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  • The Darkling Thrush

  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Max Miller
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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The Darkling Thrush

By: Josh Lanyon
Narrated by: Max Miller
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Summary

Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.

Please note: This book contains gay erotic content.

©2012 Josh Lanyon (P)2012 Josh Lanyon
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about The Darkling Thrush

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellant Narration and Suspenceful story

I loved this audiobook. Max Miller was superb as the narator and the story by Josh Lanyon is dark, full of suspence and masterful.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Donald
  • 07-07-13

Learn to Observe the Omens...

When I began this book I was a bit unsure of what I had gotten myself into. I had to listen to the first chapter twice in order to get both a sense of the story as well as a back-story to some of the mystical characters involved. Additionally, the time frame of the story continues to elude me. As a huge fan of Josh Lanyon's, I was a bit surprised at the lack of back-story regarding the mystical...but I digress. With all that, I must admit that I did get into the story and enjoyed it a great deal. Colin's outlook was interesting and the whole thing with Septimus caught me off guard, which is always a good thing. Max Miller did a great job and added differing perspectives to the list of characters within the story. I do recommend, but if you are a bit uneducated to the mystical, you may need to prepare to listen very closely or perhaps twice. Good story...

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tony Squared
  • 24-10-12

A Magical Story

What did you love best about The Darkling Thrush?

Lanyon's lyrical descriptive writing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Colin. An appealing mix of stubbornness and youthful hope.

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

His amazing, distinct vocal characterizations of all the characters in the book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, when Septimus, who has been assigned to kill Colin even though he loves him, says "I would do anything to save you."

Any additional comments?

The story is a heady brew of fairies, brownies, witches, humans with magical powers, an ancient monster from the Deep, Celtic legends, and magic spells. Of course, it’s also a suspenseful mystery and a romance. Lanyon places his story in the haunted, wind-swept isles off the northwest coast of Scotland, a location which inspires some of the best, most lyrical descriptive writing he has produced.
The story’s title is a reference to the poem of the same name by Thomas Hardy. Appropriately for the story, the poems last lines are:

“I could think there trembled through

His happy good-night air

Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew

And I was unaware.”

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-11-12

Enjoyable

Highly enjoyable. I really liked the ebook and hearing it read is a real treat. Max Miller's voice is just perfect for the character of Collin and his handling of the Gaelic used throughout the story sounded authentic to this untrained ear.

All of the characters came to life as they do when the writing is excellent as it is here. I find the idea of using a type of psychometry (the ability to "read" the past of an object) to track down the history of a book a fascinating one. There's always a curiosity about where a book has been or who used it last and Collin is one who has the ability to do this. When he's hired to use his skills to hunt down an ancient tome of dangerous spells, Collin takes a vacation from his job in London and heads north to Scotland and straight into danger.

There is a male-male relationship within the pages of this story, but its well written and understated, as Josh Lanyon's skill at giving us the underlying emotions between the pairing (especially during the intimate scenes) is subtle and wonderful to read/hear.

On the whole, well worth the money. And I look forward to hearing another book read by Mr. Miller.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Libros Lover
  • 27-11-12

A Dark Treat

Where does The Darkling Thrush rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very high. The story was a wonderful surprise and the narrator is outstanding. I don't know where they found him, but I do hope that he gets lots more work.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Septimus. You could tell that he had ambiguous feelings for the hero and when the truth was finally revealed, he morphed into a darkly sensual (not just sexual) man that I wish was present in more m/m novels.

Which scene was your favorite?

The train's journey to Scotland.

If you could take any character from The Darkling Thrush out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Septimus. He was quite mysterious and I would have wanted to unravel him.

Any additional comments?

Max Miller - Bravo and ENCORE!!!

6 people found this helpful

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  • elisethroughthelookingglass
  • 01-11-12

Amazing narrator, incredible story

Where does The Darkling Thrush rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Darkling Thrush is probably in my top 5 if I am ranking by narrators. I have several favorites (Holter Graham, Simon Vance, Barbara Rosenblat), Max Miller has immediatly put himself right up there. Not only can he read, with excellent accent's, but he can sing!! As a whole I would rank it easily within my top ten and I own over 100 audio books.

What other book might you compare The Darkling Thrush to and why?

Hard to find something to compare it to that is an audio book but it has some of the same tone/feel as some of the victorian/steampunk I have read--although in no way is it steampunk. I suppose it caters to my love of traditional British detective novels but with an m/m relationship and lots of magic!

Have you listened to any of Max Miller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first I've listened to--I will be looking for more.

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

Yes--but I made myself eek it out.

Any additional comments?

I have never read anything by Josh Lanyon that I didn't love. If he is able to keep up the quality of narration I will buy all of them in audio too!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kd
  • 26-10-12

Perfect Narrator & Good Story

The story was certainly okay, even good, but it is not erotica. Still, the story is a believable type of real life fantasy, extra human power, kind of stuff. Nonetheless, I don't know why it's listed there, as erotica. The few M/M sex scenes are far from explicit. In fact, I don't think the eventual male couple ever actually engaged in intercourse. If so, it was left almost entirely to the imagine. They clearly did "something," but so little detail was provided that I'm not sure. But, even as an erotica fan, that didn't detract from the story. This is due in large part to the exquisite voice power of the narrator. What voice could he NOT do?! Geez! So I think well worth a buy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Murphy Irene
  • 05-11-12

The Darkling Thrush

What did you love best about The Darkling Thrush?

I should state here, that I am not usually into fantasy and other worlds. What I liked best about this story was the fact that it was a mystery within the fantasy and I could follow both the story in the fantasy world and the mystery.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Colin Bliss because he was the hero of the story and Septimous Marx the love interest. Both are interesting characters and fun to read about.

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

As I have said, I am really not that into fantasy, but Max Miller's rendition of the story was wonderful. His words flowed so well and I felt he knew the characters and represented them very well. When I first read the book, I got a little lost in all of the "other world" stuff. Max Miller makes it real. You feel you are in the world with Colin and Marx.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Fantasy, gay mystery.

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed this presentation and hope to listen to more of Max Miller and Josh Lanyon presentations.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 05-11-12

Exceptional reading of an exceptional novel

Where does The Darkling Thrush rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty much at the top.

What did you like best about this story?

Atmospheric, gothic and just a touch of the Lovecraftian horror, plus the dry, intriguing alternative-history fantasy world and the acerbic sarcasm of the narrator make this a one-time experience.

What about Max Miller’s performance did you like?

I was very pleased with Max's ability with the voice of the narrator: sophisticated, academic, young and wonderfully sarcastic. Then he did other characters, and I thought for a moment that I was listening to a radio play with multiple voice actors rather than just one talented man. Holy crap -- his accents are spot on, he gaelic sounds spot-on and he can sing, to boot!

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

Yes!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KC
  • 11-06-13

The Darkling Thrush

What did you love best about The Darkling Thrush?

It's a very atmospheric (urban) fantasy story, and I love the idea of book perusing, the ability to feel and see into the past of a book and the people who've read it or handled it. It's such a good story!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Darkling Thrush?

There are several 'most memorable' moments involving Colin Bliss, Magister Septimus Marx, decisions and revelations.

What about Max Miller’s performance did you like?

I love everything about Max Miller's performance! he's such an amazing narrator, with such a good range of voices, he always finds the right cadence for the book, and he makes every character come alive. For this book, i especially liked the voices he had for the "villains", very distinct, triggering an instant reaction towards the character, as i expected/remembered from the book.

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

There were definitely intense moments - suspenseful, exhilarating, moments when i held my breath, some scary moments and some heart-warming ones. It's a journey, an adventure. I highly recommend it!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Edina Rose
  • 16-12-12

Great narration of a good story

What made the experience of listening to The Darkling Thrush the most enjoyable?

The narrator's voice was very pleasant and he impersonated all the characters beautifully. He had a distinct voice for each of them and switched from male to female voices, or American to English to Scottish accents convincingly. You can tell that he probably read and really understood the book before narrating the story.

What did you like best about this story?

The subtle strangeness of the characters and the lyrical quality of the vocabulary: "veneficus", "librivinator" "vox pessimires", "Sociestas Magicke", "Faileas a’ Chlaidheimh" etc. I also liked the mystery plot and the British setting. Compared to the rest of the plot, the romance was a bit under-developed, unfortunately.

Who was the most memorable character of The Darkling Thrush and why?

Colin Bliss. The book is written in his POV and he has an amazing voice. He is self-deprecating and proud at the same time, suitably imperfect (just enough to be interesting and still appear like the good guy). He is funny without trying too hard but he is also a boring nerd. He is lucky and very unlucky at the same time, he is in love and not so in love. He is everything and its contrary. I loved it!

Any additional comments?

I recommend this book if you are looking for a good fantasy, but not if you are looking for a fully developed and fulfilling romance. If you are looking for THE great gay romance, check the Adrien English Mysteries series by the same author.

2 people found this helpful