Roy Dotrice does a fantastic job reading this book and all of the books in the GOT series. He has various voices for each of the characters and is consistent throught. The change in voices makes it really easy to help keep all of the characters straight especially since Martin's writting has the reader bouncing around from storyline to storyline.
Highly recommend this and the whole series.
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
So by the time you get to the end of this book you get the sense that Martin is just milking this thing now. Almost everyone has been killed off, and a slew of new uninteresting characters introduced. We have barely gotten to winter and its just a lot of formulaic repetitive stuff. I was struggling to listen to this all the way through to the end. I imagine there will be ten more books like this meandering their way to some sort of random conclusion that ends with Martin selling extra books.
I really liked the story to begin with but the level of milking is just beyond belief here.
Secondly, I found it very jarring that the accents used by different characters changed at some point, probably around the third book. I think the narrator is very good, I only subtracted points because of this change -- it was especially jarring with Aria.
Anyway, from this point on, I have enough interest in the story to read summaries in the future, but I'm done with actually listening to it.
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.