I have greatly enjoyed this series, but it has become increasingly frustrating to me as a listener. Although the performance remains excellent, I feel that Martin goes into seemingly endless detail on irrelevant background in parts of this and the following volume. I appreciate having a complete history and mythology created for me, but in many of these meanderings the plot inches on while the author pads shamelessly. It is easy to skim ahead in a printed work, but not so much in audible format. As audio books, this volume and the next - as far as I have read - cry out for abridged editions!
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