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.
Pacific Northwest Gardener
I am a huge fan of the Robin Hobb stories ... especially the Farseer, Live Ship and Golden Fool trilogies. This one only got three stars from me because of the narrator. Just a very annoying listen. Will keep to the written word for these three books. A shame.
I was dubious after reading the reviews but I am a true fantasy reader in all its forms. That being said I like the hopeless situation that Hobb has placed the characters in, the unknown of the auxiliary characters, there is no tralala everything is wonderful in this book actually the plot though fantastical is peopled with realistic characters no perfect good or evil. Another thing is Flosnik is very easy to listen to and after a while she allows u to "hear" ur characters. I actually am looking forward to the next book.
The story line is really good, Characters are incredibly formed, conflicts are intriguing with some ironic twists. I don't like the narrator. I strongly don't like her. She reads like a slow British slug. I have young children, and this is one I can't play around them on certain parts. Too much vulgarity and sexual content to be comfortable to me. I did like Robin Hobbs "Assassin's Apprentice", so I thought I 'd try this one. I do want to finish the series, because I want to know how it ends up, but I think I'll do it on hard copy instead.