Three of the top 10 free downloads in Amazon’s Epic Fantasy list are The Last Witchking (2), The Wardog’s Coin (4), and A Magic Broken (8). TWC and AMB are (1) and (2) in Sword & Sorcery, which is encouraging. And they’re all still available for free download today.
In other news, I heard the first 15 minutes of the narrator’s recording of A Magic Broken last night and was very pleased by it. I think he may be a legitimate candidate for reading A Throne of Bones; in order to consider the case more closely, I listened to both readers of the two versions of A Game of Thrones, the newer of which happens to be the #1 bestselling audio book at present. I put together a sample recording of all three readers and the AMB narrator compares rather favorably with both of the Martin readers, especially considering that the first two samples are final masters while the latter is a rough mix.
As for the Martin audiobooks, I don’t like Roy Avers’s voice and the quality of the recording is sub-par. It doesn’t surprise me that they elected to redo the books with another reader. Roy Dotrice is quite popular, his voice is obviously a strong one, and the recording quality is excellent, but I very much dislike the cheesy way he verbally gurns and transforms many of the characters into audio caricatures. I much prefer the AMB reader’s more subtle approach to differentiating characters, and I suspect his approach to dialogue would be considerably less distracting over the 36 hours that will be required for ATOB. But one step at a time.