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.
I've read all the books in this series multiple times, so I figured the audiobooks would be a great way to get through my very long daily commute. They would've been, except the narrator pays no attention whatsoever to punctuation and makes no distinction between the narrative and dialogue. It was impossible to listen for more than a couple minutes at a time. I'd ask for a refund if I thought I'd get it. If you would enjoy thirty-three hours of this:
"His father peeled off his gloves and handed them to Jory Cassel the captain of his household guard he took hold of Ice with both hands and said in the name of Robert of the House Baratheon the First of his Name King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm by the word of Eddard of the House Stark Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North I do sentence you to die he lifted the great sword high above his head Bran's bastard brother Jon Snow moved closer keep the pony well in hand he whispered and don't look away Father will know if you do."
Then by all means, buy this audiobook. As for me, I hope in a few decades they'll have someone re-record these who knows what a comma is for, and how to modulate his voice for dialogue. Very disappointed.