I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I am writing this review based on the first four books of this series overall.
There is a LOT going for these books, good character development of many strong, interesting characters (every one with their own fortes and flaws), a superior writing style with interesting vocabulary and a lack of clich??s and many of the other faults found in most fantasy novels. The majority of the chapters are good, a few chapters (at least one per book, excepting book four) are among the best to be found in the genre. Yet I did not come away pleased. The story moves from one complication to another, one interesting character to another (some of the characters have a half-dozen or more names/personae), but there is little resolution. Some sub-plots come to an end, but there is not a resolving. The story seems to have become more a fantasy soap opera than a novel; a well written and compelling soap opera, but a soap opera never the less. The only technical flaws that annoyed me were a few minor anachronisms and some grating crows and half-wits. The narrator for the first three books had VERY strong character voices (which might be too much for many). The narrator of the forth book erred in the other direction (in a book with so many characters character vocal differences can be a good thing). Somewhere in between would be nicer. This was much more of a saga than an epic, more good writing than literature, more a series then a story. I will not be listening to any more unless I hear that they finally and successfully resolve. The first book was the best of the four, with the next two being nearly as good, the fourth was much weaker.
Martin is incredible. Great characters, fearless plot--no one is safe--and masterful pace/susupense.
Dotrice, on the other hand, has mastered all of maybe 3 different voices, and each of them is about as easy on your ears as broken glass mixed with sandpaper.
I may not even listen to the rest of these novels simply BECAUSE Dotrice is involved.
While I have enjoyed the series immensely, I am periodically put off by Roy Dotrice's portrayals of some of the characters. He does many things so well including consistent and distinct voices for each character and keeping Tyrion and The King slayers voices different but similar (they are brothers). But often he portrays young people and women with voices that sound so unrealistic that I find it disturbing and distracting. Teenagers are often made to sound much older and most older characters sound toothless. I am about to try the fourth book in the series and hope that the narrator, who did Pillars of the Earth, is an improvement, though I suspect from the preview that some of the subtle tones of Dotrice will be sacrificed for more of a "reading" than a portrayal. Stay tuned.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
After reading the first of the installments: Song of Ice and Fire, I decided while I could appreciate much about the book, A Game of Thrones, it was probably too dark and I would not continue to A Clash of Kings. Obviously, I caved. I watched the HBO series of the first book and like it a lot. I particularly enjoy long complex novels so I gave ACoK a shot. While I was not disappointed, it was many hours of blood, guts and gore with very little forwarding of a real story line. A little more magic has been introduced but the common thread of just so much violence and death is just too much. If maybe I get sucked into next season's HBO continuation of Song of Ice and Fire I'll read book 3 but probably not till then. The story is very engaging and book 3 even now calls out to me but so too do some drugs. But I must be strong.
I am not as enchanted by this series (I'm about to finish book 2) as most people seem to be. It's good. The characters are interesting, bad guys are very bad and good guys VERY good with a couple of gray people to add spice to the mix. If you are looking for a long, complex series to fill the hours for quite a while, this is a fine choice. But "Lord of the Rings" it is not, nor even "The Wheel of Time." The whole thing is really about war and power and skulduggery. Which, if you like that, is fine. I am more into character development and interaction than endless power plays with the expected back-stabbing and chicanery. And eating. I am a writer too and I know filler when I read it. Every meal is described in absurd detail. Spicing, sauces, even cooking methods. Geez, enough with the food already. It goes on for literally hours in each book. I am not that interested in the quality of their cuisine and if I wanted to watch the cooking channel, I would do that!
It's readable. It has fine narration. There's a lot of action and interesting situations. I will eventually listen to the whole series I am sure, but I'm not in a big hurry to know how it turns out because I simply don't care enough, nor have I gotten sufficiently attached to any character or characters to become deeply involved. And oh yeah, Mr. Martin has a nasty habit of killing off anyone I really like. This is not a cheery tale and the good guys frequently lose. Kind of grim actually. I stick with my initial assessment. Good. Not great.
Epic, intrigue, adventure
The author does a great job of getting you emotionally attached to the characters.
Inconsistent voices for characters. Everyone sounds like an 80 year old man.
Great book and story. The Roy Avers narration is much better.
Its a shame that you can't go to the beginnings of chapters because the track markers seem to be at random places in the middle of sentences and in middle of chapters.
A Clash of Kings is the thrilling continuation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, started with A Game of Thrones.
Dotrice continues to get better and better. He really comes into his stride in this volume, honing and perfecting the voices that he started in the first book. While A Clash of Kings has never been my favorite book in this series, Dotrice's narration breathes a life into it that was beyond my expectations.
I highly recommend it.
I've reread this book once already and plan to do so again. I found things that I absolutely did not remember on the second read.
The narrator is EXCELLENT with the many voices and he brings the characters up out of the book. Martin lives in another world to be able to write these story lines. After reading books like this I find it hard to get involved with movies... nothing on screen can be as realistic to me as the mind's eye listening to these type of books.
I can't see anyone enjoying the books in the series "Fire & Ice" without starting at the beginning and reading all the books in order. All the books build on themselves so you need to start with "Game of Thrones" to understand all that has/is happening.
I just hope that Martin lives long enough to get the series completely written...
After pouring through Game of Thrones by Martin, I had to start the second book. I am thorougly enjoying Clash of Kings. You can never get too comfortable with any of the main characters, because you never know when Martin might lop one of their heads off or torture them mercilessly. He is gifted at making you laugh, gasp, and shriek all at the same time and that's just in one paragraph. He writes with such determination and weaves such a tapestry of rich details and characters, that you can't help but delve headlong into his world. I highly recommend this book for any lover of fantasy. Martin is one of the all time greats!