Friday, April 27, 2012

Tar the Wandering by Helen Sea

Publisher: Books Are Loud (2011)

Narrator: Julia Franklin

Audio length: 53 minutes

Blurb from Audio Book StoreThis is a beautiful and subtly written story told in the best traditions of an Old Norse tale. It is poetic and delicate and at the same time suspenseful and dramatic. There are dangers and discoveries, adventure and sadness as Tar follows her quest. Will the forces of good keep her safe from her enemies as she follows her destiny? Helen Sea has written the original music that flavours her sensuous storytelling in this wonderful and engaging story that will appeal to a teenage audience and listeners of all ages.

Helen Sea has given us an enchanting, insightful short story featuring a precocious girl named Tar.  She collects tears. I think it is great to have a hobby and it is probably more difficult and perhaps more interesting than collecting stamps or bookmarks. She has a feathered friend who tries to keep her out of trouble, and yet also lights the fire of a quest in Tar by finding a crystal tear. 

Tar lets her obsession of finding the owner of this tear drive her into adventure and danger. Staring down an ancient wolf, nearly turning into stone herself, only to run into a battle - she braves it all to confirm the owner of the tear. All-father One-eye makes an appearance himself, which is great. I have enjoyed the old Norse tales for years, partly because strong women are typical. Tar the Wandering does not disappoint. 

Julia Franklin performed this story beautifully, her voice rising and falling with the mystery, danger, and adventure of the story. There was also haunting music throughout, composed by the author. At first I was concerned that the music would drown out the narrator, but that was not the case in this audio production. 

Pluses: Adventure; lots of old Norse mythical beings; a tale I had not heard before; left me wanting more. 

Minuses: There is a lot that happens in this short 53 minutes, and part of me wanted the story drawn out more to give me more time with these fascinating characters.