I'm not sure I'd change anything. I respect the author's voice, I just think that I'm not the ideal audience for this book.
I'd most likely pass. There's nothing here I particularly dislike other than I think it's really intended for a late elementary school audience. His writing just seems to frequently parrot semi-cliched dialogue and characterization that seems too shallow and familiar to capture the imagination of an adult reader.
When listening to this book there was no moment that particularly annoyed me but there also was no moment that I particularly enjoyed. I kept waiting for the point where I would care about the characters but it never really came.
Nearly every character is a fantasy cliche. The ambitious unethical mid-level noble. The mysterious thieves who also have hearts of gold and semi-unwillingly do the right thing. The spoiled Prince who has to grow up. The hooker with a heart of gold. The naive and sheltered but curious monk.
At least so far none of the characters really seem to defy their stereotypes.I guess the telling thing about the book is that despite me wanting to find what is special about it, I found that I could rarely listen for more than 45mins before I would realize that I'm bored and stop.
I think this book will be enjoyed by children but I think it lacks the complexity and intrigue to keep adults that are accustom to the works of George R R Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Tolkien, and the like engaged.
Lastly I'll make a note about the voice acting performance. Again there is nothing about it that I hated but I think that there is a fine line between using sterotypical voices for the sack of clarity and giving the reader something familiar to grasp on to, and having those voices be so cliched that they make already cliched characters even more one dimensional. Tim Reynold seems to periodically cross this line, particularly in the case of the monk character. None of the voices or accents seemed terrible or super cheesy but they also don't really add to the characterizations or sense of setting in the book either.
Overall I've been somewhat critical of the book but I do want to emphasize that for me it is a 2 star book. That said I can definitely see it being more enthusiastically embraced by a younger reader or adults that simply have different tastes.
I picked up this book solely to listen to George RR Martin's Hedge Knight. At this point I haven't listened to the other stories and I don't expect I will any time soon.
The Hedge Knight is and enjoyable listen. Overall, it's a bit lighter in tone and content than the Song of Ice and Fire series, but it still feels completely grounded in the world and is a satisfying filler for GRRM waiting for the next book in the main series.
While the performance didn't ruin my enjoyment, I didn't care for the way the reader lets words and the ends of phrase hang in a somewhat breathy way. After a little while I was able to ignore it but was not a particularly strong performance in my opinion.
Paying the full price of the collection might seem a little steep if you are only interested in one story, but fans who are already deeply invested in the events of Westeros will probably find this story a worthwhile listen.
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