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Apprentice - Scarlet City by Rebecca Gablé

The Blurb

This Original multicast drama blends history with fiction to tell the story of Jonah, a young apprentice from London who raises himself from poverty by wit and luck to become one of the most powerful merchants of the age. A rags-to-riches tale, Jonah's journey spans the breadth of human experience, from the intricacies of Edward III's political intrigues to the cutthroat world of international trade, from the triumphs of war to the agonies of personal loss - love, friendship, joy, heartbreak and glory. Set largely in London, the Scarlet City, the centre of medieval England, the Scarlet City trilogy is a thrilling portrait of the age and the people who made it so rich, colourful and extraordinary. London, 1330. Jonah Durham grows up in the household of his tyrannical cousin Rupert, and only his grandmother, the calculating Cecilia Hillock, recognizes his talent and intelligence. After her death he inherits a handsome fortune, bestowing him with both wealth and independence but also the wrath of his increasingly dangerous cousin. However, a fateful encounter with the young King Edward III is set to radically change Jonah's life and the future of English cloth production. Told in three parts, hear Medieval London come to life in this historical epic, Audible Original's most ambitious production to date. Narrated by Miriam Margolyes, OBE (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Romeo + Juliet, Mulan) and starring Douglas Booth (Riot Club, Loving Vincent, Shelley) as Jonah, and Alison Steadman, OBE (Gavin and Stacey, Orphan Black, Shirley Valentine) as Cecilia Hillock. Also featuring: Daniel Anthony, Josephine Arden, John Banks, Timothy Bentinck, Clare Buckfield, Beth Chalmers, Elliot Chapman, Trevor Cooper, Oliver Coopersmith, Raymond Coulthard, Gareth David-Lloyd, Richard Earl, Andrew French, Helen Goldwyn, James Joyce, Olly McCauley, Tony Millan, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Katarina Olsson, Steven Pacey, Nicholas Pegg, Nigel Planer, Siobhán Redmond, Christopher Ryan, David Schofield, Dan Starkey, Sarah Sutton, Alexander Vlahos, Niky Wardley, Finty Williams, Claire Wyatt.

My Review

What a sensational production. Sensational is the word, because once I had pressed play and closed my eyes I was transported back to England during the early 1300's under the reign of King Edward III. Had this been a production for tv, it would not have matched the realism that I experienced from this superb production, by closing my eyes and listening letting the story wash over me like warm waters on a tropical beach with a fast incoming tide. Miriam Margolyes' narration was totally engaging, and the performance from the prestigious cast was out of this world. This was a zero to hero tale of a young lad Jonah Durham, apprenticed to his unscrupulous cousin, Rupert a wool merchant. His life changes when his grandmother dies having bequeathed him her fortune. This is a tale of mixed fortunes whilst Jonah learns some pretty hard lessons in life along the way. I enjoyed every second of this and was sad when it came to an end. The good news is this was the first book of a trilogy, so lots more changes of fortune and skullduggery to come.

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