The Dragon and The Raven Audio Adventure (Crew Review)

Dragon and the Raven Review
What do you know about Alfred the Great?  This early king of England not only helped defeat the raiding Vikings, but was also was a man of deep faith who helped bring his enemies to Christ.  Now Heirloom Audio Productions has brought his inspiring story back to life in their newest adventure, The Dragon and the Raven, based on the historical novel by G.A. Henty.  We were blessed by their generosity in allowing us to review not only the audio drama, but also several bonuses materials that helped us get even more about of the story.

About Heirloom Audio Productions

HeirloomAudio-Logo_zpsnjxedqzzHeirloom Audio Productions is passionate about bringing history to life.  Through their dramatic audio adventures they are introducing a new generation to “The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty,” a 19th century author whose historical, character-building novels enjoyed great popularity more than a hundred years ago.  Each story features virtuous characters who must learn how to walk out their faith in the midst of the trials they face.

Heirloom Audio Productions strives for excellence in every aspect of what they do.  From their talented actors to the beautiful soundtracks, these two-hour plus dramas are quality productions that both children and adults can appreciate.  Our family has eagerly added all their audio adventures to our library:

and now, The Dragon and the Raven!

Heirloom Audio Collage

About The Dragon and the Raven

Like the others in this series, the adventure begins with two boys, Ned and Gerald, meeting up with “Mr. George,” (G.A. Henty), who sets the stage for the story he’s about to tell.  This time the boys will take on the more common 9th century names of “Edmund” and “Harold” as the live out the adventure.

After the death of his father, young Edmund becomes a close ally of King Alfred and joins him in battling the invading Danes.  Through the course of the story we see many examples of courage, honor, and what it looks like to love one’s enemies.  There’s even a bit of romance as Edmund falls in love with (and must later come to the rescue of) Freya, the daughter of one of the Danes.  As in all of Henty’s stories, virtue is held in high esteem, and the characters model qualities we hope our children will emulate.

Our Experience

As members of the Review Crew we received the 2-CD set as well as several downloadable bonuses that come with the purchase of a “Family Four-Pack” Package:

  • The Dragon and the Raven audio adventure (MP3)
  • eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter (pdf)
  • ebook of G.A. Henty’s original story with colorful graphics (pdf)
  • A beautiful printable pdf poster of Proverbs 21: 31 (King Alfred’s Hope)
  • cast poster (pdf)
  • soundtrack (mp3)
  • “Behind the Scenes of The Dragon and the Raven (mp4 video download)

DSCN1205xThe eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter is a great tool for homeschool families.  In addition to providing some background information about G.A. Henty and Alfred the Great, it breaks the recording into 4-10 minute chunks, then provides questions to help make sure young children understood what they heard. (These could also be used as written assignments for older children.)

  • Listening Well (questions about what happened in the story)
  • Thinking Further (questions for further research or to think more deeply about things that happened in the story)
  • Defining Words (vocabulary used in the story)

At the end there are suggestions for further reading about Alfred the Great, three short Bible studies to help students explore biblical themes from the narrative (“God’s Law and the Nations,” “Love Your Enemy,” and “Literacy”), and a brief history of Britain and England.

We especially enjoyed the “Behind the Scenes” video, which showed the actors in the recording studio and gave a fascinating look at the process of creating the whole production.  It delved deeper into the history behind the story and helped us get more out of it the next time we listened to the audio adventure.

DTR Actor Collage
The Dragon and the Raven was a wonderful supplement for our history studies on the Middle Ages.  It is also my favorite drama so far from Heirloom Audio Productions.  I have a special affinity for British history, and it opened up a window into a period I knew very little about.  Whether as a homeschool supplement or just for entertainment, we highly recommend The Dragon and the Raven.

The Dragon and the Raven {Heirloom Audio Productions Review}
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