Friday, July 22, 2016

Dramatic Audio Adventure with Beric the Briton from Heirloom Audio Productions {A TOS Review}

We had the wonderful opportunity of reviewing the newest release from Heirloom Audio Productions. We have enjoyed every audio drama we have received from this company and were so excited to be chosen for the review of Beric the Briton

We received the 2-CD set of Beric The Briton along with the downloadable bonus features that are included in the Family Four-Pack. 

Here is a list of all the bonuses we were given access to:
  • The MP3 Set of Beric the Briton
  • Beric the Briton E-Book
  • The Official MP3 Soundtrack
  • Printable Cast Poster
  • Study Guide and Discussion Starter
  • Inspirational Verse Poster
  • Live the Adventure Letter
  • Behind the Scenes Video
I have to tell you, we were not disappointed with this newest release in the slightest. In fact, this has become my husband's favorite story from Heirloom Audio Productions. In case you are unaware of the previously released CD's, these stories are all dramatizations of the books written by the masterful storyteller G.A. Henty. We have had the pleasure of reviewing all of these stories so far: Under Drake's Flag, In Freedom's Cause, With Lee in Virginia, and The Dragon and the Raven

Each of these stories is from a different period in history. When I first received Beric the Briton, I admit, I wasn't exactly sure which time period it was supposed to fit into, especially because I don't have much knowledge of the time of the Roman empire or the history of England. I knew this story had to do with a man named Beric who was a chief from one of the clans in Britannia where the Romans were invading; however, it took listening to the CD to realize what the actual time period was. This story actually takes place during Biblical times. At first I thought it was supposed to take place a century or so after. However, we find out that one of the characters is the centurion who had transported Paul (or Paulus as he is called by the Romans) to Rome. 

However, I am getting ahead of myself a bit. Let me share more about the story and the characters.

Beric is the son of Parta, the chieftainess of their tribe in Brittania. Early on in the story, Beric comes of age and is made a chief alongside his mother. At this point in history, Rome is occupying their land. Beric had spent several years as a captive in the city of Camalodunum and had a good relationship with a couple of Romans, Caius and his daughter Amelia. However, he was now back with his tribe and there was talk of revolt. The people were not happy with the Roman occupation, with the taxes they were made to pay. However, it wasn't until the King had died and Queen Boadicea suffered the indignation of being beaten by the Romans that fighting actually broke out.  

At this time both the Romans and the tribes from Britannia are pagan. The Romans still worship the Roman gods and the tribe members are considered by the Romans to be barbarians who believed in spirits and gods who could be all around them and easily manipulated by what the Druid priest wanted. For instance, the Druid priest says that it is the gods who want them to attack the Romans; however there are those who can tell it is the will of man and not the gods.

Due to the fact that Beric had lived among the Romans, and knows their ways, he tries to convince his people that they need to fight differently in order to win against the Romans. They need to learn discipline and not just rely on their bravery, which had caused their previous defeat. He wants to teach them what he has learned from his time among the Romans. Unfortunately, only men from Beric's clan were trained in this way, which leads to the eventual defeat and capture of Beric, his friend Boduoc, and his men. They are then taken to Rome where they are to become gladiators.

It appears that this story shows how Christianity made its way to Britannia. While on the way to Rome, the ship carrying Beric and his fellow captives was struck by a storm and shipwrecked. The son of their captor is almost lost, but Beric convinces his men to help the boy. Their captor questions why Beric would help instead of trying to escape. Beric states that he has given his oath that he would not try to escape. Beric is found to be trustworthy and noble. His actions also speak to another, Julius, the centurion who had transported Paulus. He wondered if Beric had heard of Christus (Jesus Christ) because of the way he helped his enemy. Of course, he hadn't, but later he hears the stories of Christus and his teachings and followers. He learns that their are those who teach that their is one true, almighty God. He and Boduoc become friends with the Christians while training to become gladiators, and through a dramatic chain of events, end up becoming a Christian and eventually sharing Christ with his people in Britannia.

Now, let's take a look at some of the other resources that are available.

Like all the other CD's from Heirloom Audio Productions, Beric the Briton has a bonus Study Guide and Discussion Starter. In this amazing resource, you will find background information about G.A. Henty, Emperor Nero and Queen Boadicea.

Each track on the CDs are a section of the story. In the upper corner of the page you will see where on the CD this part of the story takes place. There is a Listening Well section, with literal questions that the children can answer just from listening to the events in the story. There is also a Thinking Further section that is a bit more difficult and involved. Finally, each page has a Defining Words section.

Something new this time around are these "Expand Your Experience" boxes where you will find further information, notes, and even recipes. You will find these spread throughout the guide, not on every page.

In the back of the Study Guide you will find a list of books that share more information on the Britons and Romans in the 1st Century. There is also a page of historical background for Beric the Briton. Then there are 3 Bible Studies.
  • Bible Study I: The Importance of Studying History
  • Bible Study II: Thou Shalt Not Kill
  • Bible Study III: One Way
Finally, there is a section on The Significance of the Colosseum in Christianity

One of my favorite bonus resources besides the Study Guide is the Behind the Scenes video. I enjoyed watching the actors talking about the story and getting some inside details. 

While my husband has stated that Beric the Briton is his favorite story from Heirloom Audio Productions, I have a hard time choosing my favorite. It is however right up there with a couple of my other favorites. I appreciated that there weren't a ton of battle scenes in this story as there have been in some of the other G.A. Henty stories. And my husband and I both got a kick out of the running gag involving Boduoc. The fact that this story takes place during the time of Nero who was emperor during the time of the apostles had a way of making the truths from the Bible even more real. To know what was going on in another part of the world (Britannia) during this time was quite intriguing.

Once again, I can highly recommend a product from Heirloom Audio Productions. The quality of the story is again top-notch with amazing voice actors. The sound effects really help to draw you into the story. 

You can find Heirloom Audio Productions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.
There is also a Facebook page specifically for Beric the Briton and one for The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.

Don't forget to check out what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Beric the Briton. Just click on the banner below.

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
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1 comment:

  1. You have made it sound like something I would want to learn more about. Thank you for the review.


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