What a treat to have another installment in Jim Hodges's ever-growing
collection of narrated G. A. Henty novels! Henty was a nineteenth-century
author who wrote historical adventures to "inspire boys to honesty,
courage, diligence, and duty." Written from a Christian perspective,
his books wove the "adventures of a fictional boy hero together
with real life events." (Quotes from publisher.)
However, Jim Hodges, of Jim Hodges Productions, has taken the
delightful stories by Henty to a whole new level. The combination
of great writing plus spellbinding narration creates the perfect
product for bringing history to life, and the MP3 recording of A
Knight of the White Cross is sure to be a hit with the history
lovers (boys, girls, and adults of all ages) in every home!
A Knight of the White Cross is set at the time of the
War of Roses (1470-1480), and the main character is a young Englishman
named Gervaise Tresham. At the age of 12, he is sent by his father
to join the Knights of St. John, a military order whose members
take vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty. And Gervaise is
indeed a man dedicated to God's service, as well as obedient and
pious in his personal life.
As the story progresses, he quickly rises in rank and experiences
many exciting and dangerous adventures--commanding a galley and
enduring the dangers at sea, capturing a spy at Rhodes and heading
off an insurrection, destroying an entire corsair fleet, and conducting
a secret mission disguised as a galley slave before being captured
and sold into slavery, etc. After doing time in a Tripolitan dungeon,
this brave English knight finally escapes to help defend Rhodes
before returning to his homeland. In the end, Gervaise is rewarded
for his service and valor, and finds happiness for himself.
Jim Hodges has done an excellent job of bringing Henty's book
to life. He has a clear and pleasant voice, and I really like the
way he uses expression and vocal inflections to emphasize each
character's dialogue. But these inflections are subtle and not
distracting or irritating, as some can be when narrators change
between the voices of the characters. And although there are no
background effects or music, none are needed.
The story flows along at a comfortable pace, and the listener
is immediately drawn into the story. The recording is professional
sounding and of high quality. Mr. Hodges is a first-rate storyteller--not
to mention an excellent judge of fine literature that is worthy
enough to be forever captured on audio. A living book in living
sound! Well done!
This MP3 recording is unabridged and lasts 12 hours, 49 minutes.
However, the disc will only play on a computer CD drive, a DVD
player, or an MP3 compatible CD player. It will NOT play on
a standard CD player. The cost of the MP3 (on his website) is $25.00,
and I think the product is well worth the money. He also offers
a digital download at the reduced price of $18.00. You can also
download the fifteenth chapter as a freebie, which is a nice option.
I want to get even more of Mr. Hodges's recordings to add to our
homeschool audio collection, especially since we want to foster
good listening skills as part of our children's education. And
I think that having the child follow along in the book as he/she
listens to the audio is also a valuable idea! My son will often
listen to a book on tape during quiet time, and G. A. Henty books
are always at the top of his list!
For more information about Mr. Hodges, his available recordings,
articles, links, frequently asked questions, and even more about
G. A. Henty, you can visit Jim's website at www.jimhodgesaudiobooks.com.
This MP3 recording of A Knight of the White Cross is
definitely a keeper in this homeschool, and I highly recommend
this audio resource (and all of Mr. Hodges's recordings) to other
homeschoolers--especially those who have a love of history, fine
literature, and great storytelling. You won't be disappointed!