Friday, July 22, 2016

Beric the Briton

Heirloom Audio Productions  has become one of our favorite companies. Their audio dramas are some of the best we've ever heard, and we were thrilled to be able to review their newest one.

Our schooling is very literature-based. Our family loves read-alouds and will often sit together to read various novels for hours on end. I love reading my kids quality literature and sharing that time with them. Not only does it teach them life lessons, it also introduces them to new vocabulary. The only problem is that I don't always have the time to spend the day reading. That's why we love to incorporate audio books and dramas into our days. Whether we're folding clothes, driving in the van, or just needing some downtime, audio books are perfect. Beric the Briton has become the newest "favorite" in our house.

Beric the Briton is a theater-quality production based on the novel with the same name, written by G.A.Henty. We've listened to many different audio books and dramas, and none has ever compared to the quality of those by Heirloom Audio Productions. If you close your eyes, you feel as if you're there in the story. Think of it as watching a movie, but with no picture. The music, the actors, the sound effects--they all make the story come to life. You hear swords clanking and can visualize men fighting for their lives; you listen to the sounds of the wolves and lions and you feel the terror the characters felt; you hear the winds roar and the waves crash and you feel as if you're the one in a violent storm. It is that realistic. The narrator has a rich, powerful voice that makes the drama exciting to listen to. We were immediately pulled into the story.
The story takes place in the first century during the reign of Nero and the Romans' rule of Britannia. It follows the life of Beric, a Briton who was a slave to the Romans yet admired them, their power, and their way of life. Throughout the story, he fought wolves to save a woman and her children, became chief of his people, fought in many battles, was captured by the Romans again, was taken to Rome, experienced a horrible shipwreck and saved his enemies, became a Gladiator for the entertainment of his captors, and fought a ferocious lion with only a self-made rope and won. In all this, he remained true to his word, was an honorable man, and became an example to many. Along with the non-stop action and exciting adventures, there are plenty of morals and Biblical truths taught along the way.

Beric the Briton single package costs $29.97 (+ shipping and handling). Along with the 2-CD set, you will receive 3 bonuses:

  1. Beric the Briton Study Guide (digital download) -- This complete guide is used to enhance your learning and complement your study. Each section, which correlates to the tracks on the CDs, is  filled with review questions (Listening Well), ideas to get you thinking deeper (Thinking Further), and vocabulary words (Defining Words). There is more information about G.A. Henty, Nero, and Queen Boadicea; multiple Bible studies that coordinate with the story, many pictures from the times, and much more historical information. 
  2. Printable Copy of Inspiration Quote (digital download) -- "I will gladly die for him who died for me." This inspirational quote can be printed and framed to remind you of God's omnipotence.  
  3. Beric the Briton Soundtrack (MP3 download) -- Our family loves soundtracks. This beautiful music was written by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell (creator of the original score for C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, Adventures in Odyssey, and more). We've enjoyed listening to this moving music while doing school, cleaning house, and folding laundry.
There is also an option of a family four-pack. For $99.97 (+ shipping and handling), you get 4 copies of the 2-CD set and the bonuses listed above, along with additional bonuses: Live the Adventure E-Newsletter; G.A. Henty's original Beric the Briton e-book; professionally designed, printable promotional poster; and a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the cast and crew.  

Here's what my kids had to say about the story:

"It's awesome! I loved it."

"I like when they kill the wolves. It seemed so real."

"It was cool when Beric defeated the lion with just a rope!"

The 2+ hour audio production is ideal for ages 6-adult, but our entire family enjoyed listening to it. We used the study guide questions to review the story and tackle difficult topics. We stopped the CD multiple times to discuss things like Gladiators, Gaul, what it means to really be a Christian, honor, strategy, and more. Of course, the little ones didn't quite understand everything, but it's never too early to introduce quality literature. This will be a story that we reference throughout the years. Beric the Briton is a wonderful resource to have.

You can find Beric the Briton on Facebook or connect directly with Heirloom Audio Productions on the following social media sites:

You can read more reviews of this title on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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