• The Mage Queen

  • Her Majesty's Musketeers, Book 1
  • By: R. A. Dodson
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
  • Length: 16 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After five long years under the Curse, France lies in ruins.

Its only hope — a deposed queen in hiding, hunted by her enemies.

* * *

The year is 1631. Charles d’Artagnan flees the ashes of his life in Gascony, seeking better opportunities in Paris. With his land seized by armed peasants and his family among the countless dead, he has nothing left to lose and little to gain beyond mere survival.

Magic — once a useful tool for those rare individuals who still possess it — has become a weapon of incomparable power and destructiveness employed by France’s bitter rival, Spain. With Louis XIII dead and a Spanish pretender seated on the throne, the country’s future appears bleak.

As one faceless refugee among many, d’Artagnan never expected to hold Europe’s destiny balanced in his hands. He certainly never expected to be welcomed into an elite guard protecting France’s one and only hope — a widowed queen wielding the same magic as her enemies.

But Anne of Austria’s power will be wasted unless d’Artagnan can help her stay one step ahead of the assassins nipping at her heels. Ultimately, he and his comrades must return her to the belly of the beast itself, confronting the very forces that have pushed France to the brink of destruction.

The Mage Queen can’t do it alone. But with the help of d’Artagnan and her loyal musketeers, France may still have a fighting chance.

©2020 OtherLove Publishing, LLC (P)2020 OtherLove Publishing, LLC

What listeners say about The Mage Queen

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • 10-14-20

All for one, one for all!

Exciting historical fiction on how Charles d’Artagnan met and ultimately joined the famous Three Musketeers. The writing is crisp and entertaining, the characters likable, the dialogue witty. The backstory of d’Artagnan is interesting and gives a clear view of his personality and loyalty towards the Musketeers. The history of the Queens Anne and Caroline are masterfully woven into the story. A recommended read for fans of the era. Four.point.five. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Musketeers Revisited

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
I liked this story, but one gratuitous sex scene was out of place, I thought. MiLady, a courtesan, and her favorite Musketeer I would have expected such a scene but the relationship of Constance and D'Artagnan, the youngest Musketeer, didn't call for it. Other than that the resurgence of the Musketeer's was a pleasant surprise and the magic was fun. A lot of action and heraldry and excellent narration. A good start to the series.

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Different!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

D'Artangnan was always my favorite musketeer. This was a different idea on the typical musketeer story and it did take me a little bit of work to get away from all of my previous notions of the the classics but once I did, I enjoyed this story.

The fight scenes were amazing, the characters were wonderfully written and the plot was well paced. The dialogue was really good and the narrator was a great fit for this story. Well done! I will be keeping an eye out for more from this author!

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An Awesome Listen

A very enjoyable listen, Monsieur Dumas would have been pleasantly pleased I think with this adaption of his Musketeer book. Though not all the characters hold true to the original book, they are all very well written and suited to the tale being told. Adding magic to musketeers and sword fights work very well together and the action never stops. Well worth the listen and I'm looking forward to listening to book 2. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request, and have voluntarily left this review.

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Great story and amazing narration!

This was a great piece of historical fiction! Light on magic, despite the name. The characters are well rounded and actually brought me to tears at one point (not an easy feat.) I loved how R. A. Dodson built such a vibrant world and I will miss the musketeers now that I’ve finished.

Matthew Lloyd Davies made this book a joy to listen to. Each character had their own voice and it was easy to hear the differences between them. His performance was amazing!

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Not Dumas. A re-imagining

Some disclaimers before I start this review: I have not previously read the D'Artagnan romances by Dumas, and I voluntarily received a review copy from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

As a fan of the author's writing in general, I had listened to the audio of what becomes the beginning of this story as published under a different pen name. Even so, I was a little confused with this reworking, and I kept feeling like I was missing something important by not having read the source material. Some research revealed that since Dumas had partly based his story on real people, it was already a type of transformative work.

I think if readers can listen to this with an open mind even though the names of the characters are annoyingly familiar, they may have better success at finding this an enjoyable book. I found the book started slow for me and it took a while to be interesting and see the bigger plot. (Hint: It's about restoring the rightful ruler to France.) While this is presented as the first of a trilogy, I'm not entirely sure what the follow-up to this could be at all. It seemed like a complete story in a single volume.

Random bits: Porthos disappeared for a good portion of the story, and I honestly wondered if I'd imagined that he'd been there at all. Since this was a transformative work, maybe the author didn't include him. Thankfully, he did come back to the story later. My favorite of the Musketeers in this work is Aramis by far.

I want to say I loved this book because I am a fan of the author. It wasn't really the book for me, though. That's not to say it's bad because it isn't. Different strokes for different folks. The author describes the battles well and is an expert at horse-related details (the shoeing, how to fix lameness, temperaments, etc). The political intrigues are also interesting. So for a different reader, there is much to find.

The narrator was someone whose voice fits this genre. He did well with various accents, especially since he had such a huge cast of characters. I was surprised by some of his acting choices, such as a character with a lisp, but they were definitely choices. I would listen to him again, but I couldn't imagine him doing contemporary romance or futuristic military scifi (I have Christian Rummel for that!).

Should you get this? It is a great value for its price, and it is a sweeping fantasy. If the concept appeals to you, go for it. Only you can know for sure.

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Excellent Story!

The author skillfully reweaves a Superb Classic!
The Narrator accomplishes skillful vocal pressure all through the story. All situations where most authors roughly describe an adult happening with little tact, this author uses great decency. The narrator also performs with excellence.
I would recommend this audiobook for ages 17 and older due to some strong language and some sexuality, and bloodshed.
I was given this audiobook for free and I freely give it my rating and opinion!

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All for One

A good spin on an old take. Great detail and imagination make this worth the listen. Narrator did an excellent job creating these characters.
This audio was given to me in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Not enough Action ...

Narration: Pretty Good ... at times he actually goes a bit too fast. Some of the dialog just comes across as somewhat pretentious if not over the top.

Story: A retelling of the original three (3) musketeers with magic? Not so much magic really; unless you count the curse (aka the plague). The story does have a fair amount of dialog though ... actually it could do with a little less talk and a lot more action. As could be expected with so much talking, there is a bit of intrigue along with some awkward drama and a few, brief action scenes. Frankly I think the slow pace only works as an audiobook; I am not sure I would have been able to finish it otherwise (and I am sure I zoned out for portions of it). Having some familiarity with the original story that inspired this version made it perfect to play while I was working [from home as some of this is NSFW] ... and of course, I am a sucker for a happy ending :-)

This book is currently available on Kindle Unlimited.
I was given this free audiobook review copy (ARC) at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
#audiobookboom #TheMageQueen

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Impactful

I loved the spirit and nature of the trio (3 musketeers) and what they stood for. The battle scenes are so vivid when described, that I felt like I was a spectator on the fields and watching it all go down in real time. I rejoice with Dart and Connie when they were finally able to be together *sighs* at long last!!! I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. The narrator was fantastic and transported me to that time and place. The accents, voices, and expressions were amazing. I highly recommend this book.

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  • LeMiliere
  • 10-03-20

Charles and Constance d’Artagnan

This story is an enjoyable tale about d’Artagnan and how he met and joined the Queen's Guard and became one of her loyal musketeers, It's historical fiction, effectively a sort of retelling of Dumas' tale which I have to admit I've never read so can not compare.

Despite the name of the book, there is very little magic, but what there is, is vital to the story. That said the story is good, flows well and has some very good battle scenes within it, as well as the wonderful camaraderie between the Musketeers. The characters are very well-drawn and well rounded, they have depth and what happens to them during the telling of this tale brought me to tears at more than one point. I loved how the relationship between D'Artagnan and Constance progressed they were both such lovely characters.

I loved R. A. Dodson's vibrant world-building and had no trouble at all picturing myself there amongst her wonderful characters. Now that I have finished the story I know I am going to miss the musketeers and their ladies, especially Charles and Constance.

The narration of the book was very well done by Matthew Lloyd Davies, his voices and accents perfectly suited the characters and the time the story was set in.

I was given this book as a gift and am voluntarily writing my review.

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  • Jo
  • 09-09-20

Fantastic adventure!

I really enjoyed listening to this story. I know very little of tales of the musketeers so no idea how close this is to history, however I enjoyed being taken to France of old & the comraderie of the family of choice at the centre of the story. With plenty of adventure, battles and a sprinkle of romance this was a well rounded plot with a complete and fullfiling ending. I'm looking forward to reading the prequel now!

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.