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 was greatly disappointed by the poor display of writing skills that was displayed by this closing novel in the Tales of the Otori. The first book, I still believe, was quite well written. The second installment was not up to par, but as an obvious bridge book to the building conclusion, I was willing to overlook it. However, I can grant no excuses to Mr. Hearn for what he did here in this closing volume. It left me feeling cheated and wanted to boo and hiss at him.
You'll probably want to listen to this book, if you've already heard the first two, but consider yourself forewarned.
Admittedly, the narration of this novel is poor at best. However, despite Kandinsky's best efforts to the contrary, I still found 'This Side of Paradise' to be a very enjoyable twelve hours and I do recommend it.
After listening to, "Across the Nightingale Floor," I had a very high level of expectation for this second book. Unfortunately, as mid-trilogy books so often do, this novel is no more than a prelude to the final volume of the series. It has no recognizable plot, no sense of building action and tension, and most importantly no climax or resolution. If you're prepared to listen to all three books straight through, I would recommend this volume, but if you are looking for a book that can stand on its own merits, this is not for you.
"Across the Nightingale Floor" is fantastic. The story is fast-paced and well written, but it is the readers that truly bring the characters to life. Kevin and Aiko both do a truly wonderful job of infusing the two 'point of views' that the story is told from with sympathy, grief, and rage. It is for them that I give 5 stars.
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