Used to be my favorite books were the Merlin series by Mary Stewart, and now I am afraid my beloved Myrddin Emrys has fallen to the number two spot.
The story here reads like a historical fiction cake with magic icing. The story is told with the point of view changing from chapter to chapter and adds a dimension of engaging complexity that makes the whole story seem all the more real, and all the more magical.
I was concerned when I purchased this that it might be some endlessly tedious description of knights in battle, but its not. It is a very character- driven human story with castles and dragons.
As a point of interest, there is what I imagine to be a true representation of medieval life. There is much violence including but certainly not limited to the murder of children and rape. The author does not dwell on these things or glorify them. To my mind, as I said, it seems to to be true to the reality of life at that time.
And dont forget, there is magic too! Here again the author handles this element so that it is impotant, but it is not the focus of the story.
I cannot imagine hearing this tale and not wanting the hear the rest of the series so be aware that there are 3 more available. The next two are read by the brilliant, great, incomparable Roy Dotrice. The fourth in the series is read by John Lee.
We are all waiting for Mr Martin to finish writing the fifth.
Megan in TX
I've listened to over 50 audiobooks at this point, and this is the first time I have ever had such a negative experience with a narrator. Horrible! The voices are not even remotely aligned with the age or personality of the characters. A 15 year old sounds like a shaking voiced 80 year old. Just awful. So disappointed. So, no I wouldn't recommend the audiobook to anyone, especially people who are sensitive to bad narrators. But i've powered through and am on book 4 at this point- purely because I love the series that much.
Everything. I am praying that with the renewed interest in this series, they will redo the audiobooks. Tyrion Lannister is the absolute worst though. I almost can't listen to it, it's so grating and annoying.
I didn't read the book and found the perfomance difficult to comprehend ( slurred accents and irritating voices ) - too much repetition of the same lines ( as if the book had been laid down and same lines repeated when picked up again )
I think the narrator did his best but his style is not suitable to the tale. He would probably do much better reading Dickens
I will buy the book and read it
Several frineds of mine have been trying to get me to read this for a few years now. I actually started reading it, but only got about 100 pages or so in before I gave up. When I saw it on Audible, I decided to give it another try just to shut them up. Boy, am I glad I listened to them!! One you have all the characters straight, the story is quite engaging. some things which may seem superfluous at the time end up being critical later on. One thing that Martin does much better than the master himself, Tolkien, is write interesting female characters. Whereas the females in The Lord of the Rings seemed "tacked on," the females in this book are well-written, deep characters who are critical to the story. Also, you never really seem sure whom to root for. Characters you may dislike at first soon become your favorites. I'm not a big fan of fantasy overall, and after reading this series, I doubt I'll be able to read anything else in this genre, because nothing can top this! I'm now listening to the second book, A Clash of Kings, and I hope the third, A Storm of Swords comes to Audible in the next few weeks, because I'm seriously addicted to this series! I must also comment on the narrator, Roy Dotrice. I love the different voies he uses. They are clear enough that you know who you are listening to even if he doesn't tell you right away. The only negative is that he sometimes changes pronunciations of names (Joffrey become Jeffrey, for example) but that is hardly enough to detract from his otherwise excellent narration.
I don't agree with the previous reviews that Roy Dotrice's narration almost ruins the book. He may not be my all time favorite reader but I enjoy listening to books when different accents and inflections are used to differentiate between characters in the story. This does make you have to listen closer sometimes but I like having the story performed. I did have trouble with some names but many are very unusual but similar like, Mallister, Lanister, Waymar, Raydar, Viserys, Daenerys, Illyrio, or Eddard instead of Edward. I did download the book in the 3 format a larger file but there is less distortion in the sound.
It's a shame that the rather negative review of Roy Dotrice's is still at the top. I don't think the reading could have been done any better! English is not my mother tongue and A Game Of Thrones is certainly not the easiest book to read out loud, yet Roy Dotrice manages to make it come to life without effort. He never slurs, his voice never becomes annoying even after hours of listening.
Considering the book at hand and the wealth of minor characters it introduces, it's not suprising that an inattentative listener would have a hard time following some of the more obscure plot twists of George R. R. Martin's wonderful epic. If you have not read the book before listening to this, you will have to concentrate on listening to be able to understand the many lines of plot without becoming confused. If you are looking for an easy listening (or even reading) experience, this may not be the story for you. If, on the other hand, you like complex plots and well thought out worlds, this is one of the best around.
Five stars for a superb reading of a superb book.
I greatly appreciate Roy Dotrice's regular reading voice, but in this book, I find his vocal acting to be incredibly annoying; there are a couple of places where I've skipped sections of the book just so I don't have to listen to the huffing and puffing and wet-mouthed saliva sucking.
To add to the frustration, whoever cut the audio together for this book together wasn't paying much attention; nearly every chapter, there are one or two places where two sections overlap; a sentence will be read, then there'll be a long pause, then that same sentence will be repeated, and the book will continue.
The book itself is fine, but I won't spend two credits to listen to the narrator groan and moan his way through another chapter. I'll wait for the miniseries, or get the actual books from the library.
Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.
Well, I would recommend the print version since I did not like the narrator's acting. I felt awkward and disgusted at times.
The way that George R. R. Martin makes you connect with the characters and keeps you hooked to long to know what happens to them.
At first I thought It was just annoying and picky me, but then, I should it to my students and they also thought they were listening to the narration of a drunk orc. It is the first time I say this, but I am not going to buy the next ones because of the narrator. When he was only reading and not doing the voices it was ok, but then when he started doing the voices I just couldn't continue. I felt disgusted at parts. This is the kind of book you want to read / listen to in one sitting, but maybe with a different performance.
Because of the book, I started to see the HBO series and see how loyal it is to the book. I surely would go see it if it were a movie.
This book is not for the soft hearted. This is not for the mellow people. If being violent and explicit is what you call adult reading, well, this is it. There are some pretty rough scenes that are pretty shocking. So, if you decide to read it, brace yourself.
The reader made listening very difficult.
Although I understand that there are many characters, and the timeperiod lends itself to "gruff" characters, I didn't like listening to the gruff and harsh voice of some of the characters. It was a difficult listen for me personally.
Yes, I would, because it's packed with intrigue, gore, and so many interwoven characters. It's pretty hard to keep all the characters straight, but that doesn't get much in the way of the exciting plot.
The reader is acceptable, but nothing more. He has a nice gravely, old man voice, but it has very little range. The characters all sound pretty much the same. It's like having grandpa tell you a story.