These are very long books and there are a lot of them. This is the first of the series. I suspect it will turn out to be the most interesting of the bunch (I'm currently completing book 2). There are lots of battles, lots of evil doers plotting bad stuff, albeit sometimes for what they believe are good reasons. There is much varied terrain in a well-designed universe where fortunately for us, everyone speaks vernacular English. The narrator is very good, although his repertoire of accents and voices is a bit limited. Sometimes hard to tell the girls from the boys and there are way too many London cockneys in this strange land. And far too much pointless description of food and meals in general. I really don't care. It sure does add a lot of pages to the book, but I don't thing it adds anything else. This is a good series if you like this kind of thing (I do), but don't be expecting J.R.R. Tolkien or even Robert Jordon. Martin isn't that good. He isn't lacking in grammar or basic authoring skills, but it does feel like he is working very hard as the books unfold. I found myself drifting off far too often. Is it worth reading? Yes, probably. If length matters and you like a lotta book for your credits, you'll certainly feel you've gotten your money's worth. I am finishing book 2. I will probably read at least one or two more ... eventually ... but I suspect I won't finish the whole series. I just don't love it enough to spend that much time in this world.
***Spoiler Alert ***I greatly enjoyed listening to the first installment of this epic tale. My only qualm, and it cost Martin a star, was the zombies. The introduction of these undead characters was brief and unresolved. I'll read book two, but if Martin doesn't weave these characters in to my satisfaction, I'll abandon the series.
The narration for this audible book is one of the best I've heard (and i've listened to nearly 200 books now). The story is incredible, and I can't wait to start listening to the 2nd book!
I know everyone else seems to love this book and series (especially after the TV series started up), but I just didn't care for it. I was willing to put up with the crude elements of the story (there are many), if it paid off in the end. But the story just took too long to get anywhere and never really went anywhere all that great. I will not be buying the rest of this series...Just not my thing I guess.
George R. R. Martin is a master of world building and a brilliant author. This audio performance truly brings Mr. Martin's words to life. This is a must have for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire.
I would give it 4 stars if I didn't feel I had overpaid for it. Granted it is long but it is not so outstanding that I will buy any more of the series UNLESS they become 1 credit or maybe a sale.
I have to say, based on the many rave reviews I read about this series, I was expecting something spectacular. In that respect I was a little disappointed. This story is epic in scope, but it didn't knock my socks off. The most difficult part for me was the feeling that I didn't really like most of the characters I was supposed to, which was a bummer for me; the only person I really enjoyed at all was Tyrion, who frequently made me laugh. Everyone else had so little to redeem their selfishness, stupidity, depravity, or outright dullness. I tried to hold out hope that by the end of the story, I would feel some sense of closure or completeness, but it was not to be. It left everything hanging for the next installment, which I frankly don't even care enough about to spend another credit on. The narrator was very good, and the story was well written, but I just didn't like it.
Once you get a handle on all of the different characters and families, Game of Thrones makes for a gripping story. Unfortunately, the characters as read by Roy Dotrice would be a better fit for a Warner Brothers cartoon. A comical example is over the top pirate accent given to one of the ships captains. Arrrrgggg. Its hard to take the story seriously when half of the characters sound like an elderly Foghorn Leghorn with a bad cockney accent.
I'm so glad I found the Game of Thrones series (thanks to HBO). The characters are vibrant, the world they inhabit is compelling, and the complex political intrigues that George RR Martin spins for them are endlessly interesting. The narration in this book is fantastic as well - Roy Dotrice does an excellent job of conveying the personality of each character.