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.
513 of 518 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.
243 of 251 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.
52 of 54 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