In summary: Great story; horrible narration.
Like many others here, I found Roy Dotrice to be painful to listen to. Half of his characters sound like stereotyped pirates! I was half-expecting to hear him shout "Avast!" from time to time.
Some of you may not be aware that, besides Roy Dotrice, Roy Avers also narrated Books 1 & 3 of the series. (John Lee narrated Book 4).
Having listened to all of the books in this series several times (and by all three narrators), I had really hoped that George RR Martin would have asked Roy Avers to read this, the 5th book, for us. Roy Avers has a much greater range of different voices for each of the characters. At times, it seemed as though he snuck his daughter in to read the parts of Arya and Sansa. Roy Avers also changes his reading pace to suit the mood of each part of the story. He reads faster when there is action, and slows-down and lowers his voice when characters are trying to be unobtrusive. This is something that Roy Dotrice could learn from.
Given a choice, I'd prefer to listen to Roy Avers instead of Roy Dotrice (or John Lee - who narrated the 4th book).
The story itself was very good. There were several surprises. However, the plot tended to drag along slowly at times (as it did in Book 4). As much as I like his writing style, sometimes I would have enjoyed the story more if Martin had got things moving a little quicker and not have let the characters stories draw-out needlessly.
I'm certainly looking forward to the next book. This series is still my favourite above all others, despite the horrible narration of Roy Dotrice and John Lee.
If I had one dying wish, it would be to have the completed Ice & Fire series finally completed by Martin and all books read by Roy Avers.
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