The reader, Roy Dotrice, is the best audio book reader I have heard thus far. His different voices, accents, and character mannerisms keep this massive book flowing. For me, he set a standard of how an audiobook should be read and has tainted my opinions of other books that I have listened to.
The story presented here is massive. Many characters, many events, and much visualization. From this book, you can truely get to know the characters, the cities, and the lore of this vast world created by George Martin.
I read the reviews about the reader not being good and the names not being pronounced well. But I disagree with that assessment of this reading. I think this book is excellently read. The voices are well done and interesting. It did take me a few chapters to understand the shift from one character to another. Once I understood that, it was very enjoyable, I actually waited for a shift.
The storyline in this book is very realistic, so realistic in fact, that I found it painful in many places. Martin didn't write a "good guys always end up on top" book. There were times that I needed to stop the book and catch my breath - since I didn't want the things that happened to happen. But it is as it would have happened in real mediaval life. I also enjoyed the very complex political undertow that was happening.
It took awhile to get into this book but if you like the fantasy genre
once you have all the characters straight this will be hard to shut off. I found myself rooting for the heros and wanting to see the demise of the antagonist. I recommend this book and will be getting the next book series.
I am looking forward to next in the series. I hope that having the first book in the series will lead to the other two in the line being made available as well. Great reader!
Unless you are British, Dotrice ruins this book. I could not get more than two hours into the book before I had to turn it off. It's like being lectured at by the most stuffy professor you have ever met. His manner of narating, long pauses followed by rapid fire speak, with deep stuffy accent, is too much to take. Too bad, I really wanted to listen to this series.
For anyone who enjoys authors like Robert Jordan, Tolkien, or L.E. Modesitt Jr., this book is meat and mead. The dark realism of Martin's setting is detailed, but not boring. The characters are very well developed and very unique. A bright point in this story is Martin's ability to make the reader feel for the characters. My only complaint is that Martin seems to rush through the first half of the book naming places and people and gives very little substance regarding where they are or who they are. Also, I too had trouble with Roy Dotrice's narration at first, but once I was used to it it only added to the mood of the story. I give this book five stars, and will be adding a hardcover copy to my ever-growing library of books I love.
I read this book and then went on to read the next two in the series. I thought they were so good that I went back and read them again. This is the best fantasy that I have ever read and I will now be buying the audio versions.
Perhaps it's the reader; perhaps it's the author's pace--either way, I found this book tiresome. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never happened. The many plots were predictable. I wish I could say there was a character within the book that I admired, but I couldn't find one. I can not recommend this book.
I love George RR Martin's books, I've read them all and thought they were amazing. The reader of this book is awful. Most of his characeters sound like deranged pirates. Samwell? Yeah, he sounds like a pirate. Wrong, so wrong! I love these books and could not bring myself to finsh listening to the horrible narrator. Do yourself a favor, and actually read the book, don't listen.
Teenagers interested in rough trade porn.
the voices change in book 3. You'd think Roy Dotrice would have thought to review his notes before he made everyone scottish.
George R. R. Martin
I felt abused!
Cheap gimmicks, cliff hangers and hooks that never, ever payoff; I quit reading in the fifth book with 8 plot lines, 2doz. main characters, maybe 3x as many minor characters & no hope of tying up all the loose ends short of an asteroid strike. Whenever something interesting develops, Martin abandons it for 50 chapters or jumps to action on another continent.
Meandering, tedious and lacking any unity, these books are 4000 pages dedicated to horney teenagers interested in the rough trade porn that happens every 5th chapter where a woman is stripped, beaten, humiliated and/or raped in excruciatingly lurid detail. Aside from misogyny, Martin also has a pathological fascination with purilance, crusty wounds, feces and bodily fluids of all types. AND STILL NO DRAGONS! I felt sick when I heard two additional books are in the works, each with an estimated 1800 pages. Do not attempt these books without plenty of hand sanitizer.
DO NOT EVEN START THESE BOOKS. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!
PS South Park, Black Friday episode is an accurate portrayal of Martin.