and well displayed in the descriptions. the only area that lacked was the character interactions though surprisingly the story didnt suffer any for it currently not a repeat listen however with a new narrator I'd readily relisten and listen to any subsequent sequels but as it stands it's too painful to consider.

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  • CuteAsADaisy
  • 07-07-20

Couldn't Get Past the Narration

I have read other books by Ava and have really enjoyed them all. My biggest complaint with this one was with the narration, this was the first book I have listened to by Amy Soakes and I don't know if it is was her interpretation or just the tone of her voice... but it made many of the characters came off whiny, bratty and just overall annoying. It really became a struggle to want to listen to because it simply grated on my nerves. The story line was interesting and since I have listened to other books of Ava's I really was invested in seeing where this one was going. I guess my recommendation is to listen to the full audio sample before you purchase it and if you don't like the sound of this narration than buy the book instead of the audio version -the story is definitely worth a read either way. This author does a great job of bringing the characters and scenes to life while also keeping her stories clean and free from sex scenes, excessive violence and bad language. —I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret
  • 11-06-20

Story compensates for narration

This is the twenty-second book i have read/listened to by this author and I would listen to every one she writes. It was different than her other books in that there were a few repetitive character comments like.. “didn’t I” or “weren’t they”. It felt awkward. Overall, the story was as creative as all her others. I have not yet listened to a series of hers in which I did not enjoy the story. The stories are not complicated or overly descriptive. The plot moves along nicely and the characters relatable. Great entertainment and I love how most of the series have references to, or are happening at, the same time as events in another series. This is the first book I have listened to by this narrator ( Amy Soakes ) and I found it very difficult to get past her style to focus on the story. Until now, I’ve found most of the people to narrate Ava’s books did a good job. I found Amy’s style to be very haughty and snob-like in tone. It put a definitely different spin to the main character Nari than I think was intended and I had to purposefully overcome it in my head. The main character was determined young girl held captive under horrible conditions, not a pampered, clueless, disconnected princess that she sounded like. She uses fairly distinct voices for the characters, but the cadence and tone remain quite similar. There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review. Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful. Story 4/5 Narration 2/5

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  • murphyfields
  • 26-05-20

Very creative dragon story.

I would imagine it would be difficult to come up with a new spin on the dragon series, but I liked the approach in this book. It seemed fresh to me. Good strong characters. Solid female lead. Good dialog. Interesting villains. And a great dragon. Overall, I liked the narrator, but two things bothered me. One, the female lead often sounded pompous and snotty, and that hit me wrong. The other was the accent used for the dragon just seemed off for me. Of course, that sounds absolutely ludicrous as I write it. After all, who really knows what a dragon sounds like. But every time I heard it, it grated on my nerves. But I loved the voices she gave to the rest of the characters...male, female, weak or strong, she gave great, distinct voices. Overall, this book was very enjoyable, and I look forward to the next. I was given a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • trufriends
  • 17-05-20

good

good for all ages. When a slave finds an injured dragon they end up bonding. Looking forward to listening and/or reading the next book.