In the Reign of Terror | Review

With fantastic dialogue, music, and sound effects, Heirloom Audio Productions turns audio drama up a notch with their production of In the Reign of Terror. The action packed story kept my listeners on the edge of their seat with mad dogs, a demon wolf, battle scenes, and the dreadful darkness of the French Revolution in a story centered around friendship in this audio drama inspired by G.A. Henty's original book written in 1880.

Set in the late 18th century, Harry, a 16-year-old English boy goes to live with the Marquis de St. Caux and his family in the French countryside and becomes quite attached to them. He quickly earns the respect of the family when he rescues the marquis' two daughters from a mad dog by taking down the dog and killing him with his bare hands. This foreshadows when Harry will risk his life even more to save the sisters when they face execution by the Revolutionists because of their nobility. Harry is fascinated by the "American Revolution," caught up in the excitement of the times, and eager to serve, but he soon learns that the War for Independence was a much different war than the French Revolution, and he risks his life for the noble family with courage and devotion. 

Along with the 2-disc CD set, I received a trial access to the Live the Adventure Club site with downloadable bonus features for club members.

After logging in, I clicked on my Adventure Library where all Heirloom Audio publications can be viewed. I clicked on In the Reign of Terror and had all the bonus content plus the ability to listen online right at my fingertips.

I downloaded the Study Guide and looked through all 43 pages to familiarize myself with the content. I later downloaded the original e-book and read the first four chapters to see how it compares to the audio drama. While there's a lot more information in the book, the spirit of Henty is captured in the drama from the short amount I read. 

I especially appreciated the historical background for In the Reign of Terror, including information on the Enlightenment, the writings and philosophy of Jean-Jacque Rousseau and how they influenced the French Revolution, and the contrast between the War for Independence and the French Revolution.

The study guide greatly enhanced our experience while listening.  

One thing that stands out during this first chapter is our discussion on how Mr. George feels about how Harry compares the American and French revolutionaries. He explains that the War for Independence was different than the French Revolution because the Americans turned towards God and acted justly, while the French Revolution was a turning away from God during a time filled with disorder, pillage, and acts of ruffianism. 

The study guide also has biographical information about the people during this time. 

We had just purchased a chocolate chip Brioche made in France, which was delicious, so I was excited to see this Simple Brioche Recipe and learn a little more about the history of the expression, "Let them eat cake."

I sent the link to the Live the Adventure Club site to my phone and logged in so we could listen in the car. We listened to the first eight chapters during several little trips. Malachi read the study guide questions and online quiz questions and looked up things such as where Arlington National Cemetery is and who's buried there. It took us 30 minutes to listen to Chapter 1 and do the discussion questions, but we enjoyed both the listening and the discussing.  

The Read Along Script is awesome. It is interactive, so while you are reading along, it highlights the words being read, scrolls for you, and always shows you who's talking. This is great for visual learners.

I also really liked that the study guide through the club site is interactive.

The quiz questions are the Listening Well portion of the Study Guide, and the green bar highlights when you choose the correct answer. I found that so helpful.

We did this for several trips like this and would have gone on doing one chapter at a time, utilizing the study guide, but I was suddenly unable to log in on my phone. This was a bummer because I had not uploaded the CD to iTunes to listen on my phone, so we didn't get to listen that trip. I've updated my phone and restarted to no avail.

So, I had to upload the CD to iTunes so I could sync it to my phone. When I finally got it uploaded and synced to my phone, I decided to just listen to the rest of the story so I could finish it in time for the review. I missed not having access to the study guide from the club site though. It greatly enhanced our experience and understanding of the French Revolution. I was still able to log in on my computer to access all the bonus content, including the original Henty book, but I could not access it on my phone, and this was a disappointment. 

Considering the content, there are some intense scenes which was to be expected considering this is an audio dramatization of the Reign of Terror, but it wasn't too intense for my 6, 10, and 12 year olds who all enjoyed it.

So far, we have finished one of the Bible Studies in the guide, which are:
  • When God Means Evil for Good
  • Resistance to Tyranny 
  • True Manliness
I printed all three for my husband to do with the three younger children. For this review, he did the study on Resistance to Tyranny and had each child look up a set of verses and take turns reading and discussing the relevance of each verse and how it applies to our lives. It provoked good conversation on how God puts people in charge, so we are to honor them as long as their rule doesn't go against God's law. 

We love listening in the car - when you play it on the car speakers, it feels as if you are in a movie theatre according to the kids who all enjoyed the audio drama and kept asking for just one more chapter. 

Henty writes in his introduction in his original book, "My object has been rather to tell you a tale of interest than to impart historical knowledge, for the facts of the dreadful time when “the terror” reigned supreme in France are well known to all educated lads." While it was certainly an interesting tale, we learned more about the historical aspect of the Reign of Terror than we knew before.

We love learning about history while listening to audio drama, and if you do too, you and your children are sure to enjoy In the Reign of Terror. 

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

Heirloom Audio Productions
Connect with Heirloom Audio on:
FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Instagram.

Crew Disclaimer
While the Live the Adventure Club is awesome, it loses some of its appeal because I can't log in on my phone. I can access it on my Macbook, but I can't take my Macbook on the road because I don't have a way to charge it while in the car. I have asked for help in the Support & Feedback section of the community forum, so hopefully I'll be able to post an update here for those of you who may be wondering about using this on your phone.