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The Widow Brigade

Narrated by: Darla Middlebrook
Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

"If your death ever comes before mine, I hope the gods take my life soon after." Duli and her husband had stated those words to each other several times. Then the day came when his dwarf kin brought his body back from the field of an ambush. As a non-clan dwarf, rendered beardless by old customs, her widowed status places her in the lowest caste of Tok-Maurron. Fearful of her future under a chauvinistic crafters' guild, and unwilling to complete her suicide attempt, Duli's emotions turn to rage directed at the humans. Dwarf traditions forbid women to wage war, yet the ongoing battles leave more widows enticed by her call to action.

Ridiculed, chastised, and even jailed in her own chambers for her actions, Duli's struggles for her beliefs are even slowed by her need to earn a living off her non-sanctioned craft. Duli only wishes her own death, but in the process sparks a liberation movement that shakes the subterranean city to its core values. Even if the women win over their clan, they must still prove they have the mettle to face their husbands' killers, and the magic that humans command.

Author's Note: The world in which The Widow Brigade is set was designed after much of my own experience, and critical critique, of classic fantasy books and role-playing games. The story tips my hat to the many and yet too-few women who have shared this gaming passion of mine. The following quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich influenced how this story had to be written: "Well-behaved women seldom make history."

©2015 Douglas Van Dyke Jr (P)2019 Douglas van Dyke Jr

What listeners say about The Widow Brigade

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Dreary Narration

The narration is tedious in the extreme, so slow and measured with characterisation reduced to low almost incomprehensible growling as she voices all the elder dwarves in a cliched feeble wavery voice you would use when telling fairy stories to children.

It’s a shame that I have to mark down the entire book because I really like the world building that was going on but after half a dozen chapters I couldn’t take the narration any more. Still, the author wins out as having bought this audiobook I shall be buying the written version to finish it.

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Fantasy from a Dwarven point of view

I loved this story, Not only was it told from the point of view of a female dwarf it had the humans as the enemy - such a nice departure from the normal fantasy stories. The traditional ideas about Dwarves were still there but told and used in a very different way, and the action was well written and interesting. I liked the depth given to all the main characters and the world building was excellent. I don't like to add spoilers so I'm afraid you'll have to buy the book and find out why this is a fantasy book that anyone who is fed up with the usual Fantasy tropes needs to read (or listen) to.

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  • Justin
  • 21-06-19

Pulls on the heart strings.

A nice change of pace from your standard fantasy novel. It has slow start and the narrator's voices sounded similar. Other than that it was well done.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 05-11-19

Amazing!

Absolutely wonderful story and intriguing characters! Great narrative by Darla Middlebrook. I enjoyed reading this book, but heading it brings another aspect of it, the characters are given a voice/ sound.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Aurora McMillian
  • 19-07-19

Unlikely Heroes

I truly enjoyed this book! These women were heroes and brought about historical change in the world of dwarves. I laughed, I cried and as I woman I was so very proud! I shows want one person can accomplish if they just go after what they believe is right. The narrator did a fine job with differences between males and females, the ladies sounded like women of varying ages and then sounded like gruff ancient males with antique ideals and biased thinking, they sounded just as ugly as they behaved. They were shamed into having honor which just shows how much they had lost their way as dwarves. I am glad I read it and it was gifted to me in exchange for my thoughts.

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  • Chris Schmitz
  • 29-11-19

Do you like dwarves...

Cuz this has dwarves. But it's more than that, this follows a female dwarf in the aftermath of losing her husband to an enemy. This book is one of the most interesting reads I've seen on not just dwarf women, but the culture. I've read lots of dwarf-heavy fantasy, but this is nuanced, paced, introspective, and really delves into its subject matter. I couldn't help but feel shades of Joan of Arc in Duli as she has had enough crap from the male-centric guilds and decides to begin forging her own path--even if that means fighting. She is a dwarf, after all.

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  • Joseph Moore
  • 03-07-19

Mixed Feelings

The overall world that is built is interesting, even if not that unique among fantasy novels. The wolf character would normally be enough by itself to make me like the novel, but the handling of the main character. The entire world develops around her and even largely as a result of her, but her character is completely stagnant with the same internal dialog repeated from first chapter to last.

The narrator's performance of the male characters was awful. They all sound ancient and gruff to an almost incomprehensible degree, I understand that they are dwarves, but really... The female voices were done better and had a fair amount of distinction among characters, luckily this is most of the dialog.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.