Schoolhouse Crew Review: Heirloom Audio Productions The Dragon and the Raven
Does your family enjoy audiobooks? Have you ever heard of Heirloom Audio Productions? Heirloom Audio productions is passionate about bringing real history to life and they do this in the form of active listening audio dramas using sound effects, music, narration, and faced paced action to transport the listener back in time and immerse them in the story. At the time of this writing Heirloom Audio Productions has released four different audio dramas: Under Drake's Flag, In Freedom's Cause, With Lee in Virginia, and The Dragon and the Raven, with more being planned in the future. This review will focus on the newest release, The Dragon and the Raven.
The Dragon and the Raven is recommended for children and families. The story is a little over 2 hours long and is split into two separate CDs. The cast includes: Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan, and King Lear) as G.A. Henty, John Ryhs (The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones) as Siegbert, Johnny Scott as Edmund, Dominic Hecht as Alfred, Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who VII, The Hobbit) as Cedric the Shipwright, Helen George (Call the Midwife) as Freya, and many more.
In the story, adapted from The Dragon and the Raven by G.A. Henty, the Danes have taken over every kingdom in England, destroying everything in their path. Young Alfred, who becomes king of Wessex after the death of his brother, and Edmund realize that their only hope is to turn the nation back to the God they have abandoned. Their faith allows them to make a stand when all seems lost and stand against the invaders.
There are several options available for purchasing The Dragon and the Raven. There is an MP3 download option for $19.97 that includes a downloadable study guide and a download of Proverbs 21:31 as quoted by King Alfred. The single pack for $29.97 includes the two CD set, downloadable study guide, downloadable Proverbs 21:31, and MP3 soundtrack. There is also an option to buy a family four pack for $99.97 which includes four copies of the CD set, downloadable study guide, Proverbs 21:31 quote, MP3 soundtrack, access to the Live the Adventure newsletter, The Dragon and the Raven ebook, The Dragon and the Raven poster, and a behind the scenes documentary of The Dragon and the Raven.
The Downloadable Study guide is a great way to expand on what your children have learned by listening to the audio drama. The guide is 49 pages long and is split up into 3 sections:
Listening Well- asks questions about what your child heard
Thinking Further- Digs a little deeper. Your child may need to do further research, draw conclusions, or speculate about the characters thoughts or intentions.
Defining Words- words that your children need to look up the definitions to
There is a set of questions for each track on the CD. The guide also contains information about G.A. Henty, King Alfred the Great, and a brief history on Britain and England. There are also 3 different Bible Studies on God's Law and the Nations, Love Your Enemy, and Literacy.
My family loved The Dragon and the Raven. It made for some great entertainment on a couple of gloomy, rainy afternoons. I love the music and the sound effects. There are some intense moments in the story. There are quite a few battle scenes and news of various people dying, but it is not bloody or gory and I was fine with even my 4 year listening in as she was interested. The Dragon and the Raven contained some wonderful messages about loving your enemy, standing together in faith against the enemy, friendship, keeping your promises, and so much more. Great wholesome entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.
You can find out more about Heirloom Audio Productions here.