Feb 20, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Wulf the Saxon

Yea! Our first review product of the 2018 review year! And we are extra excited because Heirloom Audio Productions is one of our favorite companies to review for! We were so happy to get a chance to listen to the brand-new, hot-off-the-presses Wulf the Saxon.
Wulf the Saxon
Heirloom Audio stories are special because they are not just audio books. They are dramatic, theater-quality, re-enactments of the story with music, sound effects, and different characters being performed by real actors. We are pretty "iffy" when it comes to audio books, because we are all visual people, but these stories are different because the story comes alive and we thoroughly enjoy them!
Like the other Heirloom Audio adventures, Wulf the Saxon is taken from a G. A. Henty book of the same name. It is the story of a young man who serves King Harold of England. Wulf is a thane, a landowner who has little to no political power or wealth but serves Harold as a page. The tale starts in the years before Harold becomes king when Edward the Confessor rules a young and politically troubled England. Right at the beginning, Wulf and his friend/ servant Osgood are sent away from the King when Wulf acts impulsively and gets himself into trouble. The message is that he needs to learn some wisdom and some self-control.  
The story then follows the pair as they (and a friend/ ally/ fellow thane Beorn) travel to France with Harold, suffer a shipwreck, and are captured by a nobleman in Normandy. Being young and unimportant, the young men are able to escape and make their way to a nearby Duke to ask for help. The Duke, named William, is willing to come to their aid, but his friendliness soon gives way to treachery. Harold is tricked into giving William an oath of loyalty sworn on Holy Relics. William releases Harold and he returns to England, furious at the trick but unable to do anything about it. 
Because there is always a romantic element to Henty's tales, Wulf meets a lovely and kind young lady in Normandy, the daughter of a Baron.
In England, Harold, Wulf, Osgood, and Beorn, fight battles to protect England from the invading Welsh. Wulf and Beorn capture the castle of Prince Llewellyn, and display mercy and gentleness to the women and children they find there. 
They also struggle to unite the divided England, but it only becomes more troubled with the death of Edward and the succession of Harold to the throne. This leads to Harold's true love sacrificing herself to allow Harold a politically advantageous marriage. Unfortunately, this does not help much, and William of Normandy invades England on the strength of Harold's oath of loyalty, despite the fact he was tricked into making it. 
Of course, as you know, the Battle of Hastings was won by William and Harold died in that battle. The story ends well, however, as Wulf and Beorn are protected by the Norman Baron father of Wulf's lady friend. Who, of course, Wulf marries.
We listened to Wulf the Saxon in two sittings. This was easy because there are two CDs so we just listened to one each morning. My kids are older, so it was no big deal for them to listen that long. If you have younger children, the CDs are divided into tracks so it shouldn't be that difficult for you to divide your listening into shorter segments. 
We replaced our usual Morning Meeting time with a time of curling up on the couch and listening. At bedtime after the first day, Abbie told me that she had had a good day except that she was sad we didn't get to finish listening to Wulf yet. 
Our new Basset joined us for part of the adventure. He seemed impressed.
We always enjoy the adventure and humor and character-building inspiration of an Heirloom Audio Productions tale. And we highly recommend Wulf the Saxon
The kids say...
Kaytie: It was the most interesting story of all the Heirloom Audio stories we have done before. I really liked Osgood, he was a funny character. I was surprised that the main character ended up losing the battle in the end. I guess that's history, but it gave it a different twist. I felt differently about the story when it ended that way. It made me re-evaluate the story in a good way. 
Nate: I enjoyed it. I liked the fight scenes. They were super interesting and written really well. I found the loss of the major battle a very interesting way to end the story! Stories usually end well so it was interesting that this one did not. 
Daniel: My favorite part was the battle where they took the castle. My least favorite part was the parts that had no fighting. Wulf was my favorite character because he was really brave. 
Abbie:  My favorite part was when they took the castle because they were smart. My favorite character was the lady that Wulf married. I think her name was Agnes. I was surprised by the ending and I thought it was sad. I liked the part where the enemy snuck into the castle in the middle of the night and Wulf attacked them.
The bonus content for Wulf the Saxon is not available yet, but will soon be out on the Live the Adventure Club.

Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
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