I agree 100% with the previous reviews which cite the jarring changes Dotrice has made in pronunciation of proper names, and the inappropriate changes in the voice characterizations, which are highly disturbing! Dotrice had previously set a high bar, with consistency, flair, richness, and humor. I blame the directors/producers as well for letting him get so far off track.
The story also seems to have abandoned many of the main characters, in favor of side stories.
I thought Dotrice was great as a narrator. Dotrice can easily fit as a few characters with his array of voices but not all. This book seems to need multiple people reading as characters. At the very least, provide a woman reading as the women of the novel. While listening to Dotrice, I picture all new male characters as 70 years old. I also felt a toughness was lacking from a lot of character voices.
The books are fascinating and this one proved no less so. Martin is a master storyteller and expert at character development. I never know what is going to happen next. My only complaint would be that nothing good ever seems to happen in this Game of Thrones to anyone ever.
The narrator really has me confused. Why do half the characters sound stupid, old, sick, or out of breath. This is not the way they are written. He only has 3 or 4 "voices" most of which do not match the characters and none of them are the least bit feminine. It also appears as if he did not read the lines before recording them. Sometimes he will record a line as a question when it's a statement. Other times there are huge gaps when someone is speaking. As if he was unsure of what to say or he was William Shatner reading the line. The narrator was very distracting and disappointing.
I've read all five of the ASOIF novels. Like most, I consider AFFC the weakest of the bunch. With season five of the HBO show starting soon, I wanted a refresher of this volume. Instead of rereading it, I decided on this audiobook.
The reason I mention that, is because I honestly have to say I enjoyed listening to this one more than I did originally reading it. The performance made getting past the more tedious parts enjoyable. Of course, the great parts were still great.
I now consider AFFC an under appreciated work. Like most fans, I am eagerly awaiting the next installment. Until then, it's onto a re-read of ADWD. Or, maybe I'll give that one a listen too!
The world of the Seven Kingdoms is just as interesting as before, but this book tends to wander aimlessly. The lack of any significant climax is a real flaw. I hope the fifth book is better.
Only concentrated on two-three characters. The end however was thrilling. A must listen to finish the series though. It's not like we can skip it.