I listened to over half of this book before I just had to give up. This may be a fine book to read, but the narrator is so bad that it was impossible for me to judge the actual writing itself. The reading is flat, emotionless, and has odd pauses in the middle of phrases. At times, it required all of my concentration to tell when dialogue ended and an action sequence or description began.
After listening to Roy Dotrice for the previous three books, the lack of characterization was a huge disappointment in this audiobook. It's impossible to tell the characters apart, and this can be rather confusing during lengthy dialogue scenes--it's tough to follow who's saying what to whom.
As for the book itself, when I heard that GRRM was going to split the characters half into this book and half into another, I assumed that he would put half of the main characters into each one. Unfortunately, he decided to dump all the secondary characters into this book, although I'll admit that he did give Sansa and Arya a few bit parts. I think a lot of this book could have been cut entirely without hurting it in the least. In fact, all of Brienne's part of the story could have been left out entirely and the book would have been greatly improved. Endless repititions of men underestimating her followed by her proving them wrong can only remain interesting for so long.
The only really satisfying thing I found in this book was Cersei's ill turn of luck. After this novel, I'm afraid that GRRM is starting to get Robert Jordan syndrome--lots of unnecessary words and characters and too many plots.
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