I am new to audio books, however I am enjoying the experience. Due to a learning disability I have not read much. Now I just want more.
I rank this book very high.
I love the entire story from book one to the last. The story is very epic.
After listening from book one Roy Dotrice has definitely made each character come to life.
Having read all the prior books I was always going to read this one. If you are new to the series begin at the beginning or you will be hopelessly lost.
The story is dragging along with an arc that will take at least two to three more thousand page plus books to resolve so I wasn't expecting it to move quickly. That said, A Dance with Dragons has more action and more of the characters you care about than the preceding book, A Feast for Crows. A Dance covers all of the ground of A Feast and then moves the story forward a bit.
The narration by Roy Dotrice is not up to the vastness of the characters in this epic series. He can do old men's voices quite well as well as the narration itself. But when it comes to the dialogue he simply can't handle it. Young people, women, even young adults and middle-aged men and women all sound like grandparents affecting an accent. With such an epic tale there should have been a female narrator to help with the female characters as well as a younger voice to add to the story. Several of the main characters are supposed to be sixteen or seventeen, or even ten or twelve years old. You simply can not have an older man doing justice to those voices.
Maybe it was just me, but my copy of the audible book was divided into "chapters" that had nothing to do with the chapters in the ebook that I had purchased separately. And even then, when I would go to a particular "chapter" it would begin somewhere in the middle of it, not at the beginning. Going back and forth between the audible book and the ebook was a royal pain since I had to hunt through the narration until I randomly found where I needed to be. Also, the chapters in the book are numbered in the table of contents only, without the name of the character listed who the chapter is about, and the audible book chapters do not have the name of the character listed either and the numbering systems don't match. Just terrible.
Listening to the audible book is a great way to get through such a long book more quickly and for that I recommend it. But know that it will cause you pain doing so.
I'll think hard before taking a chance on book 6.
Roy Dotrice, who has been great at providing various voices for the volumes 1-5, has forgotten many of his character's voices from the past books. Sometimes within the same book. His women all begin to sound like crones with cotton stuffed in their mouths.
I understand its not easy to keep a story's momentum over the course of 6 books, but this one has meandered and gone off on tangents that have little appeal.
If there were fewer main characters, more character development of the fewer characters, and less droning on about things that are uninteresting and irrelevant. Also, fewer stories to keep up with and less cutting off of interesting stories to return to mundane, uninteresting story lines.
Not anything in this series
This is a great book, I like all the series, and I'm eager to read the next two books (that are not written yet up to now).
It has some small problems in the narration, at least compared to the first books in the series.
Some characters changed their voices.
And one big problem in my opinion is that audible chapters does not have a book chapter size, so you cannot know how long will it take to complete the chapter you are listening.
But besides that, the book is simply great, and Roy Dotrice is doing a great work in the readings, the 4 stars is only because his performance was better in the first books.
This is going to be another one of those "Can't believe he changed [characters's] voice/accent again.
It's incredibly jarring to have listened to a character voiced a certain way for 4 books, to have their voice changed for what appears to be no good reason.
The accents in this series have been all over the place. First there was Tyrion and Jaime's flip to a Welsh accent, and Tywin's switch from a Welsh accent. Arya changed into an leprechaun at the the beginning of book four, and now Daenerys...
Why!? Why would he take a voice/accent he's used for salt wives and toothless crones and use it for the Mother of Dragons? It makes NO sense.
It bums me out in a major way that I'm so committed to the series. For now I'll have to grit my teeth and bear it when I hear Daenerys voiced, until my brain adjusts, yet again, to yet another voice change.
The book is good, though Martin focuses on characters I don't care about. The problem is that Roy Dotrice doesn't remember what voices go with what characters, not just from past books but even from earlier chapters. The editing is also not great, with long pauses at odd times because they had stopped recording that day and you can easily tell when a word was added in. It just seems like a popular book produced by a experienced company wouldn't be this amateurish with this recording.
I would like to find out what happens to the main characters of the series but if it continues to drag the way it does maybe I will only read the summaries in wikipedia; Roy Dotrice has not been to my liking since the first book, but I found the story interesting so I kept going, but his last deliver it's the worst of the four books I have listened to, I decided to skip book 4 due to the reviews of other members and glad I did, because I agree with their opinion for this book.
I wish the story would move, so much description of dressses or food but no action.
The women's voices are horrible, specially Deanerys sounds like a low born old woman nothing to do with "the most beautiful" queen in the whole world.
This book did need a lot of editing or maybe an abridge version would be much better avoiding needless descriptions or taking so much time introducing a new minor character instead of giving more time to the main characters, I want more of Jamie, Arya, only Jon and Tyrion get somewhere and Daenerys was such a smash in the previous books and now just sits and makes terrible decisions, a bit disappointing.
After investing all of the time in the previous four books, I couldn't force myself to finish this one. Enough already. The story drags on and on and on. The stories become so fractured that by time the thread of a character is picked back up, the reader has forgotten what their circumstance was when last we left them. I have deja vu of watching LOST- I still don't know what happened or what it all meant in the end.
Sad, sad, sad.