We received a physical copy of the story in a 2 CD set. We also received several other items, available as a digital download. This included an MP3 copy of the story (great for me in case one of my little ones destroys or loses our original copy!), an ebook of the story (complete with beautiful, full color illustrations), the official MP3 soundtrack, a printable cast poster, a very nice printable inspirational verse poster (featuring Proverbs 21:31), access to a Behind the Scenes video, access to the Live the Adventure Letter (an e-newsletter), and the Study Guide & Discussion printable.
The Dragon and the Raven
The story, which has been adapted from the original by G.A. Henty, shows courage and faith. It contains adventure and excitement. It tells about a piece of history that your children might have missed during their regular curriculum. It brings to life a story highlighting God’s goodness.
In this historical fiction tale, set in the Middle Ages, the Danish Vikings were destroying and taking over much of England. King Alfred of Wessex chose to stand up to them, in faith, and the Danes were confused and dismayed. You will follow the story with and learn about a young thane, (fictional) Edmund, and his friendship with King Alfred and loyalty to the cause.
The character development was great. You get to know the men (and women) of the story and understand where they’re coming from when they take action. You feel for them when they lose friends or family members. You really root for the good guys and get mad at the bad guys.
The vocal talent in this 2 CD set is incredible. We loved listening to their accents. Not only that, but the sound effects included were rich and full of details to support and enhance the story. For example, when men were hiding out in bushes, you could hear crickets chirping, cows mooing, and men in the distance talking to each other. Meanwhile, the characters in the story whispered their lines.
The music chosen to accompany the narration would help set the mood of the story as well. There were slow and low sounds for caution and mystery. Then there were fast notes with horns for fighting.
The downloadable, printable Study Guide & Discussion is over 40 pages long. It includes many parts to really get your kids to dive into the story and the history.
The guide divides the story into chapters, basically. It says which CD and track you will find that particular part of the story on. Then there are different types of questions and discussion questions. We also enjoyed the various illustrations and pictures that the guide contained.
The Listening Well section includes comprehension-type questions. This is what will make kids really think about what they just heard.
Thinking Further questions are more critical thinking type questions. There isn’t necessarily a correct answer, and kids can draw their own conclusions or think to read between the lines about the story and characters.
Defining Words present great vocabulary words and names of people and places. This was something we used to look up even more information, and we referred to this the most.
The Guide also includes short biographies about G.A. Henty and King Alfred the Great. They included a suggested reading list at the end, as well.
There are also 3 short Bible Study guides included. The first is on God’s Law and the Nations. The next was on Loving Your Enemy. The last one was about Literacy and focused on God uses words to change lives.
There was also a brief history of Britain and England, as well as a little more information about the legacy of Alfred the Great.
Our Favorite Parts
My kids and I really loved the battle scenes. The narration sped up, we heard clanking of weapons, and there were loud cries from the men engaged in battle.
My daughter loved the humor sprinkled in the audio drama. She liked the character Harold. Apparently that was a common name during that time period. Other characters would keep asking if he was Harold, son of someone important, or Harold, son of someone else important. Finally, he has to tell them that, no, he was just Harold! She was cracking up about this.
I love that Heirloom Audio Productions provides us with Christian heroes. These people were men who loved God, and they did awe-inspiring, amazing things for His glory. The Christian influence is a great bonus when listening to the stories, including this one.
My kids didn’t want to have to stop or pause the story. We listened to this in our van, and when we would have to stop the story to get out, they would beg for me to let them listen just a few minutes more. The story is extremely engaging and my kids didn’t want to miss a second!
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