I couldn't pass up the free book but wish that I had. It was a collection of puzzles tied together by a completely unbelievable and unrealistic story. There was very little character development and no attempt to explain why the game was put together nor why these contestants were chosen. I'm embarrassed that I kept listening to it--somehow I hoped that it would make sense. It never did.
At least the narration was well done...
I initially purchased this book three years ago when I first plunged into the the worlds of Ice and Fire. I loved the story, but had a hard time listening to it. There are so many different characters that it was hard to keep them straight. I would miss the name of the narrator at the start of the chapter and be lost as to what was happening. After book one, I gave up on listening to the story and switched to the print version.
After watching several seasons of the HBO series, I was intrigued to go back to it again. I suspected that there was much more to the story than what HBO showed. So I reloaded the book and began listening.
Wow. what a story. There is so much that I missed the first time around. Knowing the story from having read it once and then watching the series, it is easy to follow the plot and therefore to focus on the details. It is fun to see the connection between the different characters and to know how their different decisions will play out. I love the book much more the second time around. I am now in Book 2 and resigned to spending my summer working my way forward through the rest.
The one area where I struggle now is where the book characters (and the accents that the narrator give them) differs from the HBO series. Arya is not a cute little girl, but a 'horse-face girl." Daenerys is only 14. Rob is 15. Joeffry is 13. Ser Jorah Mormont should be a muscular man. I have to force myself to picture the characters as the author described them rather than as HBO portrays them.
If you've read the books once, I would encourage you to come back and listen to them again.
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