Wednesday, February 21, 2018

G.A. Henty Audiodrama- Wulf the Saxon

With the new year before us (can you believe it is almost March?) there are many things to look forward to!  One of my favorites, of course, is the opportunity to do some reviewing for the Homeschool Review Crew: first up- Wulf the Saxon Audio Drama from Heirloom Audio Productions.

It seems fitting that this would be the first review I have the honor of doing this Crew year, as we were introduced to Heirloom Audio Productions a few years ago and have been a big fan since.  In our stack of audio dramas you will find Under Drake's Flag, With Lee in Virginia, In the Reign of Terror, The Dragon and the Raven, In Freedom's Cause, Beric the Briton, and Captain Bayley's Heir.

Wulf the Saxon, like all of the other audio dramas from Heirloom, is an reenactment of one of the many classic G.A. Henty books.  By taking books that could take days or even weeks for some young readers to finish and putting them into a approximately 2 1/2 hour audio drama, these classic tales have become more accessible and even a bit more understandable to newer generations.  These are not word for word translations and some liberties are taken in the story line, but your child will none the less get the main ideas and plots of the G. A. Henty books.

Heirloom Audio Productions

So who is Wulf?
The story itself is told from "George's" (G. A. Henty) point of view to entertain and teach two unruly brothers whom have been caught arguing.  He begins to tell the story of a tapestry he holds and the adventures pictured on it.  The tale takes the reader back to 1065 and the time surrounding the Battle of Hastings.

At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Wulf , a young Saxon who is sent back to his home away from his service to the earl to learn "It is not always good to let others know what we think."  As he rules over his land and those who work for him,  he grows, matures, and learns many lessons.  When he is called back into service the real adventure begins.  Shipwrecks, battles, castles and sacrifice on many levels will keep you in suspense as you follow Wulf and his Christian friend, Harold, along the way.

What did we think?
We, of course, really liked this latest addition to the Heirloom library! I will, however, say this has been the hardest one for us to follow.  There are many characters and scene changes and you have to be paying attention to keep up.  Trust me I know!  After the boys, ages 16 and 10, listened on their own, I popped it into my computer to listen to while I worked.  Bad idea!  After about 20 minutes I realized I was lost and had to try again.  I found if I listened while doing nothing else, or even listened to it in the car where I was less distracted I followed much better.

Beware if listening in the car though- there are loud noises that will make you jump if you are prone to that kind of surprise.  I am and several times have had to will my heart rate back into the normal zone!

The boys, however really had no problem keeping up; maybe because they felt they knew the story better or maybe because at least one of them is an auditory learner.  They love audio dramas and often listen to these at night before bed, or just while doing something else in their rooms.   Their love of Heirloom also explains why I listened to Wulf the Saxon last- as soon as it hit the mailbox it was whisked away to their rooms.

And speaking of noises!  One of the things we love about Heiloom Audio Dramas is their use of popular actors.  Many of you will recognize the actors' names from Star Wars, Les Miserables and more.  Each actor is carefully chosen to match the voices, so you will find no fake accents here.  It does make it challenging to understand the dialog sometimes, but once you get used to it, you will find yourself thinking in those accents and deciphering easily.

If you are concerned there is all fight and no love to interest your girls- no worries!  One of the reoccurring themes is "Fortunate are the few who marry for love,"  which you see played out by the end in the life of Wulf.  I don't want to spoil the fun, but let's just say love is good, despite my boys saying YUCK! ;)

A Warning-
While intended for slightly more mature audiences, we know lots of younger kiddos enjoy audio dramas.  I would advise you to use caution with younger listeners with Wulf the Saxon as there are a few pretty intense scenes including intense battles and even an amputation.  It is not for the squeamish!

Whether you are looking to expose your children to the classic writing of G. A. Henty, find a new way to teach history, or even enjoy some subtle teaching of character traits such as loyalty, duty, and perseverance Wulf the Saxon will be a great addition to your audio drama library!

Heirloom Audio Adventure Club

You can join the Live The Adventure Club on Heirloom's website and get access to all these great adventures.  Membership includes getting two CD sets in the mail each year, daily devotions, activities and games, and lots of recorded fun.

Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

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