This is Part Two of Book 2 of the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE Series.
George R. R. Martin’s superb fantasy epic continues in consummate style as bloodshed and alchemy lay waste the Seven Kingdoms. This second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire is unabridged and split into two parts. The Iron Throne once united the Sunset Lands, but King Robert is dead, his widow is a traitor to his memory, and his surviving brothers are set on a path of war amongst themselves. At King’s Landing, the head of Lord Eddard Stark rots on a spike for all to see. His daughter Sansa is betrothed still to his killer’s son Joffrey – Queen Cersei’s son, though not the son of her late husband Robert. Even so, Joffrey is now a boy-king, Cersei is his regent, and war is inevitable. In Dragonstone, Robert’s brother Stannis has declared himself king, while his other brother Renly proclaims himself king at Storm’s End – and Eddard Stark’s fifteen year old son Robb wears the crown of the north at Winterfell. A comet in the night sky, red and malevolent, the colour of blood and flame, can only be an omen of murder and war. Stannis’s child Princess Shireen dreams of dragons waking from stone. And a white raven has brought word from the Citadel itself, foretelling summer’s end. It has been the longest summer in living memory, lasting ten years, and the small folk say it means an even longer winter to come…
The first rule of war is never give the enemy his wish. But winter will be the biggest enemy. From beyond the Wall the undead and Others clamour for freedom, and from beyond the sea the long-dead Dragon King’s daughter hatches her revenge. Robb Stark will be exceedingly lucky to reach adulthood.
©2011 George R. R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"A Game of Thrones grabs hold and won’t let go. It’s brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
"I read my eyes out. I couldn’t stop until I’d finished and it was dawn." (Anne McCaffrey)
"Colossal, staggering… Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world… one of the greats of fantasy literature." (SFX)
Movie loving Brit living Down Under. Anything 'end of the world' themed usually gets my attention, but The Stand has yet to be beat.
As good as the books are, and they're very good indeed, it's Roy Dotrice's narration that makes the whole thing sing. As a comparison, the audiobook of Dune, another multi-threaded, multi-character, multi-dialect epic used several narrators sometimes and one narrator at other times. Sometimes the narrators were good, sometimes average and sometimes downright terrible.
Dotrice manages to do the heavy lifting and somehow carry the entire cast, from the major characters to the smallest one liner and give them all a voice and, using an array of British accents, makes them all consistent and recognisable.
Yes, sometimes the accent doesn't quite suit the character but such instances are rare enough to simply not matter.
It is hard to imagine how this audiobook could have been improved.
I'm a horticulturist so I am mainlined to audible constantly while doing a spot of gardening. I prefer non-fiction as I like walking away from work with a bit of extra knowledge, but have recently found a beautiful escape in fiction titles which bring their own knowledge with them, I guess...
I had to stop what I was doing to pick up my jaw, lest I stepped on it.
I think I have learned how this man writes and so brace myself for an unexpected turn, trying to predict where the book will go but for the life of me, I can not pick most of the plot line twists.
You can imagine how stoked I am when I come close to guessing it but on the whole, this series is highly recommended for those who wish to be taken on a roller coaster for over 200 hours.
Gripping, delightful, insightful
Hard to choose from so many. Most memorable are probably the interaction between Tyrion and Cerci Lannister.
First time. He makes it very easy to distinguish which character is talking even though the celtic accents of some characters dont seem to ring true. Probably because I have watched the TV series.
Well it has already been done. But the warning should be, don't become too attached to the characters even when they are so likeable. You will be heartbrocken when their tragic downfall occurs.
Can't wait till I hear the rest of the series.
See my comments for Part One of Vol 2 of Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings (Game of Thrones)
Isn't Tyrion everyone's favourite? Though I have a sneaking fondness for Davos the Onion Knight. And (heresey!) Sansa.
I guess so. Dotrice is a little ponderous, and I'm thrown out of the story too often by his ill-fitting accents and mangled pronunciations.
I'd love to listen to the whole Song of Ice and Fire in once sitting, but (a) the series isn't finished yet; and (b) I'd need to take a fortnight off work and arrange to be fed through a tube!
I think these books are probably perfect for Whispersync and might try that for Volume Three. They are so dense and complex that I think that the immersive experience of listening and reading together would be an idea way to make sure I'm capturing all of it.
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
This book is as good as the first. Albeit a little more graphic.
NARRATOR - Once again the narrator fails a little in the accent department. This really infuriated me with one particular character, but with a story this well written you can set it aside after a bit. His inflections have improved in this book and are more appropriate. Again he lets the story speak for itself.
STORY - This book is a little more graphic concerning violence, but these are violent times we are reading about (think medieval with dragons). The story continues to move along at a good pace so far. The characters develop further here and we get to know them better. They still seem a little one dimensional in spots (especially the women), but I am assuming this will improve as time goes on.
I would recommend this book as the second in the series but I would say do not let children read these books they are a little too graphic.
The book flows straight on from the first. I couldn't wait to start it and when I did start I couldn't stop listening. Sad that some of my favourite characters are no long in the story. But it is still a wonderful read.
It's good. By now you are into the series and wand to keep going.
Not the greatest but pretty good.
That it took me somewhere far away and kept me entertained.
The narrator struggled to keep his accents consistent. To be fair he had a huge cast to keep up with.
It was sometimes horrifying.
The characters lacked real depth in that the baddies were only evil and the goodies too good. But overall it was mindlessly entertaining and I enjoyed it.
Love Books and listen while working out and on the way to and from work
If you like the 1st book you will like this one. It continues the story at a good pace and you learn more about the charters. The narration is outstanding - you can pick up most charters just with the different voices that the narrate uses.
I started this series having watched the Game of Throne series on TV and it has not disappointed. It does take time to get into the stories as there are so many characters, plot lines and background history. What really helped me to follow what is happening was a website called Tower of the Hand, which has summaries of each chapter and links to biographies of all the characters.
A great ranges of interesting characters with most showing shades of good and bad in their actions. Tyrion the dwarf is a great literary creation. The author is a natural story teller, packing the narrative with sparkling dialogue, inventive action, and most chapters end on cliffhangers. Unusually for a fantasy series many of the early battles are only described to us in the third person, although later books start to describe the battles as first person encounters.
"Another fantastic performance"
Great characterisation and a superb story.
its so vivid - you look forward to going back into the world of GOT every time
Love it - really great continuation of the story . Would recommend it to all and everyone - it's super. Will read the next one !
"Great book, not so much the reader"
Great book second time reading it! Reader performance leaves a lot to be desired but overall I think I could live with it.
"Enjoyed listening again hard to stop for anything!"
Have not read any of the books.
Hard to make a choice
Best thing I did getting this series on Audible. I enjoyed the TV series but since moving to Malta I can't get the shows anymore so now I can listen and I'm actually a head of the series so far shown. On to the next book.
"No Clash with the Television!"
The story , as with the other books in the series allows the listener to follow multiple characters easily and though at times there may be a temptation to dodge a character, the continuity stops this. It is a continuation and only one part of the whole story. It is hard to stop listening
The characters have depth and keep their "skins" even as the stories develop around them
I like Mr Dotrice' s voice, it is firm and melodious. I sometime think that he puts old or ugly voices on young and pretty characters. It must be difficult to keep the characters always right
It is exciting, it is brutal, coarse but intriguing. It is a page turner...long listening book.
The up side is that it is a part of a larger work, the down side is that it might be difficult to listen to or engage with if the preceding parts have not been heard.
"Utterly compelling story, flawed narration ..."
Was ever there a story with such a vast and rich array of characters and sub-plots? I can't think of one off-hand. Like many others I came to A Song of Ice and Fire from the HBO TV series and I haven't been disappointed in audiobook format as it's just such a wonderful tale. Unfortunately the narration here is not the best. It's not so much the narration as the acting, if Roy Dotrice was just to read straight from the page his voice is fine. However when he embodies the characters (which is what is required after all) his voices are often tedious and the weird choices to add a Welsh or Irish twang to the accent of some characters is frankly just odd, especially when direct family members have completely different accents. That said it is not a big enough problem to ruin my enjoyment overall and the quandary I find myself in now is do I go beyond the TV series or wait patiently for it to catch up? I'll make that decision when I catch up myself, for now it's on to A Storm Of Swords!
As good as the first part of the book it was just ashame that the book had to be split into tow parts.
All the different plots that were going on.
He was great as he made you feel part of the plot. His voice is nice to hear and not to high pitched
I enjoyed it a lot
"A long book made feel short."
The readers impressionism really enveloped me in the story. The accents are very useful to track that many characters in the story.
Lord of the Rings.
Winter is Coming
Roy holds the listeners attention throughout a very long slow paced story. The many characters are made easy to remember through the made accents, intonations and tones. He also coveys character emotion very well and keeps the listener entranced.
I've listened to the first two books back-to-back, and loved them. I do resent, slightly, the fact that I've have to pay two credits for one book both times. Although I'm sure Amazon would argue the length and cost of recording justifies, it does smack slightly of milking it while the TV series is generating lots of new readers.
The story is hard to fault. I found the first hour of the first book slow going, with endless characters being introduced and very little happening, but once it gets going, it really bites you. The characters are fantastic and deep, offering you a real sense of knowing their minds, and the authors fearless approach to killing them off leaves you constantly worrying that your favourite is about to meet an unpleasant end.
There is a lot of very dark and graphic sexual content in these books, and I while it does not bother me especially, I would be extremely wary of letting anyone but an adult anywhere near these books.
In contrast to many, I liked the narrator. Given the (literally) thousands of characters he had to find voices for, I think he did a creditable job, although there are times when principal characters acquire each others voices or accents change from chapter to chapter. The Lannisters especially, seem to have gone from northern, to Welsh, to something else entirely as the books progress.
The only slightly grating thing I found, was that the age of the narrator makes the characters far older than the text portrays them, but it's a small niggle.
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