The story is incredibly broad in scope with deep development of many of the characters. Much like the Aubrey-Maturin series of Patrick O'Brien in that if you like the first story then you will be drawn into a new rich world and be compelled to listen to the entire series.
If you loved reading series like the Lord of the Rings as a kid, you will like this series. It is definitely darker and more violent, particularly this book compared to the first. But I am completely blown away by the complex world and characters that the author has created. It is a bit hard to keep it all straight without a map and glossary, so I still might end up buying a hard copy for reference.
Through the times when I say to myself, okay this is now getting long, Martin pulls out one of his spectacular scenes which makes the journey to each one of more than worth it.
In Book II he ends with the perfect cliffhangers or "what next" question as he sets his significant characters in their next direction.
Book II was interesting for me as I combined listening and reading and it was a good combo. Listening to Book II while hiking through the redwoods put me in a place that felt as I was on the journey with all his characters being guided by the compelling narrator.
And now onto Book III.
Working wife and mother of 2. No time to sit down with a good book so Audible is perfect for my life style.
I had a hard time getting started with this story. The amount of names you have to keep up with is daunting, BUT once you listen for awhile you catch on to who is who and before you know it you are hooked.
Book 2 is full of the unexpected, lots of emotion and holding you breath. Leaves you thinking about it long after you have put it down.
I read the first book A Game of Thrones and chose to listen to this one. The story is excellent but I will definately read the next one. I had trouble listening for so many hours when each and every character sounded like a pirate.
The structure of having the chapters attributed to a certain character is effective but disorienting at the same time. It usually took me about 2min to get back into the mind of the narration.
There were parts where I was absolutely lost in the story and there were parts where I was having difficulty keeping up with the names, recent events and locations. At times, I wish I could see the names and titles so I could remember them better - I am a highly visual learner and I listen to books on my commute to work.
The sequence of Arya cunning the cunner was great fun.
This was an excellent continuation of Game of Thrones. One thing that takes some getting used to however is the way that the author moves between chapters. Just as a chapter reaches a climax it ends and the author moves on to a different part of the story. It was kind of like "she stood there with the sword poised above his neck. ... Meanwhile, back in the 100 acre woods ...". Nevertheless, the book was very well written and you can just feel the changes comming into the word as magic re-emerges and conflicts proliferate. I also very much enjoyed the way that the characters reveal their complex nature. For example, "The Hound" reveals an emotional side that I did not at all expect and by the end of the book Arya seems to be turning into an somewhat of an assasin. Book three here I come.
I loved this story when I read it the first time. Hearing it narrated by Roy Dotrice only made it more amazing. He brought the characters to life and brought out nuances of personality and plot that I didn't notice when I was reading it. I can't wait to listen to the third one.
This series is leaving me dizzy with its work. How Geaorge RR Martin can keep it flowing so perfectly, is awe inspiring. I only have on gripe with this, and it has nothing to do with the writing or the quality of the audio. I record these books to disks, and find it slightly frustrating more care was not put into seperating the chapters. When I finally finished recording, I had to use my last disk to record 7 minutes of audio. I am on the second last disk now, and dread thinking the epic finale of the story will be cut off to that one tiny disk. A shame it was not more well planned, that is, if it was possible to plan it. Maybe audible had no choice, but it seems silly 7 minutes could not have been fitted on the previous 28 disks.