Storm of Swords is the third in George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. I strongly suggest reading or listening to Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings before attempting to read this book. George R.R. Martin writes extremely complex characters and storylines, and the background from the previous books is required to understand the motivations in this book. That being said, if you are a fan of the series, or enjoy Arthurian fantasy, this is the series to read. It's extremely immersive, and the characters are wonderfully human and flawed. There are good guys and bad guys, but the good guys aren't always so good, and the bad guys aren't always so bad. If you want a story where you can guess what will happen next, this may not be the proper book, because the good guys don't always win.
The major failing of this audiobook, however, is in the performance. Roy Dotrice's narration leaves much to be desired. This book is very heavily character-driven, but all of his characters sound the same in spoken dialogue. I had to go back and re-listen to a part of the story, because I had confused two of his characters. Mr. Dotrice's command of the accents of the British Isles is commendable, and if you listen for long enough, you may find yourself thinking or even speaking in a British accent, which raises the immersion of the book. However, Mr. Dotrice is a low, slightly gravelly-voiced British man, and, unfortunately, even the women he performs have low, slightly gravelly voices.
Dispite my prior paragraph, I do highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good fantasy.
I purchased the 1st book in this series at the begining of my Audible membership: Something I thought I'd enjoy but would "get around to". I burned it to disk, intending to play it in my car on my daily commute.
Never Did ! Long story short - by the time I did the rest of the series (thus far) was available on Audible and I realized this was a do or don't proposition for me. I took them all.
This is the best I have ever listened to. The story is complicated and captivating. The various family stories, political factions and their interwoven lives, viewed from the readers informed position, make you an accomplice to the intrige and momentum of the story. Roy Dotrice is beyond good - I believe in every voice he creates, and with such a complex cast that is a huge accolade. I travelled to Africa early this year - hours upon hours on a plane. I took my MP3 and my Kindle and read along with the Audible narrations. What a treat. In the course of my trip I read and listened to all four available books. The recent TV series has brought new attention to an established Fantasy series. Trust me the books Audible or In Print are so much greater! There is so much more to the story - and I for one can't wait for the next installment.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series and approached the audio version with a bit of trepidation. This is a LOT of listening, so the actor doing the portaryals had better be up to the task. Mr. Dotrice does a SUPERB job! His accent and inflections are beyond wonderful! Dick Hill had been my all-time favorite reader -- now he must share his "title" -- this series would be worth buying just to enjoy the readings. The story itself is among thte best in the fantasy genre, even in spite of some unnecessary digressions the author sometimes takes -- they are usually so intriguing that the story is all the richer for it. PARENTAL WARNING: there is a goodly amount of very graphic sex and violence -- all very appropriate to the story, but you must decide if your adolescent reader is ready for it. The earthiness adds to the reality of the tale: so realistic, you'll wish you were reading history instead of fiction.
Now I know there have been so many reviews that I hesitate to add one. I just wish to say I enjoyed these books tremendously. This one is the third of the series "A Song of Ice and Fire", whose title takes more and more ominous tones as the story unfolds. The first two books were "A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings", and although I haven't written a review of those, I agree with all those who raved for the book. I loved them all. How else could you listen to this third volume (38 hrs?!?) So I assume I am preaching to the choir here. If by any chance, you haven't listened to the first two, you really need to start with GoT (as the first volume is called amongst fans). Absolutely.
For the fans, I just wish to say that the fourth installment comes in November. I've already asked Audible when they plan to provide the audio version. I find these books more immensely enjoyable in audio form, although I recently bought the paperbacks as a reference, esp. when the fourth volume comes out. It'll be handy, and more easily browsable than an audio version.
So there. If you don't know where the web site is, and would like to read the announcement from the author himself, google it or go to georgerrmartin.com. In a previous page (now defunct, I wonder why) he explained that his choice for "A Feast for Crows", as the fourth tome is going to be named, is to take apart the book he'd be writing and only keep the part about the Seven Kingdoms (yeah! my favorite!) The part about Daenerys and the Isles is going to go into the next installments. This way he'll be able to finish the fourth in time, and in fact it makes more sense to him. And to me too: it was a bit irritating to jump back and fourth between the two continents in two stories which we knew wouldn't come together till much later in the story (perhaps not even in the next two volumes).
For those of you feel same, my favorite character is Arya. Can't wait to hear her story. Yeah!
From Austen to zombies!
At 46 hours, this unabridged edition is quite the commitment. But don't worry--this book went by way too fast for me.
This continuation of the story from A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings couldn't be more exciting. While there are rather a lot of plot threads, they merge enough so that the reader can tell what's going on. Similarly, secondary or tertiary characters can get lost, but that's forgivable with a story this sweeping. Martin even manages to work twists into the subplots.
The best part of the trilogy, for me, is that Martin weaves a believable fantasy world without falling back on too many fantasy cliches. Yes, it's about kings, knights, dragons, princesses, battles, and so forth, but the characters are real people, with timeless virtues and flaws. Cersei Lannister may be a bit flat, but young Sansa Stark is surprisingly real. Tyrion Lannister in particular is memorable; he and his brother Jaime have some of the best dialogue I've ever read outside of Elmore Leonard.
The narrator, Roy Dotrice, does a fabulous job, bringing life to the characters with his blustery British tones. I was disappointed to see that he didn't narrate the next book in this series, A Feast for Crows, but that didn't make this book any less enjoyable.
One caveat: if you've listened to the first two books in this series, you probably already know that it isn't always family-friendly. It's definitely PG-13, and in places even R. If that's a concern, there are other excellent titles with less for parents to worry about (the Shannara series comes to mind).
To me George R Martin is the best fantasy writer. Though I love his books, the speaker in this audiobook is even better. He makes the characters come so alive, I seem to know them better than most of my friends (no joke!).
I stopped rereading the books and only listen to them.
The best in the series, this book is one of the best written/read audio books I?ve even encountered. It kept me riveted until the last word; I was as rapt at the end of hour one as I was at the end of hour 50. This is definitely not your typical fantasy novel. It is, in a word, amazing.
Martin is the most talented author in the Genre since The Professor made it respectable... it's as simple as that.
If you have not read/listened to these books and you enjoy fantasy, you owe it to yourself to do so. Solid multidimensional characters, deep plot, good imagery (not Tolkien level but good nonetheless)... these books have everything. The most annoying part of the books is that you get so deep into each character that when he switches to a different one you get mad, only to get into that character and get mad when he switches back. Then of course there's his propensity for killing off main characters... don't get too attached to anyone!
In this third volume of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy, familiar voices (and new ones) once again greet the listener as Mr. Dotrice redoubles his efforts in tackling such a mammoth tome. At around 46 hours of audio, A Storm of Swords follows the continuing conflict between the Stark and Lannister families and the ensuing war that has erupted across the kingdom.
The listener will be left on the edge of their seat and waiting for the next volume of the series as A Storm of Swords is brought to its dramatic close. True to his prior readings, Mr. Dotrice breathes a life into the characters so well that it is all too easy to forget that it is but a single man doing the reading.
I recommend it!
I listened to the first book, read the second, and heard the last. Without a doubt Mr. Dotrice delivers an eloquent narration from beginning to end.He reminds me of how much I loved being read to as a kid. Somewhere in the spoken word you can hear the sounds of atmosphere and ambiance that compel the listener into beliveable worlds. His repetroire of accents are numerous and deep. Some of the women's voices fall flat, but the children and men are well done. And those are obvious strengths and weaknesses.
I finished the book in less time it took to listen to the narration. But I thought that the spoken word added so much more to a strong foundation. It seems to me that though I consider myself a strong reader I did not read the story for all that it was worth; a good reason to buy the audio book.