Podiobook Review: Chasing the Bard

Many people feel William Shakespeare’s work is magical, but what if we take that one step further?

Chasing the Bard by Phillipa Ballentine


Born into the human world with a gift; a gift that brings him to the attention of powers both dark and light from the World of the Fey, it is his burden to defend all the world.

Sive, the goddess of battle, hopes that he may be able to change the fate of her people.The Fey are dying, killed by something beyond the boundaries of worlds, and Sive will do anything to save them. So she enlists the help of her trickster cousin Puck to guard the child, and watch him grow into his gift. But a dark power imprisoned by human and Fey, plots to destroy both worlds, and unmake all that they have created.

Can one boy stop the destruction, even if he is William Shakespeare?

High Points

  • Beautifully crafted concept for a story.
  • Standalone Book – Not a trilogy or epic monstrosity.

Low Point

  • Even though most of the voice acting is good, there are a couple places where it’s jarringly incongruous.


This book exudes originality from the very start. A great concept. 6/6

It’s a good, but a little predictable, story. 4/6

The characterization is great. From Sive to Will to Puck. They are living characters that you want to see succeed. 5/6

The imagery is very good. The author does a great job of describing the beauties of the Fey realm. 4/6

I don’t know a lot about Shakespeare and his work, but I found myself caught up in the story, picking up elements here and there. Therefore, emotionally, I was brought in and held there. 4/6

This is one of the best produced Podiobooks to date, especially with a larger cast. There were one or two hang-ups in the voice acting, otherwise, spot on. 5/6

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. 5/6

Total Score: 33 out of 42

5 replies on “Podiobook Review: Chasing the Bard”

  1. Wow, you just rip through these don’t you TAM? I’m still muddling through The Case of the Singing Sword, and I’ve got about 5 chapters to go. From the sounds of this review I’ll be checking this one out next.

    • There’s actually a backlog of these for me. For example, I did Quarter Share and Billibub last year. Just skimmed for refresher.

      This one I just finished as was the case for FGZ. But yeah, I do tend to get through them pretty quick from commutes and mindless work tasks. Right now I’m pushing through Atlas Shrugged which may take me a touch longer…

    • Also, one of the beauties of Podiobooks is you can add them to your account, but only download them when you’re ready.

      I have a queue of about 5 or 6 books right now that I’m waiting for the authors to finish.

      • I just subscribe through iTunes, download about four chapters at a time and set my iPod to sync when connected. However, what you describe sounds good too, so I’m going to start poking around at the podiobooks website.

        My method has worked fairly well so far, unfortunately between the length of the books and the new podcasts I’ve been picking up for work, the 4gb Nano is starting to seem a little cramped. I think it’s a sign that when 4gb isn’t enough room for all the music / stories you want to listen to you should start to cut back. Or buy a larger iPod….

        • Here’s my trick.

          1. Subscribe to as many books as you want on Podiobooks.com
          2. Use the “Release All” link (when the book is done).
          3. When you’re ready to listen to a book, add that feed into iTunes.
          4. The fee will grab all the entries, but only download the last file (the PB.com “The End” message.) Delete that last file.
          5. “Get” only the episodes you want. Short books you can get all, but longer ones you can get 2, 3, 4, whatever.
          6. Delete what you’ve listened to and get more until done.

          It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. I tend to only get started on books that are finished. This is for two reasons: 1. In case the author never finishes, it’s rare, but it does happen. 2. I’m not playing catch-up every week (what happened?).

          Hope it helps. Anyone else out there doing the podiobooks thing? It’s extremely cool and very…very…cheap to get some leading-edge new media.

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