Learning about the Norman Conquest with Wulf the Saxon by Heirloom Audio Productions {{REVIEW}}


Heirloom Audio Productions is one of my most favorite vendors to review! I was so excited when Wulf the Saxon showed up in my mailbox that I'm surprised I didn't get any more strange looks from the neighbors over my squeal of delight than I did! HAHA! Wulf the Saxon is 2 1/2 hours of listening adventure that is sure to thrill your whole family!



Heirloom Audio Productions


Wow, where to even start....We love it. That's it...we just flat out love it! I don't think we have ever listened to an audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions that hasn't left us just speechless at the end, and this one is definitely no exception. 

I feel it is super important for me to distinguish between these audio adventures and an audio book. This is NOT like an audio book. There is an narrator who narrates the storyline, but it is not like a narrator who is reading, verbatim, a book. This is more like the narrator over a stage production play. There are a number of actors who portray each different character in the story, along with ambient and background sounds, etc. It is truly like watching a movie, but with your ears and not your eyes. You FEEL like you are really there! 

Wulf the Saxon
Heirloom Audio Adventure Club
About the Story: 

The story begins with Mr. George (as always) speaking to two young boys, explaining the ins and outs of kings, earls, and dukes. When the boys wish to hear more, the story begins. This story takes place when Edward the Confessor is the King of England, and is set in both England and France. Wulf is a very well respected young landowner who works hard to earn the same respect once given his father before him. He works under the Earl Harold. Harold would go on to be king, eventually, but that comes later. The story opens with Harold mildly chastising Wulf for a youthful mistake when he's only 16 years old in quarreling with another. Upon being pardoned, and welcome back into the King's court, Harold takes Wulf under his wing and Wulf becomes part of his inner circle. 
Harold shows his circle 5 ships, and the follow day they set sail. Wulf is on the same ship as Herald, and they head East. They find themselves in the middle of a strong storm. You can hear the winds blowing, the water spraying, and the ship creaking. The men are hungry, sea sick, and drenched. They finally see land, and attempt to maneuver the ship between the rocks for a safe docking. Shipwrecked, but alive, they rescued as many of the others as they could. I do not want to give away the entire story, but it progresses onward. Wulf and Herald find themselves in the middle of the Battle of Hastings.

I was working on the computer while listening to this the first time, and found myself trying to flip to a different tab to "watch" the movie. Then I laughed at myself for my mistake! These audio dramas are so real and full of great acting and ambient sounds that it's as if you're watching a movie. There is the distinct sound of a blacksmith's hammer between the first and second scenes that is so vivid, I could see it in my mind's eye.

Brian Blessed is still my favorite narrator of all times. He narrates as G.A. Henty between scenes, and does a beautiful job, as always. Alex York is a great Wulf, and Chris Larkin does fantastic as Herald. All of the character portrayals are top notch.
Overall:
Overall, Heirloom Audio Adventures has another winning product. We loved it. Beyond that, the Live the Adventure Club is a favorite of mine. Here you can join the club and receive 3 CD shipments per year, take part in a message board community, and have access to all of your Audio Adventures and the bonus content that comes with them. Mr. B is so calmed by these audio adventures. We often listen to these on our extended medical trips, or even just family day trips. At 2.5 hours long, they are the perfect length to cover the story in great detail, but not be too much. They're also perfectly timed for our trip duration! 


Does Heirloom Audio Productions Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

We received physical disks. These disks are broken up by chapters, so you can start and stop with ease. There's no schedule, or anything like that.  

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

There are no hidden fees at all.  I would say this particular story is best for upper elementary to adult ages, but it's perfectly acceptable for younger students, as well. There are no grade ranges, as this is a family friendly product.  


3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

This is definitely NOT boring at all! Heirloom Audio Productions totally grabs your attention, and takes hold! For those who maybe can't sit still too long, or those who do not wish to listen to much at one time, you can easily stop after each short chapter and listen to this over the course of a few days if you want. 


4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.
This works great with any history based on the same topic. If your order this yourself, you will also receive a discussion guide. We did not receive that with this review, but in reviews past we have used this guide as a discussion guide, for writing prompts, and comprehension studies. 

Please be sure to check out the rest of The Homeschool Review Crew to see what others have to say! 
Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
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