The story starts slow-just like the farseer books, but eventually you get engrossed in the characters.
Narration left a lot to be desired-strange interpretations of many story points (too dramatic, or sad when the story was happy). An interesting accent as well-distracting for at least the first few minutes of any listen.
Narrator is reeeeaally slow and painful to listen to at first. This really is a bad combination with Robin Hobb's already slow style. However!!, if you listen to the book at 2x or 3x speed, the narrator, amazingly, sounds really quite good! I absolutely loved the book after speeding it up a few notches. I was about to quit after the first hour of listening to the intolerable narration.
Having a better narrator may have made this story worth listening to, but I tried to ignore the terrible downtown she ends every sentence with and I still was just annoyed by the Trader/liveship owner family drama.
I will never try listening to anything narrated by Anne Flosnik.
There were parts of the story that started to interest me, and I might have really liked it if the entire old captain's daughter/new captain struggle was left out.
I enjoyed the Assassin's Quest trilogy and because of that I gave this book a chance, getting through 2 of 5 parts before I gave up.
I bought this story because other Audible listeners had recommended it so highly. Unfortunately, I found the narration difficult to listen to and the plot line just plain boring. I almost never quit reading a book part way through, becuase I am always hoping that it will somehow get better. Sadly, this book was so dull that I couldn't even get half way before I had to give it up.
First the narration is horrible. Even in my native language I cannot understand the reader.
Second, maybe the story is great but I don't have time to read it and find out. That's why I buy Audible.
I suggest you never purchase an Audible narrated by Anne Flosnik.
I am going to see if I can get my money back.
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.