This book was so incredibly disappointing, let me just put that out there right from the start. I was so impressed with Roy Dotrice as the narrator in the first three books that I was stunned at how bad his performance was in this book. Character’s voices were suddenly completely different and he sounded bored through a lot of the book, which made me bored through most of it as well.
Reading the first customer review on the Audible page explains partly why. In 2005, another narrator read the forth book and listeners were understandably upset. After the popularity of the HBO show, Roy Dotrice was finally asked to come back and read the forth book. This was years later so naturally he forgot how he had originally voiced all the characters. What is unacceptable to me is that he didn’t go back and listen to how he voiced characters. If he didn’t have time since the books were long, Audible should have had an engineer copy some clips to send to Dotrice to jog his memory. His reading really killed any of what enjoyment I might have found in this book. Now let’s get to the plot. *No spoilers, don’t worry.
I love the way the chapters in these books are broken down. Each one puts us in the head of a different character. I find myself hoping at the chapter breaks that my favorite character will be next. When someone is left in peril and you hear their name at the beginning of the next chapter, there is always a huge sense of relief. This book didn’t detract from that but it did leave out three major characters.
We have no idea what’s going on with them. There will be a brief mention of one and a small glimmer of hope when there is no news of death but I missed them. The death of a somewhat minor character who I liked was severely glossed over. Oh yeah, that person is dead. What? Now in the fifth book we’ll have to play catch-up with the characters who weren’t in the fourth which will just stagger the timeline.
A few new characters were introduced but in an odd way. You’re left wondering who the heck this person is and not caring about them at all. Those chapters were hard to get through. There might be an ah ha moment but it doesn’t really seem to matter.
The action or rather the lack thereof left a lot to be desired. It was like everyone was walking around stoned all the time. I just didn’t give a care through most of it. I already started the fifth book because after “A Feast for Crows”, I’m hoping things get back to how awesome the first three books were and if not, I can be done with this series for awhile. There was a moment where I rubbed my hands together and giggled with evil and vengeful glee but that wasn’t enough to give the book as a whole a better rating.