I started this series as a colleague of mine is a fan of the HBO miniseries, though I've not seen it myself. I found this book to be quite enjoyable and engaging. The story is fairly simple, but the multiple plot lines, and numerous characters make it a much more complex plot altogether. Although, this series does contain elements in the vein of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, this is not as much a magical and wondrous adventure, coming of age, quest for honor and glory, type of story. This story centers on greed, lust, and general dishonesty.
One of the probable difficulties of listening to this story (and series overall) rather than reading it stems from the abundance of different characters, families (houses), the numerous names of cities, castles, and other locations. It took me about 1/2 way through the first book before I had a grasp on the characters and their various relationships with each other. Fortunately there are some online resources such as maps and family trees which help to sort out some of this confusion. (In this regard, it makes The Lord of The Rings look simple - However, LOTR is a much better story overall.) The entire series of A Song Of Ice And Fire, is filled with course language and sex and is like an afternoon soap opera with swords and some magic.
This is an excellent performance. The narrator Roy Dotrice does an excellent job giving each character their own accent or other nuances which helps the listener discern who is speaking the various dialogue. (It is unfortunate that in some of the later books, he is inconsistent with the accents he'd been using in these earlier audio books.) I find the regular reading speed painfully slow, and ramp up the speed of the reader to 2X normal.
It seems that just when you get to know or sympathize with the characters, Martin kills him/her off.
Although, he sometimes leaves the listener hanging, or even pulls a slight of hand and that character turns up in a later chapter or the next book.
Upon completing this book I was anxious to get to the 2nd book, and have subsequently listened to the entire series as it is available to date (1-5). Overall, the Song of Ice and Fire series does drag on as one gets into the 4th and 5th books. Too many characters introduced, along with their entire childhood history, everyone they ever had sex with, their dogs, their friends dog's, etc. Only to be killed off in the next book, or in the last chapter. Though Martin has though out an extremely dense and complex world, there are times where the entire story looses its focus on these side characters. I'm looking forward to book six (hopefully) completing this saga.
Great story. A LOT of characters. Hardest part is trying to keep track of who is who. I think I'm getting it though.
Excellent blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Story rings true.
Even though there are many characters he is able to change his inflection/tone to represent each one.
yeah but how could I?
I'm looking forward to the rest of them.
An epic and stunning masterpiece.
Daenery's Targaryen is a strong, determined woman who comes to understand her title and power at a very young age.
Tyrion slaps Prince Joffrey after he refuses to call upon Lady Stark when Bran fell from the tower.
I cannot wait to listen to the next in the series!
I'm really close to finishing this book and am so thrilled that Roy Dotrice read it! He's got a different voice for each character and uses inflections to make you feel like you are right there. He's super!!
The book itself is many layered with an entire host of characters that you will come to love (or hate). Can't wait to move on to the next!
Great adult drama
I wish I could but it was too long for me to do it. I found myself looking for every opportunity to continue the story.
Performance number is no reflection on the voice talent. He did an amazing job, but there are so many characters it would be hard for anyone to voice them all in a unique way.
Also the first hour of part four is the last hour of part three, thus the low performance review.
This is an overall great listen.
Another book about kings, court and battle? Not this one! Yes, of course, but woven well and voiced perfectly. Many times I was completely taken in by the narration, as if I had been whisked off to Winterfell. It takes a while for the characters to develop, but it is worth the wait. This book seems to serve as an introduction to the families, conflicts and trials faced. I feel the best has yet to come. Can't wait!
Daenerys Targaryen for being a strong female character wise, compassionate, and loyal.
The narrator sounds as if he were Eddard Stark. Love the accent and the effort put into each character.
Several, hard to name one.
Adventure, romance intrigue
This is the first type of book I've read.
I find the lisp disconcerting. Ther are better narrators. When he's doing Varys I shudder.
So many god parts hard to pick one!
This is one of the best books and series I have ever read. Enthralling and delightful.
Tirian was evil and delightful... you never knew what to expect from him next.
I listened to Roy Dotrice's excellent performance (except for women characters) throughout 95% of the entire series with great delight, though having to put up with an increasingly needless and disgusting array of Martin's salacious murders and mutilations which go far, far beyond anything required by the narrative, and which are only exceeded by the prurient crypto-pornography that disfigures his pages. One can put up with these blemishes because the brilliant and endless sequence of rich incidents and marvelous character drawing pull one along with the force of gravity. The reader becomes very attached to any number of characters and approaches the end of the series eager to see how the dozens of inhabitants of Martin's world and their concerns will finally be integrated in a crashingly successful ending, appropriate for the issues, concerns and grand designs involved. Unfortunately, the author's skill (or perhaps interest) did not go this far. After a last couple of pointless murders, one of which destroyed perhaps the most sympathetic character of the whole story and for no apparent purpose, Martin simply stops. Nothing is resolved. All the great characters and their actions throughout the known world of the series are merely abandoned. We never know what happens to them. All the machinations, all the plot twists and turns, the agonies suffered, the losses endured, the struggles fought out are in the end denied any resolution except for useless and disheartening death. Martin obviously has a fecund imagination for character and incident, but fails miserably in narrative structure. This series is the most disappointing story I have ever encountered because of the high narrative hopes it raises and then ultimately dashes. The best and worst I can say of the series is that it results in nothing more than one more fruitless exercise in nihilism. I will never go through it again.