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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Don't read this book if you can't stand darkness. There is no 'light heartedness' in the entire book, but that didn't keep me from becoming engrossed in the story and the characters. I was listening to the book as I was painting my house and at one point was so upset that I was crying and cursing out loud and I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy. Life just goes from bad to worse for my favorite characters (i.e. the Starks) and the 'bad' guys just get worse and grow in numbers. I do really hope that at some point justice does prevail (before all the Starks all get killed off!)
The fact that the tracks were 'off' and the chapters ended in the middle of a track was extremely annoying. I am not fond of the narrator - he certainly can do a lot of voices but to me they all sound 'old and slobbery' which is a big turn off - but the story is good enough that I can get past that.
You won't be able to stop the series once you get to the end of this book - you must go on to see who shall survive - let alone who will be King.