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Download The Serpent's Tale Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Serpents Tale Audiobook, by Ariana Franklin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,864 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ariana Franklin Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Mistress of the Art of Death Series Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781429592512
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When King Henry II’s mistress is found poisoned, suspicion falls on his estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The king orders Adelia Aguilar, expert in the science of death, to investigate—and hopefully stave off civil war. A reluctant Adelia finds herself once again in the company of Rowley Picot, the new Bishop of St. Albans … and her baby’s father. Their discoveries surrounding the crime are shocking—and omens of greater danger to come.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This excellent adventure delivers high drama and lively scholarship from its heroine’s feminist perspective.”

    New York Times

  • “Imaginative.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “An irresistible novel.”

    New York Daily News

  • “A brilliant tapestry of medieval life and death.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “A deliciously dark and effective concoction of historical fiction, suspense, romance, adventure and forensics.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Kate Reading captures her brilliantly through a wonderful and eerie reading…[She] has a knack for this genre of story; with an inherent ability to captivate her audience from start to finish.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “A colorful cast of characters, both good and evil, enhance a tale that will keep readers on edge until the final page.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Uniqueness of character and writing deserves Kate Reading’s outstanding narration. Well-paced, robust…Reading succeeds at a formidable task: crossing genres of history, mystery, and politics; vividly transporting us to a foreign time and place; and credibly portraying Adelia’s inner battles between feminism and passion.”

    AudioFile

  • “A warm, promising continuation of the series.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of a 2008 AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wanda | 1/30/2014

    " Second in series of medieval coroner and csi during the reign of Henry II of England. Excellent story "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica Castiblanco | 1/28/2014

    " This book was not even half as good as the first. The constant asides about the inequality of women during this time period were tiresome and took away from the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Babcock | 1/4/2014

    " This is the second time I have read it. Pretty good! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy Wolfe | 1/4/2014

    " I got so annoyed at the immaturity and self centered nature of the main character that it was all I could do to finish the story. Also thought the story itself was quite unlikely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 steph | 12/31/2013

    " Far better than the book that precedes it. A well-done mystery! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 12/27/2013

    " A little too modern in outlook - the protagonist would have been more at home in the 20th or 21st century. The story developed well, the characters lively, but I wasn't pulled into the 12th century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Zoellick | 12/24/2013

    " Not as good as the first book but it left me anxious for the third. I normally don't care for mystery but Franklin has made me very attached to the characters. I can't believe I've waited so long for the rest of the series. It was a great late winter read, as well as, a great follow up to my last book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carlin Hauck | 12/20/2013

    " A very enjoyable read, but not quite as compelling as the first book. Still, though, Ariana Franklin's research is impeccable, her characters are well fleshed-out, and her writing style is compelling. Will definitely be reading the third book- in fact, it's on my bookshelf right now waiting for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melisa | 12/18/2013

    " Now here is good book. I enjoyed it, I hope you do too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mollyjr | 12/9/2013

    " I love this series...I highly recommend that it be read in order. The first one is "Mistress of the Art of Death" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 11/26/2013

    " Excellent sequel. I like Adelia's spunk, and her group had me laughing to myself a few times. I wish there wasn't so much of a romantic story, but I'm glad it doesn't overpower the rest of the story. The mystery is the best part - and I was pleasantly surprised to learn who was the villain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Krueger | 10/31/2013

    " Love this series, fun, easy, historical, strong women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 10/30/2013

    " I love Adelia, as you can see by my continuing to follow her character in book after book. This contained more historical background than the other books, which I loved, since I "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 4/15/2013

    " This seemed a little contrived and familiar territory after the Phillipa Gregory books. But it was a quick and fun read and again a mystery being solved in England during Henry II's reign. It appears to be the second in a series . . but stand alone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mundi | 1/27/2013

    " A fast-paced and engaging historical mystery. I must admit that I enjoyed the first book more - this one seemed somehow more heavy-handed and the villains more obvious - but it was still an enjoyable way to pass the time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 9/24/2012

    " It is the middle book of a trilogy. The character is not as interesting as she was in Mistress in the Art of Death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juliana | 8/14/2012

    " This was a good sequel, not as good as the first, but definitely still enjoyed it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darcy Daniels | 6/8/2012

    " Set in Henry II's England, it's a murder mystery. It has a nice main character who is atypical for the time period. A good beach read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 5/21/2012

    " I enjoyed the second installment more than the first - perhaps because I was more familiar with the characters? I particularly enjoyed the historical context in the creation of the storyline. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita Kelley | 5/4/2012

    " Wonderful, full of suspense and mystery, and underlying love story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeannie | 11/26/2011

    " Yikes...everyone seems to love this book. I was bored to tears. I would have chucked it at the wall at pg 101 if it wasn't a book club read. After 150 pages I began skimming to get through it. I felt free as a bird as I left with next months mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lashonda | 11/19/2011

    " good story, just hard to read at times. you have to be really in the mood to get through the old english. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evie | 9/9/2011

    " A good summer read! I liked better her first, Mistress of the Art of Death, but this will suffice for period literature when one requires lighter reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanner | 7/8/2011

    " Fun book to read. Similar to Pope Joan; strong female main character, striving to maintain independence in a male, church dominated era. Good enough that I'll be picking up her first book to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 6/10/2011

    " It is the middle book of a trilogy. The character is not as interesting as she was in Mistress in the Art of Death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 5/24/2011

    " What's not to LOVE? Forensic files meets the Plantagenets! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helen | 5/8/2011

    " I enjoyed the book, not as much as The Mistress in the Art of Death, missed Rowley. I found at times the detail grew wearysome. But, overall enjoyed ti. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janosch | 4/25/2011

    " The second part of this excellent series continues with its engaging scenery and brilliant characters. Lovely story and it is again thrilling. Adelia & Co are top notch investigators and I higly recommend every book from this series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stambaughml | 4/11/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. Definitely want to read the other books by this author with the same character. I didn't realize this was the 2nd book in the series when I started it. I should have read the first one before this. But I'm sure I'll still emjoy it. "

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About the Author
Author Ariana Franklin

Ariana Franklin is the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A bestselling author and former journalist, she lives in England with her husband.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.