Author: James W. George
Narrator: Angus Freathy
Length: 11 hours 18 minutes
Series: My Father’s Kingdom, Book 2
Publisher: James W. George
Genre: Historical Fiction
Puritans. Quakers. Pirates. Mohawks. Witches. And a brutal war…
If you thought New England was dull in the 1670s, get ready for a history lesson.
In the critically acclaimed “My Father’s Kingdom,” debut author James W. George transported his readers to 1671 New England, and the world of Reverend Israel Brewster. It was a world of faith, virtue, and love, but it was also a world of treachery, hatred, and murder.
Four years later, Brewster is a disgraced outcast, residing in Providence and working as a humble cooper. Despite his best efforts, war could not be averted, and now, “King Philip’s War” has begun.
The rebellion is led by Metacomet, known as “King Philip” to the English colonists. He is the tormented son of the great Massasoit, and leader of the Wampanoag nation. Once the most reliable of Plymouth Colony’s allies, they are now the bitterest of enemies. Meanwhile, Metacomet’s mysterious counselor, Linto, despises this war and will do anything to end the bloodshed.
Meticulously researched, “The Prophet and the Witch” is a tale of hope and brotherhood in the face of evil and violence. It features the remarkable cast of fictional and historical characters from book one, including Josiah Winslow, Linto, Increase Mather, Constance Wilder, and Jeremiah Barron. Additionally, new characters such as America’s first ranger, Captain Benjamin Church, bring this chapter of history to life like never before.
James W. George is a lover of history and historical fiction. He is a graduate of Boston University and a military veteran. He is currently residing in Virginia with his wife and children.
He published his critically-acclaimed debut novel, My Father’s Kingdom, in January 2017. The novel, set in 1671 New England, depicted the prelude to King Philip’s War. The Indie View gave it five stars: “This is high historical drama handled wonderfully…a tale that will fully engage you on every level.”
My Father’s Kingdom” is a planned trilogy, and book two, The Prophet and the Witch, was published in September 2017. This is an epic novel that spans the entire conflict of King Philip’s War, and includes such notable historical figures as Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Metacomet, Benjamin Church, and Mary Rowlandson. The Literary Titan awarded it five stars and a gold medal for October 2017. “Expertly written and instantly engaging from the first few pages…I was captivated…one of the more intellectual of reads.”
Angus Freathy was born and educated in London – that’s the one in England, for you Ohio folks!
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he went to Switzerland to join Nestlé for a 2-year wandering assignment, which lasted 37 years and involved travel and work on every continent (except the cold ones at the top and bottom).
Periods of residence in the U.S., Hong Kong and Switzerland have resulted in a network of friends and acquaintances with an amazing range of world insight and a wide repertoire of mostly excellent jokes.
Since retirement, Angus and his (still working) wife, Debra have lived in Oregon, Maryland and are now in Dublin, Ohio, ‘the only place we have actually chosen to live since we have been married!’.
Following a crushing rejection by the BBC at the age of 19, Angus is re-activating a long-held ambition and launching a new career in voice-over, with the sole intention of having some fun and being in touch with some very talented people.
Q&A with James W. George
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- Truthfully, when I was writing the first book, it was the furthest thing from my mind. Then I learned how remarkably easy and affordable it is to do via the ACX process, and I enthusiastically recommend it to every author. There is something magical about hearing your work put to voice.
- How did you select your narrator?
- Angus did a masterful job with book one, “My Father’s Kingdom,” so he was the obvious choice for book two. There aren’t too many narrators in the world who can do Scottish accents, impeccable French, seventeenth-century marching ditties, Latin prayers, and heart-rending recitations of scripture all while pronouncing words and names like Wawetseka, Narragansett, Wootonekanuske and Menameset with nary a complaint.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- One of the best experiences about writing these two books has been the opportunity to work with Angus, joke around, and bounce ideas off of each other. I can’t imagine many other narrators who can so effortlessly interpret the prose with the proper inflections and accents. I reviewed each chapter upon completion, and I think I can almost count critiques and errors on one hand.A fun part of it all has been the recurring discussions about proper pronunciation: ‘Murican versus British. It really is quite astounding how many words we pronounce differently. One vivid example is “tourniquet,” which Angus pronounces with a soft “kay” at the end. I set out to correct him, and then realized his was a proper English pronunciation, and it was probably a more accurate rendition of the way they would have pronounced it in New England in the 1670s. Someday we Americans will learn to tawk right.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Since it’s historical fiction, there is certainly plenty of real-life inspiration. The faith, diligence, perseverance, and courage of the Puritan settlers of New England is remarkable. The bravery and inner torment of Metacomet as well as the entire Wampanoag nation is a tremendous tale that needs to be more closely examined. The bravery of soldiers and warriors, past and present, is always inspiring.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Oh my goodness, I could go on and on on this topic. The most obvious answer is the psalmody in chapter four. Believe it or not, neither Angus or myself can sing like a teenage girl, so we obviously had guest help for that stretch. There are two other musical moments that come to life in the audiobook. Additionally, countless stretches of dialogue become, in my opinion, extraordinarily captivating when put to voice. The scripture at the end of Chapter 28. The villain’s screeching in Chapter 9. The Scotsman’s callousness and cruelty in the final chapter. The exchange with Mary Rowlandson. The French accents. I could go on and on.
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- In the midst of all these lazy snow days, my family has become a little too obsessed with “Futurama,” so I’m well aware time travel can have some unintended consequences (like the time they went back to the American Revolution and accidentally ruined it, so the United States was still part of England!) Provided Professor Farnsworth was there to undo any of my buffoonery, I’d be doing more time travel than Doctor Who. First and foremost, I’d hit New England in the 1670s and make sure I got everything right.
- If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
- This is such a fun question and I’ve tackled it previously for book one. Book two has plenty of new characters as well.The more I watched Thor: Ragnarok, the more I’m convinced Tom Hiddleston would make an excellent Israel Brewster. The key to Brewster is enormous blue eyes, but I have no doubt Mr. Hiddleston could make it work. Matt Smith would also be an interesting candidate for Brewster. Perhaps Mr. Hiddleston could ask his associate, Chris Hemsworth, if he would like to play the burly giant, Thomas Reddington. I imagine Mr. Hemsworth probably doesn’t get offered too many acting roles these days, so he might leap at the chance.I’m sticking with John C. Reilly as Jeremiah Barron. The more I watch “Dewey Cox” the more I am amazed by his talent, and I have no doubt he would be perfect. Let’s cast Walton Goggins (Boyd Crowder from Justified) as Elijah MacTavish. If he has any difficulty with the Scottish accent, Angus can help him, and in exchange, he can teach Angus how to do an Appalachian accent. Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones has my vote for Constance Wilder. I’ll take Dominic West from The Wire to play the haughty Governor Josiah Winslow. We’ll need a good warrior for Benjamin Church…let’s give Travis Fimmel a call. He must be growing tired of Ragnar Lothbrok. Jessica Parker Kennedy from Black Sails can portray the Bluebird. Hmm…I think I have about fifty characters in the book…how much time do I have?
- Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
- I’ve always said if I start dreaming about these characters then I’m going to cease and desist with the Puritans, and start writing books about scantily-clad supermodels, but truthfully, yes. I think they have occasionally popped into a dream or two.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- There are at least four million books for sale in the Kindle Store. If you really think the world needs another one, you had better be extremely passionate about it.
- Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
- Hire a great narrator that genuinely wants to do the project.
This was a good second story to the first in the series. It is historical fiction so for me personally I have to stop listening a bit and let things soak in. It can be a bit mind boggling if there is a lot of information and this story certainly has a lot of information circling around it. George is a great author and has given these historical events a breathe of fresh air. I felt like I learned a lot just from listening. I’ll give it a 4/5 stars!
Breathy is a good narrator. I like his British accent and I enjoyed his character voices. His singing is a little um off, but I will say that’s probably realistic that people wouldn’t have been singing super superb haha. He has a nice steady voice, although sometimes it is a little quiet and made me feel somewhat sleepy. I’ll give the audio a 4/5 as well!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by James W. George. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
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