• The Orc King

  • Transitions, Book I
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3,329 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Drizzt is back, and facing a world changed forever!

An uneasy peace between the dwarves of Mithral Hall and the orcs of the newly established Kingdom of Many-Arrows can't last long. The orc tribes united under Obould begin to fight each other, and Bruenor is determined to finish the war that nearly killed him and almost destroyed everything he's worked to build.

But it will take more than swords and axes to bring a lasting peace to the Spine of the World. Powerful individuals on both sides may have to change the way they see each other. They may have to start to talk. And it won't be easy.

This book wasn't just the next installment in the long-running saga of the famous dark elf, but the beginning of a bold new trilogy that will help change the face of the Forgotten Realms world forever.

Don't forget to listen to more adventures of the Forgotten Realms.
©2008 R. A. Salvatore (P)2009 Random House

What listeners say about The Orc King

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,044
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    724
  • 3 Stars
    336
  • 2 Stars
    107
  • 1 Stars
    118
Performance
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  • 2 Stars
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Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,238
  • 4 Stars
    477
  • 3 Stars
    141
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    22

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I miss Victor Bevine!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Orc King to be better than the print version?

No

Any additional comments?

So if you've been listening to all of these Drizzt books be prepared for a new narrator. He changes the pronunciation of every name. I get he wants to put a flare of his own scent on this but seriously... Luskin is pretty dang basic yet he calls it Louskon. I almost didn't continue the story at first because of this.

122 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, bad narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if you are a fan of R.A. Salvitore novels you will want to hear this story. It is a good story, although I think some of his other books are slightly superior.

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

Bad. Granted I've grown used to Victor Bevine's narration, but Mark Bramhall was just bad. Not only did he mispronounce "made up" words like Bruenor and Drizzt, but he also badly mispronounced some of the standard English language. I can only presume that other narrators were unavailable, or that Mark Bramhall was extremely inexpensive.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, the story was good, but the constant narration errors were grating.

96 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Needs to be re recorded with Victor Bevine!

Awesome book, but needs to be re recorded with the voice of Victor Bevine. Mark Bramhall does not have the same rhythm, finesse, and grasp of character that Victor does. After listening to Victors previous 16 performances in this amazing series, I was devastated that they decided to change actors for these three books. BRING BACK VICTOR!!

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Poor Performance

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

Very disappointed with the performance on this one. I understand that things are going to change when a new person is reading... but this just shows a great lack of effort. After spending hundreds of hours listening to this series I was appalled that the Bramhall, or someone in charge of production, couldn't take the time to at least maintain the previous pronunciations of the characters' names. The reading is flat, almost as though Bramhall is reading through a list and not a story.

75 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Horrid Narration. Read it instead.

What did you like best about The Orc King? What did you like least?

Story is great. It continues the adventure. But the narration makes me want to ask for my credits back or have audible send me the books so i can read them my self.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Drizzt for obvious reason but again how could you even let this go out with such bad narration.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Bramhall?

Victor Bevine. Hands down the best choice for this.

Was The Orc King worth the listening time?

I could not even finish listening to part one let alone the whole book. The voice is dry and the narrator reads it as if reading the news or pronouncing one word at a time.

Any additional comments?

If would like to get a refund of my credit or the physical books so i can read them. This stop the story for me right in the middle of the series.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Please bring back Victor Bevine

What did you love best about The Orc King?

Story was great.

How could the performance have been better?

Narrator mis-pronounces most of the key names, and has downright dreadful voices for the characters. Why was the narrator changed? Please bring back Victor Bevine.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The reader is horrid!

What would have made The Orc King better?

Have Victor Bovine read it!

Would you ever listen to anything by R. A. Salvatore again?

Yes, I like his style of writing.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Bramhall?

Victor Bovine! Mark is horrid. His pronunciation is terrible, little to no change in tone regardless of what is happening, almost no difference between male and female characters. He ruined this series of books.

What character would you cut from The Orc King?

None

Any additional comments?

I wish I had listened to the sample of this narrators voice. He ruined this entire series! Let the man Victor Bovine read these books. If I had it to do again I would have bought the kindle version of these books and read them by hand like a caveman. Seriously disappointed.

87 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Performance Shaky

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Bramhall?

Victor Bevine has been doing a great job on the other books in the Legend of Drizzt. Mark's portrayal of Drizzt makes him sound bitter and angry as at least one other reviewer has noted. Mark also pronounces some of the names of the characters in ways that vary so greatly from Victor's that it is confusing.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not a good starting point by any means

What made the experience of listening to The Orc King the most enjoyable?

Continuing to accompany Drizzt Do'Urden and his friends on another adventure

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

After listening to a dozen books in the Drizzt Do'Urden series narrated by Victor Bevine, the narration from Mark Bramhall was utterly jarring. I expected a difference, for sure, but I was unable to find any redeeming qualities in this performance. It sounded like a lecture from a textbook - Mark's spirit seemed far removed from the book in front of him. The character voices were distinguishable but flat, Drizzt was harsh and angry, and the dwarfs were just poor imitations of Irish accents. I wonder sometimes with his inflection if he actually understood anything he was reading. Victor Bevine may have just set the bar way too high, because his reads are nothing short of fantastic. I am dreading listening to the rest of the "Transitions" series with Mark Bramhall reading them...

Any additional comments?

This is not a good place to get into the Drizzt Do'Urden series... it really is foolish to jump into the series here without reading the earlier novels. The author already assumes you know a lot about the characters at this point. Start with earlier books in the series both for the sake of the story and characters, and also to hear Victor Bevine give a narration that will make you fall in love with these beautifully written stories.

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ReDo the Transitions series

What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

Mark reads this series like an instruction manual. His voice never changes tone. He adds his own commas, breaks, pauses and periods. The only reason I didn't fall asleep listening to him is because of the voice changes between characters. Drizzt always sounds pissed off. The Orcs sound human. The dwarves sound like a bunch of drunk Irish or Scotts. His pronunciation is extremely horrible. He changed Bruenor's name from 2 syllables to 3. Luskin is pronounced Lou Skin etc.... Did he even listen to Victor's previous readings? You don't come in the middle of a series like this and start making up your own pronunciations. Readers/Listeners are looking for continuity, especially after hearing Victor for so many books. I wasn't even remotely able to enjoy this book because the only thing I could think about was how excruciating Mark's voice was while he was murdering the read!

Any additional comments?

I'm extremely disappointed in Audible and whoever is responsible for hiring the readers. You charge 3 times what the book costs to buy and you pick someone like Mark? Why didn't you quality check your own product? If you did quality check it, fire that person because he/she doesn't know how to do their job. You shamed yourselves, your listeners and R.A. Salvatore.

65 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Owen
  • Owen
  • 12-20-17

Alright

Don’t have much to say about the story; like other entries in the Drizzt series it’s nothing that will blow you away, but is a solid enjoyable outing nonetheless. It is (or at least this version) however hampered by the narrator.

Bramhall isn’t a bad narrator as such, but various points detract from his performance:
1) the change from Victor Bevine who has narrated up to this point is an abrupt one and is distracting, most notably because they don’t use the same voices for the characters (which in fairness isn’t much of a surprise as it’d require a very skilled voice artist to replicate the voices of another). Now everyone is entitled to their own take on the characters, but the effect is like if in say season 4 of a tv series every single character was recast, which would break emersion; and as it looks like Bevine is back for the next arc in the series, to extend the analogy it’d be as if all the original cast was brought back in season 5.
2) early on Bramhall sounds a bit bored, or as if he’s phoning it in. As things go on he gets a bit more lively and into the role, so hopefully this problem won’t be present in the next book in this trilogy.
3) he over enunciates some words. Regular words in the English language he’s okay with, but various names and the like he puts a lot more stress on than needed; the best analogy I can think of is like in a dub of an anime where the voice artists speak normally when speaking English, but put on a strong Japanese accent for the odd word of Japanese (such as names) that’s still present which sounds abrupt and forced.
4) inconsistent pronunciation. This is partly a mix of 1 and 3 as some words he pronounces differently from Bevine. Again, this isn’t an issue with regular English words but with fictional names/words (eg Menzoberranzan). A handful he’s even inconsistent with himself (eg ‘Wulfgar’ is pronounced as ‘Wolf-gar’ half the time and as ‘Woof-gar’ the other half).
5) some times when he uses the letter ‘s’ it sounds as if he’s spitting all over the script. I’m unsure if he has a slight lisp or if it’s an issue with the recording equipment, but either way it can be distracting some times.

Overall he’s not a bad narrator, but all these issues together snowball to detract from the performance. If this was the only Drizzt book I’d listened to/planned on listening to I’d probably have rated the performance higher and if he was narrating a stand alone book or a different series from the beginning they wouldn’t stop me from listening.



Overall I’d rate this audiobook a 3-3.5 out of 5 and I’d probably bump it to a 3.5-4 if it were to be re-recorded with Bevine for sake of consistency.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BB
  • 12-23-16

Narration

Didn't recognise some of the characters due to changed pronunciation. Very distracting. Spoilt the book.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-19

bring back Victor Bevine

after so many books with Victor narrating I just can't get immersed in this book. Mark's voice just kills it for me. so much so I've bought the paper backs just to move past his contribution to the series.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob
  • 01-17-19

Why a different narrator?

I’ve worked my way through the entire Drizt series, really enjoyed most of it, but am truly disappointed that I no longer recognise the characters by the reading. I am probably going to skip the rest of the series. Hey ho!

Gave story 1 star because the narration is so distracting.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Phill Rogers
  • Phill Rogers
  • 12-27-21

Wonderful story - shocking narration

More great adventures from the Drizzt saga, but the narration is painful and difficult to listen to.

You will barely recognise names you’re used to hearing from countless other Drizzt novels as they’re nearly all pronounced so profoundly different it is very confusing as you decipher who is meant to be who.

The majority of the narration is monotonous with little of the energy added by Victor Bevin.

It is also difficult to tell who is meant to be speaking as many of the characters are performed in the same voice.

If it wasn’t an essential part of the story arc I would skip altogether.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-20-21

Awful narrator

Whoever have this narrator his job needs to lose their own. Good story though.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Søren Reinke
  • 09-22-21

The new narrator did a bad job

The story is very good as always.

But it is a BIG issue, the narrator changed the pronunciation of many of the characters names.

He is a good narrator no doubt. BUT someone should have told him NOT to change the way the names a pronounced.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gábor Ziegler
  • Gábor Ziegler
  • 08-06-21

The reader is unbearable

The reader is unbearable after listening to earlier books read by Victor Bevin. :(
Non-continous reading, bad declamation, monotonous tone. Like an undergraduate kid learning how to read...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David
  • David
  • 10-04-20

Narration is lacking

It is hard to follow the story as this voice actor seems to have a hard time maintaining different voices, so I have a hard time connecting with which character says what. Also, couldn't he have tried to maintain the previous narrator's pronunciaton of character names so I'd know which character is which, or to at least maintain familiarity?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie B
  • 06-26-20

took time

story was good as always it was shock of different reader pronunciation was all wrong

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ido
  • 11-23-16

Lazy narrator

While the book is really good I was disappointed when I began listening to it for the change of narrators. While it was. No matter I'll give it a try. I thought, however for some reason the new narrator decided to change the pronunciation of half the names and the accents of half the characters. It would have been better if he would listen to one of the previous books to determine how to pronounce the names of the characters at least, even if he pronounced them the right way we have been used to another way for about 15 books so it is the wrong way for me and takes me out of the story completely. I feel like I am just "powering through" the three books that he narrated to get back to the real story...

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark W E McCormick
  • 12-27-15

hard to get used to new narrator

Good story like the rest but a bit of a change with the new voice, takes a bit of getting used too but still worth it

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brad Paton (bpaton@tpgi.com.au)
  • Brad Paton (bpaton@tpgi.com.au)
  • 01-22-22

Great story, underwhelming reading.

Needs to be re-recorded with Victor Bevine narrating.
Mark’s performance is lacklustre compared to Victor.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-21

Great continuation of the legend of Drizzt

Great book, fantastic progression and character depth with very detailed descriptions however greatly let down by the readers pronunciation of key words and names which makes it hard to enjoy.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-21

narration is not the best....

I wasn't happy with the narration of this book... I wish it were otherwise as I love this series

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bradur SpineSplitter
  • 10-16-21

should of kept victor bervine

as everyone else has said the narrator is the wrong choice, names pronounced strangely the tempo is out etc etc

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • brock
  • 09-14-21

Great addition to the series, lacklustre narrator

Loved the story but the change of narrator from previous books really ruined the experience, he obviously hasn't listened to any of the previous books as he has changed half of the pronunciations of names and places along with completely different accesnts for characters.
if you can get over the narrator it's still a fantastic story

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Glenn
  • Glenn
  • 11-21-17

Great story

Another fantastic story wonderfully written by R. A. Salvatore as always, unfortunately I didn’t enjoy Mark’s telling of the story I do not understand what they changed from Victor Bevine

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt
  • 03-29-15

new narrator, not the same but still good!

I must admit I missed Victor Bevine for this novel but the story was still a great Drizzt novel!