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Editorial Reviews

A Dance with Dragons is part one of book five in this sweeping epic fantasy audiobook series A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R. R. Martin and narrated by veteran British actor Roy Dotrice. Now the inspiration behind the major HBO TV series A Game of Thrones. Queen Daenerys’ dragons have matured. They have been locked away and are simmering with unimaginable power. Her enemies have found out of their existence. The dragons are loyal to no one. The monstrous army gathering behind the wall of ice and stone continues to grow stronger. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

The complete, unabridged audiobook of A Dance with Dragons.

HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Dance with Dragons is the fifth volume in the series.

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In the east, Daenerys, last scion of House Targaryen, her dragons grown to terrifying maturity, rules as queen of a city built on dust and death, beset by enemies.

Now that her whereabouts are known many are seeking Daenerys and her dragons. Among them the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, who has escaped King’s Landing with a price on his head, wrongfully condemned to death for the murder of his nephew, King Joffrey. But not before killing his hated father, Lord Tywin.

To the north lies the great Wall of ice and stone – a structure only as strong as those guarding it. Eddard Stark's bastard son Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but he has enemies both in the Watch and beyond the Wall, where the wildling armies are massing for an assault.

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all....

©2011 George R. R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"In the grand epic fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best...tense, surging, insomnia-inflicting." ( Time magazine)
"An absorbing, exciting read.... Martin's style is so vivid that you will be hooked within a few pages." ( The Times)
"The sheer mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads.... Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." ( Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • Frankston South, Australia
  • 09-21-11

What happened here?

After book 3, I was gutted to find out Roy Dotrice didn't do the narration for book 4. Instead, some talentless no-mark got the gig and, almost without exception, made an absolute dog's dinner of it.
So imagine my delight when Dotrice returned for book 5!
And then I started listening...
I've praised Dotrice's work previously because he gave a huge range of characters a unique and consistent voice. Why then does he suddenly elect to give a young girl the screwed up voice of a yokel crone when previously she'd been anything but? Why then does he take what was previously a rich, husky female voice and again turn it into something more suited to a wart-nosed witch? Yes, the majority of the characters are as they were, but these two aren't the only jarring changes but they are by far the worst.
And then there's the story. The previous books had intrigue, shocks, revelations and great characters and a wide but still cohesive narration that was occasionally interspersed with chunks of 'nothing much happens'. This book still has the intrigue etc, but it also has great swathes of text where characters just... really... don't... do... much. At all. I'm looking at you Daenerys, you wishy washy sack of absolute tedium. Other characters that have been dead since before book 1 suddenly take centre stage. Martin has never been shy of offing major characters but he seems to be developing a taste for occasionally resurrecting them without really seeming to have good reason. The cast just keeps getting bigger and more complex. The chronology of events from one place to the next gets tricky to follow.
Dragons feels more like a book from an author who's created too much 'stuff'' in his world trying to give it all time in the sun so he can get it straight. As a result, the tale sometimes seems a little forced and occasionally 'round peg, square hole' as pieces are forced into places and events that just lack.. something.
Still, if anyone can tie it all together in the end, it's GRRM.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 11-19-13

I am getting sick of this narrator

Story - This is a continuation of a series and the last in the series to date. This book feels a little drawn out with some "filler", which is a bit disappointing. However it is still a great story and I look forward to the next installment (if Mr. Martin ever stops the book tours etc and gets down to writing again!)

Narrator - The narrator makes every woman or girl sound like an old crone and every man or boy sound as if he is in his fifties. It hasn't really bothered me until this book. The accents are still getting on my nerves. I am glad that the series has ended (so far) because now I can have a break from this reader.

I think a listener might be well advised to space out listening to this book only because of the narrator. The only problem with that is that the listener may forget the more intricate plot lines.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • "unknown"
  • North Lambton, Australia
  • 09-13-11

Slowly Grinding me down.

The series is reaching the point where I am beginning not to care. The original cast is well thinned, while other POV characters have come and gone. Major figures have has mundane deaths, often 'off camera', without any real meaning. It kind of makes me wonder why they were written at all. Too many minor characters sapping my interest in the story, a whole volume without Tyrion, John Snow and Danerys? I know he explained it in the epilogue of the last book, but it was too long away from major characters. How many years was it in the end?.
I will finish the series and I hope it picks up.
Oh yes, and the reader is rubbish. Stiff and definitely no 'voice actor'. Reminds me of a Latin Master at some dusty old private school.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What happened to Book 4?

I have downloaded the series but there does not seem to be a Book 4 in the Audible version.

It is a great story - love it - very dark though it doesn't really raise much hope for mankind - but it is a great read.

I'm not sure Roy Dotrice's reading does justice to the characters in the book. His many voiced characters show he is a talented man but when Denarey's part is read I can't visualise a 15-16 year old girl. The characters all sound seedy - was that George Martin's intention?

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Story was great, voice actor, not so much

Any additional comments?

Roy Dotrice was going superbly with the character voices from the previous books. But now he's gone and mixed up the accents of so many of the characters (both major and minor) that it's sometimes hard to know who is speaking. This has not ruined my overall experience of the series but it's taken me out of the story so often that it's been a little disappointing.

That said, it's GoT, I'm hooked. And there are some great story developments and surprises and an awesome satisfying event that will keep me waiting desperately for the next installment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What a shock!

The storyline is slow to get going (warks can be boring), but progresses nicely. Big disappointment is the narration!. After the appalling narration of the Feast for Crows, I was delighted to see that Roy Dotrice was re-instated only to be bitterly disappointed at his making a complete mess of the voices for the main characters, completely destroying their audible chjaracters in my imagination.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Smells of Jordan

I somewhat disagree with complaints about Dotrice; pacing and vocal range are more reasonable than most, although his rhythm is too pronounced sometimes. My sad tale would be that I think Martin is doing a "Jordan", as in Robert Jordan who would be too busy describing a scene rather than actually getting on with the plot. I started to get this feeling in the previous book and it seems to be spelled here pretty strongly. Things need to move along! However it feels like another two books minimum at this pace before a conclusion can be reached. The twists are starting to feel a little contrived. I hate writing this, I have been a huge fan of this series since it was first published.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, but please bring back Roy Avers !

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Save your credits and buy the book instead

A very good/excellent book completely spoiled by terrible voice acting. I tried to force myself and listen for a while, but I gave up after some six hours. This is the first time in five years (since I started listening to audiobooks) when I decided I just could not stand the narrator. I would not believe it if somebody told me before...

There are plenty of talented people in the voice acting business and I just cannot comprehend how a major fantasy bestseller ended up being read by a leprechaun/old Irish drunk commoner.

I am a fan of George R. R. Martin saga and this rating concerns the voice performance quality, not the book itself.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the rest of GoT Books

The 5th and as yet final installment of GoT books. A bit slow and not as enthralling as the first 4 books. I struggled to maintain my interest in this book. Also disappointing that is the last book but TV series has surpassed book 5.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 05-06-15

Narrative a little disappointing 😕

Roy Dutrice has so many voices and accents and reads with such feeling.. His narration would be perfect if only he didn't change a characters accent half way through!! It really ruins parts of the story. Aria has suddenly been given an Irish accent ??? None of the other Starks have though ?? And Danares has also suddenly become Irish ?? It really is so annoying! I know there are a lot of characters but accents for families or areas should have been decided beforehand and a sample recording of each saved for reference in case there was any doubt.. I would have expected a more thorough and professional approach for the amount of money I have spent buying this series of audio books.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • sm305111@yahoo.com
  • 02-17-15

Rambling

Generally enjoyed the book. Made long driving easier, however the story does tend to ramble and the lack of any major event made the book a little frustrating. Narration is not always pitched right and the 60+ female Irish accent doesn't work for Danny.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • CJ
  • 08-25-12

Dreadful narration

I have persevered with Dotice’s narration this far but finally have to throw in the towel. I thought the first three books well narrated and find Dotrice’s normal gravely and resonant speaking voice appealing. However, narration can make or break a book for me and the accent and intonation adopted for a particular character changes my mental image of that character. Dotrice does a reasonable job with the male characters – I’ve always thought Tyrion’s welsh lilt was fitting, for example. The problem is the female characters. Dotrice narrates all of the female characters – young and old and whether of noble or low birth – as if they were Cornish or Irish fishwives. I cannot picture Daenerys as a lithe and queenly figure when she is made to sound coarse and slow witted. I will finish this in print.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dr
  • 09-01-11

I disagree, I still love Roy :-)

If you liked Roy Dotrice's other ASOIF narration you will still like this, although he has changed some of the voices such as Dany, as mentioned by others, which is a bit frustrating. Yes, Roy is not on as top form as he was for the first 3 books (its what, 11 years?), but I personally find him to be one of the best narrators out there. I find it very hard to listen to others (esp the over the top american voices) after spending so much time listening to this master!!!

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 03-20-12

Starting to lose interest.

I seem to be of a different thinking from many of the reviews on this book. I don’t really have a problem with Roy Dotrice as a narrator. However I am finding I am getting bored with the story and how it does not seem to be going very far. I got hooked on these books and love all the characters, cultures and depth that Martin has created in this world. However I really get the feeling that even Martin has no plan on where this story is going. We found out in book 1 that ‘winter is coming’ but still? Is this saga even going have an end? Or will it have no idea how to end, like the series Lost? I am someone who normally does not get impatient with a story taking it’s time to build, however on this one I am starting to wonder if I will keep investing my time into this series.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • louise marie milne
  • 02-24-16

great listen

fantastic books all of them although Roy dotrice was a terrible choice for narration he constantly changes voices for characters and does the wrong ones for others he even pronounces some names differently...

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Beccameriel
  • 01-12-14

I give up

Meh. I got nearly half way through and have just given up. It's all got unremittingly grim. Dany's story is boring the pants off me and there's no end in sight. There is no humour, no humanity, no light and shade, no attempt at actual human characters. For me successful fantasy has to be grounded in reality - the people have to be actual people who respond believably to situations, however fantastical. GRRM needs a damn good editor and kick up the wossname.

Roy Dotrice's characterisation is also driving me up the wall (or even THE WALL). Why has Dany now got a bizarre Oirish accent? Why is everyone who isn't a lord, a yokel?

Maybe when the next book is finally released, I'll come back and finish this one for but I just can't face slogging through more death, betrayal, misery and rape threats when there isn't even any kind of conclusion appearing over the horizon.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • 07-17-18

Desperate for more!

Here we get the other side of the story from the characters absent from 'A Feast for Crows', and then some more - and I found it more gripping than ever! At this point in the saga, the investment level is very high both emotionally and intellectually, and even though most of my favourite characters are within AFFC, the action and pace of the story makes it so easy to become absorbed in the action in Essos.

There are - as pretty much every reviewer acknowledges - major discrepencies in the voices the narrator, Roy Dotrice, uses for each character, not only from book-to-book, but particularly in this volume, within the space of one book itself. However, let us not forget what a massive undertaking it must be to record over 40 hours of audio, and he does still imbue force and direction into each voice, and if you concentrate, he does allow you to gauge which is internal dialogue and which direct speech. My admiration for his achievements in recording these books actually only grew, particularly thinking that the next volume (should it ever appear - and please let's all hope it does!!) will be read by someone else.

In AFFC and ADWD we diverge enormously from the storyline as we may know it from the TV series, but that's all to the good - a second bite of the cherry I love so much! To quote George R. R. Martin's most overused phrase (sorry!), I hope volume six appears "in half a heartbeat"...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Neville
  • 01-20-12

Victarion Australian ?

Well yes, that first - had Roy Dorice really run out of accents so badly that he had to make Victarion Greyjoy australian ? That really is bizarre. Why not scandinavian or even russian?

And secondly, there are so many characters in these books that someone must be keeping a record of how they sound. How come the producer, who together with Roy Dotrice, must have had a reference file of how everyone sounds, didn't say "Hang on Roy, that sounds nothing like Xxxx !"

I'd love an explanation of why Dany goes from young english to old irish; Bran goes from child english to child westcountry; Stannis goes from quick northern to slow northern; Cersei goes from english to welsh; Melisandre goes from exotic siren to girly french and Strong Belwas covers an entire spectrum.

But now we've established that voices can change willy-nilly, can Victarion PLEASE not have an accent that couldn't have existed at the time.

I know Roy does a lot of voices but couldn't he do Cockney for some characters, or Spanish (as I reckon Dorn is Spain)

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Yury
  • 07-26-14

terrible narration

The story is ok, although it does have an aura of tedium at times, and I agree with those who say that there's no moral or any sort of conclusion in the offing.
But the worst thing is narration. Why on Earth Dany started sounding like a peasant? Why the accents are changing between books and sometimes even chapters? Why names are pronounced differently? I even took trouble to compare a few passages, which I found odd, with the print version - he misreads words at times!
It is really disappointing. A good book made so much inferior by poor narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Luke
  • 07-24-16

Great book voices inconsistent

Great book it really takes you out of the story when the narrator changes character voices between books, when listening to them back to back it really stands out. That and he changes how he pronounces names and places between books.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 01-05-15

Irritated by name pronunciation and accent changes

The change in accents and name pronunciation from the earlier books is irritating. Messes with my memory of each of the characters. Otherwise an awesome continuation of an epic book series.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy Lehmann
  • 06-23-17

Great story, can't wait for the next one.

As with the previous books, fantastic story, but inconsistent narration. Talented, but needed better direction.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leah
  • 04-13-17

Voices

I didn't like the voices. Everyone sounded old and haggard including Danerys. But the story was amazing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • 03-25-16

yes

loved it. ..can't wait for the next one. . . winds of winter. .go go

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-13-18

A dance with a great book

This series continues to deliver on its rich story and lore. leave you anticipating every chapter.on wondering how everything will continue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Xander
  • 06-16-16

Great story, awful narrator

The story is really great, though I do find George R. R. Martin hard to read at times, he gets bogged down in detail and there are so many charscters that it can be 30+ chapters before you get back around to the character that you're actually interested in at the moment.

The narator on the other hand is aweful. The accents the narrator uses become increasingly absurd as the books go on and more characters are introduced. the accents become so thick that it is nearly impossible to understand what is being said at times. The majority of the accents he uses sound drunk, slurred or out right retarded.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine
  • 01-23-16

loved it

loving the whole series can't wait for the next book. these have encouraged me to get back into books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • 04-23-15

I had to stop!

If you've downloaded this book you've obviously read/listened to the previous 4 and know what you're in for: an incredible story, adventure, tyranny, twists and turns, lots of action. That it certainly delivers. I know because I ended up buying the book and reading it.

That was because I couldn't listen to the narrator. True, he has a good range of voices but unfortunately they just don't fit the characters I have in my mind. Who thinks of Daenerys as as an old crone? Not me, that's for sure. But that's what her voice sounded like. There are many other examples like this.

Let's hope they get Rupert Degas to do the next books!!

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Summer
  • 04-20-15

Good book narrator didn't do it for me

Took me a while to get into the narrators voice particularly with female characters. Had gotten used to Michael Kramer

3 of 4 people found this review helpful