Read by: David Bradshawe
BBC Audiobooks
RRP: 15.99
ISBN 0 563 50480 3
Available 08 August 2005

Tersias is a blind beggar boy, who is chosen by a demon to become his voice on Earth. People mistake Tersias for an oracle, after he successfully predicts that a comet would hit the moon, saving the planet. Although saved, the city of London remains in chaos. On the night of salvation the fates of three others are inextricably linked with Tersias - Jonah, a young boy who dreams of being a highwayman; Lord Malpas, a keeper of dark secrets who is robbed by Jonah; and Malachi, a self deceiving alchemist and owner of Tersias. But none of them can know of the growing dark power behind Tersias or the destiny that the fates have chosen for them...

Tersias is written by G.P. Taylor, whose previous books include the successful Wormwood and Shadowmancer. Both books were nominated for the British Book Awards. G.P Taylor has had an interesting and varied life, from record plugger to social worker and policeman. Now he works as an Anglican priest in Yorkshire. This version was abridged by John and Kati Nicholl and read by David Bradshawe, who had a small part in the BBC's brilliant Lord of the Rings radio adaptation, but who has worked extensively in radio drama and theatre.

The audio book comes on four CD's and runs at four hours and forty-five minutes and has been released at the same time as the publication of the book. The discs are contained in the usual BBC fragile gatefold holder. Sound, as per usual, is stereo, but very clear with no noticeable hiss or distortion.

Initially the density of the spoken text makes getting into the story a little difficult. This might be, because there is no real date to hang your hat on, so a long while is wasted in trying to imagine in what time the story is set. Once the stage coaches and flintlock pistols start to ground the story in an imagined 16th/17th century the listener can relax and enjoy the story. Bradshawe reads well and successfully pulls the listener into the narrative. Listen to it for fifteen minutes and the story really begins to unfold.

Overall, the story is a bit slow at times, but worth a listen. I'm not really sure what category of listener would enjoy this though; it's a kind of historical fantasy, which will either increase the overall audience or repulse various factions of listeners. Still I enjoyed it for what it was and if historical fantasy is your bag, you might too.

Charles Packer

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