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Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.
A Feast for Crows
It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. . . . With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist—or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.
But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.
If you, like me, have been listening to the Song of Ice and Fire Series as read by Roy Dotrice, then odds are you've grown accustomed to not only the delivery, but the wide range of character voices that Dotrice handles so well. You've probably come to recognize some of your favorite characters just by the voice he uses to portray them. If so, you will find A Feast for Crows to be a rather jarring listen, at least initially.
First, a bit of history. When the audio release for this book in the series was first recorded in 2005, Roy Dotrice was not available, and the book was instead read by John Lee. Many fans were perturbed by this fact, and requested an edition read by the same actor as the rest of the series. After the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones became popular, and the fifth book in the series had seen release, the books received renewed interest. Hoping to appease this new fanbase, Random House finally relented on giving the fans their long-requested wish. Thus, it was in early 2012, nearly 7 years after the initial release, that Roy Dotrice was brought into rerecord A Feast for Crows.
It would seem, however, that in that time Dotrice has forgotten which voices belong with which characters. For example, the characteristically obsequious tone of Petyr Baelish has been replaced with a rather out-of-place gruffness with a slight brogue. Moreover, pronunciations of names have changed significantly, generally moving from a read-as-written interpretation to treating the names as archaic written forms of modern names. Brienne's name has shifted from Brai-een to Bree-anne, and Petyr's name has shifted from Pit-tire to Pete-ur. While you will quickly grow accustomed to the changes, it nonetheless feels unnecessary; Dotrice should have been professional enough to review his previous performances to stay consistent with the latest edition.
As for the story itself, the spotlight of A Feast for Crows is placed rather differently than its predecessors. Entire story lines, characters, and regions of the world will go nearly untouched throughout this entire book. While this is made up for in the sequel (which is at least partially a parallel narrative), some readers may become bored with their favorite characters being thrown to the wayside. Still, the story lines this book chooses to follow are interesting, well-written, and add to the tapestry of interwoven plots that make the series so interesting to read.
Ultimately, if you've already read the first three books of a Song of Ice and Fire, you're unlikely to be deterred by A Feast for Crows. While Dotrice's performance is inconsistent with previous entries, the quality of that performance is no less admirable. And while the focus of the story differs from its predecessors, you will still likely find yourself involved with the happenings of Westeros.
510 of 515 people found this review helpful
I love this series and feel that the narrator did a good job (not great) in previous books. However, like the rest of the reviewers, the voices are so far off that its a great distraction to this wonderful story. Arya Stark for instance sounds like an old crone, whats with that?! I feel this book should be corrected by this narrator and re re released to the loyal customers who read these books. Its not fair to us and its not fair to the Author. Lastly, I feel the editor (or producer) of the audio book should be taken to task. It doesn't seem like they even listened to this or else they would have picked this up in minutes.
242 of 250 people found this review helpful
Every time Aria speaks in this book I find myself expecting to hear her refer to the old god's as "magically delicious". This new voice is a complete departure from her voice in the first books.
And while Roy Dotrice's apparent inability to remember how he pronounced a name not only in other books but even earlier in the same paragraph is distracting, the story itself is as solid and well written as I have come to expect from Martin.
Dotrice chooses to use a mix of both his former pronunciation and the new in this book, most notably as follows.
CAT-lin and KATE-lin
Bry-EEN and BREE-en
Pee-TYR and PEE-ter
A-ria and ARI-er ("I've lost my Lucky Charms")
If he decided to pronounce Catelyn as Caitlin I could adapt but he switches constantly between the old and new pronunciations so it is difficult to become settled into listening to the tale.
51 of 53 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?
If you have invested almost a 100 hours of listening at this point to go on to book 4, be prepared for a disappointing shock! Roy Dotrice, one of the best narrators here, has totally changed course with this one! He pronounces names differently, and the characters voices! Characters we have come to love, like Sam, or for the love of God! Aria now sounds like an old crone!!! I have spent a lot on this series and am completely crushed by this, as a lover of audible books I now realize how important consistent narration is. Be Warned!!! you will have trouble paying attention to the story because of the change in characters.
233 of 246 people found this review helpful
You love the series, and you'll buy this... but do so with this warning...
This is purely a comment on Roy Dotrice and the producers of this "mummer's farce". He hasn't even shown enough respect for those of use who have invested over 100 hours listening to this series to even review the pronunciation of the characters we've come to love. The accents of the characters have changed so much it's confusing to follow a conversation.
Catelyn is no longer "Cat-linn" but "Kate-lyn". Petyr is not "Pet-ire" but Peter.
Any narrator worth their salt keeps track of the accents and voices they lend to their characters, when working on a series. It's a slap in the face to hear this second-rate reading of a fantastic tale.
Arya sounds like a shrivelled old woman... Jamie sounds like Arya of old...
Not happy Roy, I wish Audible gave refunds for unsatisfactory purchases.
226 of 239 people found this review helpful
What would have made A Feast for Crows better?
Consistancy in pronunciation and voices between this book and the first three. Roy Dotrice has read 100 hours of ASOI&F to me, and then changes up the way he says major character names, without some kind of forward explaining the change? It makes the book difficult to immerse yourself in.
What was one of the most memorable moments of A Feast for Crows?
Having to stop the book and rewind in order to figure out who the author was talking about, because I didn't recognize the name.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Roy Dotrice?
I would have preferred Roy Dotrice, performer of the first three novels. Not this Roy. Dotrice imposter.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
If you're a huge fan of the series, there's little doubt that you'll purchase this book too. But if you're not sold yet, end the series with A Storm of Swords and save yourself the frustration.
120 of 127 people found this review helpful
Loved the first 3 books with Dotrice reading them, but just about had to quit listening when Arya and Danni had different voices in this book - agh! They sound like old crones now. Also, the pronunciations are off for several characters which is annoying too. This is the weakest of the series in storyline (too many new people with too many minor tie-ins) but the narrator definitely needs to get back to voicing Arya and Danni like young women, not old hags.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
I love this series, and I love audible; but this is the first George R.R. Martin book for which I selected the audio version. While I simply could not put down the paperback books in this series, I could not finish listening to this narration.
I do think that the story itself is a little weaker than the previous three - two of my favorite characters, Arya and Tyrion, fade nearly into oblivion as the action pounds along, and we spend way too much time, in my humble opinion, on plot background and exposition. And why does Daenarys mostly vanish? What happened to her? Seems like she might be important, what with the dragons and all. We spend a tremendous amount of time inside the heads of folks with, from my perspective, less significant insights and back-stories, such as Brienne and random members of the Greyjoy clan.
However, the weakest part of this book is the narration. There is very little vocal differentiation between characters, and his rendering of the female characters is almost impossible to listen to. They sound like crazy old women. I have switched over to the paperback version of this book, which I am enjoying rather more. Although I almost always prefer to listen to audiobooks, and I have a serious audible addiction, this is one series I'll be completing visually instead.
51 of 54 people found this review helpful
I understand what everyone else have to say about the narration by Roy Dotrice. That being said I wasn't as disturbed as others were. The difference in Arya's tone is poignant yes but it isn't that mind boggling to understand. He still has that ability to capture you and after the original... shock, you once again are able to ease yourself into the book and the wonderful narration.
George R. R. Martin keeps twisting the story all over the place... As with the other books you WILL find parts of this book that leaves you saying 'Why?!', 'Seriously George?' and 'No!!!' You do see where these happenings seem to fit in the overall plot but at this point I am almost afraid of continuing to listen the book (not that I will actually stop) because I am concerned as to who he might kill next or what other twist he might throw in my face. At different points in the story you really don't know who is the bad guy/woman and you honestly don't know who to trust. At this point I am just saddened by what's going on with the Starks in general and I don't see where or how they will truly recover. I am honestly at the point now though that I would really want the good guys (whoever they are) to actually have a happy ending and the bad guys (again whoever they are) their just rewards.
Overall a great listen and a necessary listen if you are into mature fantasy literature. Just... prepare yourself.... This one too is shocking....
86 of 95 people found this review helpful
Where does A Feast for Crows rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I love the Fire and Ice Saga. I have been unable to stop listening to the first two. In the third one, the story has slowed somewhat. I am not as intense with this third book. Perhaps, it will improve. I am not finished, but I really wanted to add my comments to those who were questioning the narrator.<br/><br/>I read that Jim Dale (the excellent narrator of the Harry Potter series) kept a tape recorder with the sound of all the voice he had created to that he could refer to them to keep his voices consistent.
Who was your favorite character and why?
If any characters are good enough to attract your admiration, Martin will kill them off. Still I love the series and can't stop listening to the books. I would advise readers to get attached to anyone who is corrupt enough to last. Those who seem too good for this world, usually are.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
This is a leading question, but a relevant one. I still like the book, but the different voices and the different pronunciation of names is driving me crazy. I like the narration, but I do not like the voices of the characters. Tyrian is gone, but occasionally the narrator uses his voice for someone else. Petar has become Peter. I'm not sure why. The original pronunciation of the name was much more exotic.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
"Episode I of Twenty." You really could not do this book justice in a film. There is too much detail here tfor a movie.
Any additional comments?
I am grateful to Audible to have acquired every book of this series so I can finish them all. My eyes are weak now and listening is much easier than reading. You also can do simple tasks while you listen, but you much stop everything to read. Audible books have made me one of the most "well-read" people I know.
42 of 46 people found this review helpful