First of all - go re-listen to #3 and #4 BOTH, as this book starts at the end of #3 and runs parallel to #4...at least for about the first 2/3 - and it really helps because so much happens in #3, and since things are happening parallel to #4, it is good to have those details fresh in your mind.
Second - this is not the last book. I was under the impression it was...and, well, it's not. There are two more...coming...I sincerely hope...in NOT 6 YEARS THIS TIME, PLEASE.
It is nice to have Roy Dotrice back. He's 88 years old. If I can narrate a book half as good when I'm 88...heck, if I even live to 88 I'll be happy. Lee was a fine narrator too though - I suspect we'll have him back for the next one.
The story is awesome, if you liked books 1-4, then you don't need a review to know you're going to get this one. I'm a little annoyed with some of the characters...and Mr. Martin, as usual, doesn't seem to have any issues killing ones I like (which is no less than I'd expect from him).
This book was everything a feast for crows was not. They are both good books but the lack of several love characters in feast made the book a little harder to get through. On the flip side a steady diet of those same loved characters in dace made for an outstanding book. As is typical of Martin each chapter is better than the last and the book and series keep growing to its ultimate yet unknown conclusions.
Another great book in the series. Great new adventures for my favorite characthers Arya, Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys, and Jon Snow...Unfortuantely there's quiet a wait until the next book is released in March 2112. Enjoy :)
I finished book 5 about two weeks ago, and I'm still mourning the loss of A Dance With Dragons. I've listened to books 1 through 5, totaling 200-something hours - all while either walking my dog or painting my house. The story is fantastic, and it never got old for me. I love both of the narrators and I trust George R.R. Martin to continue his writing for as long as it takes to finish as he sees fit.
I love this book but i would NOT recommend listening to it, even though I liked listening to books 3 and 4. Roy Dotrice, the reader, pauses at weird times and overall sounds like he's about to keel over and die while reading. I've taken to play it double time since he reads so slowly, and the way he does women characters is to make them all sound like PMS-ing harpies. Also, the audio book is about three times more expensive than the hardcover. Save your credits and buy the hardcover. This reading gives me a headache.
The wait for this book was long... we were delivered about 1/3 of it with A Feast for Crows, but the stories I most wanted to read are in this volume. Things are finally moving in the right direction.
As other reviewers have said, the choice of voicing for many characters - especially young and female characters isn't as good as it was in previous Martin books I bought from Audible - though some characters, such as Tyrion are perfect.
This book seemed to be (along with Feast of Crows) used for little more than to tie together some plots. I really didn't like the stories of some of my favorite characters in this book. Tyrion did some things that seemed way out of character for him without good reason. Jon's whole story was pointless and when he finally made a decision it went against everything he's struggled with in the whole series (in terms of his battle with duty vs. desires). Dany has never been one of favorite characters and I actually found myself on the border of hating her in this book.
Theon was the jewel of this volume. His story was compelling and gut wrenching. For the first time I was rooting for Theon, of all people. Roy Dotrice was great as ever and it was good to have him back but I think I'm one of the few that didn't mind the last narrator, whatever his name was.
All in all, this book needed to be written to get things where they are but I don't think it needed to be this long. I think it could have been accomplished in 1/3 less the time. The reasons given for some character's decisions, if they were given at all, were not up to par of previous books. I would recommend this book (and FoC) only because of my love of the story up to here. I didn't hate it but if the first 3 books were like this I would not have lasted this long.
I never listened to Roy Dotrice narrate Books 1-3 which I heard he did a good job with, but now - now 7 years later - he's horrible.
I'm not an age-ist but I looked him up and he's 88 years old and it shows! He wheezes through sentence and doesn't even have enough wind to finish without taking a breath which adds up to a weird cadence that's both distracting and very annoying.
A narrator of epic fantasy needs to not only cover the expositorystuff, but also to give distinct and accurate voice to each character so that the listener can get fully immersed in the world and story the author had built. Dotrice's vocal characterization repertoire falls far short of this requirement.
People have called his narration lazy, but I just think he doesn't have the chops anymore.
By far, the most egregious thing is his intepretaion of Daenerys. Absolutely jarring-cronelike voice just destroys any immersion.
I had been hoping to enjoy this on my commute. Now I wish I coud get a refund of my 2 credits since I'll be reading this on my Kindle instead.
I love this series and this book was a great listen. I guess I'm just getting frustrated with so many novels that now have to be a trilogy, or longer. Alas, everyone deserves their 3 (or more book deal. Be that as it may, if you're a fan of the series, you have to listen to this one as well. As for the performance, Roy Dotrice is a great narrator. According to what I've read he uses a different British Isles accent for different parts of Westeros. I can't tell the difference between the accents, but I can tell the voices, and to have a different voice for so many characters is amazing. My favorite is to listen to him as Barristan Selmy, his weariness and doubts about his life's work make him more than Barristan the Bold.
Sorry Roy, but you totally ruin this recording. I am only two chapters in, and the reader's voices for dialogue are comical, and not in a good way. Dotrice makes this long novel impossible for me to listen to. I cannot focus on the story with his horrendously jarring voices jolting me every time he switches to dialogue. Definitely one you should add to your Kindle or buy the book and read rather than try and listen to. This is the first time I have been disappointed in anything I've gotten from Audible. I will be avoiding anything else narrated by Roy Dotrice.