The book is very good. It's typical of Hobb with complex plot lines and well developed characters. Some of the secondary characters seem a little... I don't know maybe just "on the nose" or one dimensional. Perhaps they will be further developed in subsequent installments.
The narrator for this series is someone to be lived with, not someone I enjoy. After listening or a half hour or so I can get into the book well enough to kind of ignore her and that's the best I can say.
I am stunned by how positive the reviews are for this audiobook. I enjoyed reading Robin Hobb's assassin series so I figured this would be equally enjoyable.
I understand that Anne Flosnik is an award winning performer but I felt her voice was too strained and that at times it was difficult to get over words that she dragged out unnaturally. Overall, her voice was unpleasantly matched to the characters in this book.
I'm not sure whether it was Anne's voice or the lack of anything interesting in the story line that preventing me from finishing this audio book but either way, I wouldn't recommend it.
Although she has a fine British accent, her slow, artificially lowered, whispery-sounding voice is hard to take. And why do some Brit narrators use an inflection that goes down at the end of every sentence, as though delivering a newscast? Really monotonous. I am halfway through and intend to struggle to the end, but she's ruining a good part of the experience.
I bought this title because I had enjoyed Hobb's Farseer trilogy -- but with the first words out of the narrator's mouth, I wondered whether I had made a terrible mistake. Anne Flosnik's reading seems (to this listener, anyway) affected and lugubrious -- the variety among character voices is slight and not always right for the person. The story was good enough to keep me listening, though I kept having the uneasy feeling that I didn't really like any of the characters all that well -- though that may have been a function of the narrator. I'll probably listen to the next book (this one does leave a lot of unanswered questions!), but I'll also be wishing it had been read by someone else.
I enjoyed reading the book when it was first published and was hoping for a great audiobook. Unfortunately, the narrator completely ruined the listening experience. I quit listening after an hour because the narrator's emphasis and pronunciation was too annoying to continue further. Sad that a good story and good author had their book ruined by the audio version.
I love Robin Hobb and this is a great book but the reader is making it almost impossible to listen to. Anna Flosnik puts dramatic emphasis on the last work in every sentence as if she's making a royal proclaimation and it's making me cringe. I'm not sure I'll be able to get through the whole book with her reading it and I most certainly won't be using my credits for the next two books, I'll read those the old fashioned way.
Anne Flosnik would make a fine childrens book narrator... Loved the Farseer trilogy... won't be able to listen to this one though.
I loved this book when I read it years ago and I love it now. I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the trilogy. I'll just have to satisfy my self with listening to her other selections offered here. I really like the narrator. Her voice is lovely.
The story is good and I recommend it. I did really enjoy the story and it did suck me in. I really do recommend reading the book.
However, the audio is terrible; like fingernails on a chalkboard. The story caught me, but I found myself continuously wanting to Frisbee my phone out of the car window. My desire to hear the next part of the story is all that saved my phone.
I don't think it is the narrator's fault because a decent producer or editor would have fixed the problems. The most annoying thing is the pauses; imagine an awkward pause of conversation in your head... Then... Imagine that awkward pause between every sentence... Every one... For 36 hours... Enough time for a deep breath or two... It doesn't matter how long the sentence is either... It could be one word.... like, "NO!"... There has to be at least 10 hours of silence due to the pauses alone.... In addition to that... Imagine every sentence ending with a downward inflection of voice... Like the exact opposite of a question... That downward inflection is the same tone you would use for the last sentence of a long book... Again, every sentence for 36 hours... To make it more irritating... the pauses and inflections get worse at exciting parts of the story.... a fight scene?.... Do you want to know what happens next?... The one steamy sex scene?..... wait for it.... wait.... still waiting.... then the next sentence begins....
Do yourself a favor: Don't get the audible version. Instead, read the book and enjoy the story properly.
Interesting primer for a trilogy.
I've read complaints about this narration and they're spot on its horrible. My only thought is that if you listen at 1.25 or 1.5 speed it's tolerable albeit she warbles a lot due to the nature of her slow drawn out reading