I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
Here's the thing no one seems to want to admit about Song of Ice and Fire: it's actually not that good. It's very slow with almost nothing happening, the characters almost uniformly unlikeable, the author has no capacity for wonder in his language or suspense in his storytelling. There are so few battles, so little magic and so little soul in his character that it's tough to even call this a fantasy novel. It's just boring.
What the author does do is take great time describing things that just flat out don't matter: what a character eats during a party, what people are wearing, and dreams, dreams, dreams, dreams that are repetitive and just plain dull. The story is the stuff of cliche and in the end it moves so slowly its tough to see why anyone finishes these things.
The plot continues after the even slower Game of Thrones, as Bran tries to hold his family's home, as Dany walks across a desert and spends a lot of time doing nothing at Qarth, as Tyrion prepares for a battle that takes 30 hours to finally happen, and as lots of characters march armies but never seem to actually fight. This is a brutal, cruel world with no hope, no happiness, no laughs and no joy whatsoever.
The author seems obsessed with breastfeeding and naked women and not in any way with telling a unique or interesting story. He skips describing the events that we might actually want to see (such as when a castle is FINALLY overthrown) and he drags out things like hiking through the snow. How in the world was this published?
The TV show fixes many of these problems. Stick to it, if anything. This is a total waste of TWO credits.
Unfortunately, Roy Dotrice makes this book harder to follow than it needs to be. A great book. A horrible narrator. Audible, please get John Lee to read this book!
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!
The story is absorbing. It sweeps you along until your finger refuses to press the stop or pause button. I have often found myself sitting in the car late for an appointment, the novel running through my speakers. A mention to the reader. He is good. More than good. He reads with articulation and passion. What a great combo. Get it, you won't be sorry.
Most specifically, Roy Dotrice's narration is unbearable.
Use another narrator.
As read by Mr. Dotrice, Westeros (and environs) is peopled almost entirely by trolls, goblins, elves, crones, and a few regular guys (young and old). The characters are given such horrible voices that it's difficult to hear past them - Tyrion, for example, is read as a simple-minded cockney (i.e., low class) house elf, which is totally wrong.
Witty, weighty, whopping, widespread, wonderful!
After listening to this entire series several times, A Clash of Kings, Book 2 has emerged as my favorite of the existing 5. The one over-riding factor is Tyrion Lannister. The twisted monkey-demon has wit and cunning like a Roose Bolton...no wait...like a dolphin or killer whale writ small in a sea of numerous, lesser equipped beings.
Roy Dotrice, a fantastic narrator, and this series as a whole is the reason I "read" at all. I became addicted to audiobooks because of this series. I noticed several bad reviews about Dotrice and sure it's a tad annoying when he pronounces a name inconsistently once in a while, but that just lends to the organic nature of his performance. After all, there are 224 distinct characters in the 1st book alone! (Guinness World Record) His performance of the Late Lord Frey is one of the funniest things I've heard in any audiobook. His range is from various "common-folk" voices to haughty lords is impressive. I love him!
As a story, this is wonderful. I love and love to hate the characters.
The narrator cannot do voices..every man sounds like a old geezer and the women never sound like women....
If the story was not so wonderful, I would not tolerate these books. The narrator cannot remember how to pronounce a name....the same characters get a different name in (well at least in the way it is pronounced) in each book. That is really sad.
I hated the way the narrator used the same voice for multiple characters, fell in and out of accents and changed the tone of his voice in weird places. It was so distracting, I only suffered through it on my commute to work because I loved the book so much. Roy Dotrice was just awful!