First I would like to comment on the narrator. I didn't think John Lee was bad in the fourth book, as I have liked his reading from other books very much. That said, I did miss Roy Dotrice's very recognizable characters from the first three books. It is not in error that Roy Dotrice was recognized with a Guiness Record for his work on The Game of Thrones. I was at first very happy that he would be returning for the fifth book. I would like to point out that I started listening to these books just a few months ago and listened to all in quick succession. Therefore I am can very well say that the quality of the last books narration was underpar for Mr.Dotrice. Very familiar character voices were not familiar, male or female. Although Daenarys' voice for example is an oft remarked example of a voice that suffered.
Now for the story itself. I guess it was ok, but not on its own merits. It carries forward mainly because of the weight of all the previous books, especially, the first trilogy of books, so masterfully written. And although Martin's prose is unmatched, it just seemed like he got lost in this book, or maybe there was a lack of editorial control. No one would say Martin is shy to kill off his characters, but maybe he was when it would be time to kill off a few chapters in this book. In summary, the book is ok, but only because we want so badly to see what happens to the characters we connected to in the first books.
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