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A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2 | [George R. R. Martin]

A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.
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Publisher's Summary

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

©1999 George R.R. Martin; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, 1999

"A truly epic fantasy....The novel is notable particularly for the lived-in quality of its world, created through abundant detail...for the comparatively modest role of magic...and for its magnificent action-filled climax....[Martin] provides a banquet for fantasy lovers with large appetites." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fans of epic fantasy should appreciate this lavishly detailed sequel to A Game of Thrones." (Library Journal)
"Dotrice's range of vocal tones, from gravelly and commanding to silkenly dangerous, creates a mood of insistence that holds the listener captive throughout the epic story." (AudioFile)
"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (19948 )
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4.6 (15813 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 04-02-13
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 04-02-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    42
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    Performance
    Story
    "I'm hooked, but narration..."
    Would you listen to A Clash of Kings again? Why?

    No. I seldom listen to books more than once.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tyrion Lannister. Obvious underdog, bullied his whole life. He's coming up in the world and doing big things. Will he stay humble? It seems like a question Tyrion would ask himeself.
    That's why I like the character so much.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Roy Dotrice?

    Roy does 2 or 3 voices voices very well.
    But! his females all sound like toothless old crones in pirate movies. Even the young beautiful ones.

    The remainder of male characters sound like grumpy Leprechauns. I'm not joking. They really do. It's getting quite old and it's very disappointing.

    That said Roy has the perfect amount of drama. His voice is excellent for reading the back story. You find yourself lost in the story till it comes time to narrate a female part. Then he snaps you out of it like being awakened from a sleep by a power saw in your bedroom.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    37 hours N/A.


    Any additional comments?

    Just finishing up book 2. Already bought book 3.
    I'm excited about the series and will be more than ready to move on after book 3.
    Regardless of how it leaves me hanging.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle san diego, CA, United States 08-10-11
    Michelle san diego, CA, United States 08-10-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "In need of a good editor"

    This is a gripping tale and a good continuation of the story, as others have mentioned I think Roy Dotrice is one of the most talented narrators I've ever had the pleasure of listening to - he makes each character come to life. However this book is probably 30%+ longer than it needs to be - I listened at 2x speed and still found it to be plodding at times. That said, I will continue on to book #3 to see what happens with the Starks, Lannisters and Tagaryans.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-09-11
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-09-11 Member Since 2015

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "More blood, guts and gore."

    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.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hanalei, HI, United States 03-11-11
    David Hanalei, HI, United States 03-11-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "mixed emotions"

    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.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Cook St. Louis, mo United States 05-09-12
    Jason Cook St. Louis, mo United States 05-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    Story
    "Awesome Story, Terrible Narration"
    Any additional comments?

    Great story but the narration is really distracting. The narrator makes everyone sound like a dim-witted toothless old man, even the women. I listened less and less and ended up just reading the book since the audio took so much away from my enjoyment of this excellent read.

    33 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Armstrong 07-27-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Good, but not one of greats."

    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.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 06-16-11
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 06-16-11 Member Since 2014

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3628
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    Overall
    "Saga not Epic"

    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.

    26 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MTrousdale 06-02-14
    MTrousdale 06-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Roy Dotrice is the Worst"
    What disappointed you about A Clash of Kings?

    Most specifically, Roy Dotrice's narration is unbearable.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Use another narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry 05-08-14
    Terry 05-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story.....awful narration."
    Where does A Clash of Kings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    As a story, this is wonderful. I love and love to hate the characters.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator cannot do voices..every man sounds like a old geezer and the women never sound like women....


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juanita 04-28-14
    Juanita 04-28-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    "argh. the voices are awful!!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    maybe


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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