Jackson and I have just been treated to the most wonderful audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions: The Dragon and The Raven. We received a marvelous collection of products for The Dragon and The Raven, including a physical 2-disc audio CD and a set of accompanying digital downloads (normally included in the “Family Four-Pack”) both audio and visual, to review.
What is Heirloom Audio Productions?
Do you ever feel challenged to find quality adventure stories, or godly heroes and heroines, to share with your children? Well, look no further! Heirloom Audio Productions creates incredible listening adventures for anyone who’s captivated by a great story. They desire to take their listeners into the past with compelling audio dramas, told powerfully by world-class actors. (And, these are actors you’ll actually recognize from your favorite movies!)
Heirloom Audio Productions has selected excellent historical adventures, penned originally by author G.A. Henty, and brought them to life in audio productions starring well-known and talented actors. Other Heirloom Audio Productions presentations include exceptional audio dramas about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, Robert E. Lee, and Sir Francis Drake. Their newest production is The Dragon and The Raven, a remarkable retelling of the adventures of England’s King Alfred of Wessex, designed for ages 6 through adult.
In the mid-800s, England was being slowly overtaken by Danish invaders. Kingdom by kingdom, England was conquered, until there was only a small portion still remaining under English, or Anglo-Saxon rule. Alfred was either the fourth or fifth son of King Aethelwulf (Ethelwulf), and stood alongside his brother who ruled Wessex, King Aethelred (Ethelred). His brother was killed in battle, and Alfred became king in 872.
King Alfred was unusual in many ways. Unlike many at that time, Alfred could actually read and was both a devoted scholar and Christian. In fact, he believed that the Danes were experiencing unparalleled success in their invasion and conquest of England because, as a nation, the English peoples had turned away from God. Alfred’s amazing life story, which included not only defeating the Danes but helping turn the Anglo-Saxons back to God, is dramatized in the incredible performances of The Dragon and The Raven.
The physical set is comprised of 2 audio CDs with the complete production of The Dragon and The Raven, in a sturdy plastic CD case. The audio drama lasts two and a half hours, and is divided into segments or chapters, so that listeners can stop and start as needed.
You won’t believe all the special bonuses that the “Family Four-Pack” of The Dragon and The Raven contains! Along with the actual physical CDs, purchasers receive the following:
- The Dragon and The Raven production in an mp3 recording
- G.A. Henty’s The Dragon and The Raven, in e-book form, with brand-new graphics from Heirloom Audio Productions (you can see its cover in the picture above, downloaded onto my Kindle Fire)
- The Official Soundtrack recording in mp3 version
- Printable cast poster
- Study Guide and Discussion
- Inspirational Verse poster
- Live the Adventure newsletter
- “Behind the Scenes” video documentary with cast & crew
Each of these exceptional resources can be downloaded onto your own computer, or accessed via your account on the Heirloom Audio Productions website. They actually make the entire listening adventure much more vivid and meaningful; plus, they are just wonderful creations!
I do want to recommend the excellent Study Guide as a fantastic resource. It is beautifully designed and not only includes questions for each chapter, but a list of further resources and even some Bible studies at the end. This guide will enable teachers and homeschools to provide a top-notch history study for their students. The Study Guide is formatted around the following tasks:
- Listening Well, which gives children a chance to narrate what they’ve just heard and learned
- Thinking Further questions, which enable students to pursue additional study, and deeper thinking about the characters and events in the story
- Defining Words provides vocabulary study lessons, which students can work through with a dictionary
This Study Guide is the perfect addition for further study about King Alfred the Great and the times he lived in.
Our impressions of The Dragon and the Raven
There is SO much to love about Heirloom Audio Productions‘ The Dragon and The Raven. First, the production itself is incredibly well-produced. The voice acting is superb and vividly brings to life King Alfred, his brother, Edmund, Harold, and all the others who peopled this fascinating time in history. (By the way, the voice actors themselves include John Rhys-Davies, Brian Blessed, Sylvester McCoy, Helen George, and John Bell among the cast!)
The story itself is an incredible true tale of a godly king whose faithfulness, courage, and purpose not only won a war but transformed the spiritual landscapes of two nations. It encourages us as the listeners with King Alfred the Great’s example, all while telling not only of his successes, but his struggles and perseverance. What a fabulous treat for families–adults and children alike!
My son and I listened to The Dragon and The Raven as part of our homeschool day. We’d listen to about 15 minutes’ worth of story each day. We are still working through the Study Guide but I am particularly looking forward to getting into the Bible study portions at the end of the it. We’re currently working on another Bible study, so once we complete that we can begin this study. To Jackson, the story of King Alfred the Great has been a completely new one. I have appreciated both the excellence of Alfred’s life and example, as something worthwhile to introduce to a young man. It has also been an enjoyable process to listen to; I have to admit that, other than family read-alouds, we don’t do a lot of audio learning. So that has been a useful process as well.
And I MUST mention how much we adore the poster of Proverbs 21:31 (pictured above)! This verse reads:
“The horse is prepared for the day of battle
but victory belongs to the LORD.”
This verse has been a very special one for our family for a number of years. It reminds us of the excellent example of two godly men, as well as reminding us that we can trust God for the outcomes in our lives even as we do our very best in work and preparation.
We are very, very pleased to recommend Heirloom Audio Productions‘ The Dragon and The Raven to you. It is a fantastic addition to any family’s adventure library, as well as any homeschool classroom. You may purchase your own copy at The Dragon and The Raven.
And I can’t close without letting you know that Heirloom Audio Productions truly is a company defined by its own excellence. Not only do they produce wholesome, high quality products, but their customer service is unparalleled. I so appreciate their beautiful example and their kindness!