Roy Detrice has a captivating voice and his execution of this brilliant work is top notch. I've already read all the books published so far, and evening knowing exactly what is about to happen I still find myself with heart racing, biting my nails on the edge of my seat. This is a character driven story and the depth and feeling I've developed for them is incredible. My heart breaks and soars chapter by chapter for House Stark.
I've been listening to audio books for about 15 years and have only ever not finished listening to two. This was the second. With a few exceptions the characters are unlikeable and the few I was able to connect with were either killed or treated so poorly that I wanted revenge that never came. I admit that the last eight hours of the book may have contained some of what I feel is missing but trying to muddle through all these words to find a plot that isn't really there was not worth it to me. If you like prose for the words and poetry this may be a good book for you but if the want a transparent author who paints a vivid picture in as few words as possible, this is not the book.
I read this book first before I listened to it. I really enjoyed the royal politics, and political manuvering, but had to mentaly adjust the ages of the children up 5 years to make it feel more inline with the presant idea of childhood. I Would not suggest this series for younger readers, but have still found it one I've been drawn into.
With respect to Tolkien, this is simply the best Fantasy Fiction ever written. There are already extensive reviews out there that you can read on how good this book, and series are, so I'll just add to the chorus.
Concerning the audio version, it took about a Chapter or so for Roy Dotrice to grow on me, and after listening to the first 3 books, you will miss him sorely by the time you get to A FEAST FOR CROWS, where the reader changes, due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict. I sincerely hope Mr. Dotrice returns for A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.
I listen to this entire series at least once a year.
If you are a regular listener of long, complex audiobooks you should have no trouble with either the narrator or character names in this series. There are many, many characters with unusual and often similar names. I listen while I run so, it has my complete attention (and is a welcome distraction). It takes some getting used to, but sticjk with it. I can't imagine a more perfect narrator for this style of book. His gruff voice lends itself well to the story.
I am a big fan of long, epic fantasy fiction, and this one is very engaging. An important note to any who may have children or teens who love Lord of the Rings and other fantasy fiction, this is not PG. It is pretty explicit in language and action.
If you like this also check out the Lords of the Otori series - the best audiobooks I have ever heard.
This has got to be the best audio book I have listened to. I normally do not like books that have so many different main characters and different storylines going at once but this one has been great. There is so much detail that you can really see the story unfold in your minds eye.
It is deffinately not a feel good fluff piece it is obviuosly fantasy but with a touch of real world sorry and tragedity. This is not a story for the faint of heart or stomache. It depictions of war in a midevil setting are true to form and gruesome.
I cant wait to see how it all turns out and look for to the next 2 books.
I contend that one of the marks of an outstanding writer is one who creates characters so real, including flaws and failings, that I find myself thinking "Why would you do that? Don't do that!" or "C'mon - everyone KNOWS what's going to happen here. Are you just blind?" Fortunately for me, the characters never respond.
Martin has created some very real characters and an amazingly detailed environment. The skill with which he paints everything from the people to the scenery is impressive.
I've listened to all three books in this series, and I was totally captivated from beginning to end.
I have to say that this book was great! As opposed to those that don't like that main characters die, I found this refreshing. This fact alone makes you really wonder what is going to happen next, unlike most books where you can be pretty certain the characters will make it though the tough times. It may be a bummer to see someone die that you have come to like, but that is how life is. It isn't all bright and sunny days, where the good triumph and evil is destroyed, just remember 'The Winter is Coming.'
I thoroughly enjoyed the first three books of this series. The plot is complex and the author does a good job of character development.
The first three books are filled with intrigue, plots and war. This is not usually what interests me in a fantasy book but Martin's characters kept me captivated.
My one complaint is that I feel that his world lacks beauty and grace. Tolkien this is not. In Martin's world it is the villians and louts that seem to prosper. This is a book of trechery and blind honor. Martin does not shrink from killing off his characters.
The story line moves slowly, in part I think because he spends so much time developing his characters and a very complex story line.
The writing is far bettter than Jordan's Wheel of Time series.
I reccomend this book. The reader is really terrific.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series and approached the audio version with a bit of trepidation. This is a LOT of listening, so the actor doing the portaryals had better be up to the task. Mr. Dotrice does a SUPERB job! His accent and inflections are beyond wonderful! Dick Hill had been my all-time favorite reader -- now he must share his "title" -- this series would be worth buying just to enjoy the readings. The story itself is among thte best in the fantasy genre, even in spite of some unnecessary digressions the author sometimes takes -- they are usually so intriguing that the story is all the richer for it. PARENTAL WARNING: there is a goodly amount of very graphic sex and violence -- all very appropriate to the story, but you must decide if your adolescent reader is ready for it. The earthiness adds to the reality of the tale: so realistic, you'll wish you were reading history instead of fiction.
Oh -- and unlike MANY fantasy writers today, these characters actually develop!! And you don't waste time with "reluctant heroes" that can't quite seem to grow into their role. (Robert Jordan, take note. There is more action in any single chapter of Martin's books than all of Jordan's over-padded tomes combined!)