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)
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.
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.
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.
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry. I also love to listen to the same whilst not paying attention to other things. I aim for my reviews to be short and succinct so that they are easy to read.
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.
One of the greatest fantasy titles of all time. Martin has created a world and storyline which bypasses Tolkien. This is the story which I will insist my children read (when they're old enough to handle the sex, violence treachery).
This is another awesome book, but again it is seriously enhanced by the efforts of Roy Dotrice, with his brilliant characterisations and accents.
Arya Stark shines as a favourite character for her courage and humour.
Tyrion Lannister, however, is my favourite in these talking books, thanks to Roy's lovely Welshification of him.
If you liked the books the talking books, with Dotrice in voice, will be even better. If you've never read the books then why not?
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.
"Producers and editors?"
I have been listening to the series continuously and it's been entertaining enough (and long enough) to keep me using my credits, but only just. After getting half way though this one I'm stopping. Apart from the story bring less compelling, many of the accents of lead characters have completely changed. Some have changed slightly but enough to make me think about the accent and not the story. Therr are also quite a lot of reader mistakes left in - where he's read, made a mistake, corrected himself and carried on. So, with this and the book being split into two it come across as a rushed and poorly produced effort to make cash! I might go back to the story but in book form.
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.
I love this audio book - the story is great and so exciting! Another great from George R.R. Martin. The narration really helps to build the atmosphere and make you keep listening. I really, really enjoyed this audio book and I couldn't turn it off!
The audio quality is also up to the usual high standard. I would recommend this book!
"More of the same please"
I could see this was going to become a problem for me as soon as I discovered the pleasure of plugging my mp3 into the car radio. I keep finding myself sitting in the works car park in the morning when I should be in work. Just a few more minutes.... I have become totally enthralled by the characters, the locations and the way the story is developing. I am either going to have to start for work earlier or move to a house thats further away so it takes me longer to get there.
Read it and love it. But, if you want to keep your job, it may be a good idea to buy a copy for your boss.
"The modern Tolkien"
This amazing series of books lives up to its reputation. Its unbelievably engrossing with an array of interesting characters. Terrible 'Baddies' and unusual heroes. Its a must read for everyone!
"A Clash of Kings"
This continues the exploits of the first part of the series, A Game of Thrones. The intricacies of the plot continues to fold around itself, keeping you enthralled in the multi-faceted story line. New characters are added, and the existing ones are developed in depth and girth. George R R Martin has written a masterpiece and Roy Dotrice is a master narrator.
"Good book rip off format"
The excellent story is damaged by narration that grates more than a little for most of the audio book. I persevered as the story is excellent. However, I am sick of being ripped off by having to buy each book as two parts.
I won't down load the rest of the book from audible as I object to being treated like this by an otherwise honest and efficient company,
"Foul language and crude remarks"
Well first ofI have to agree with others regarding the narration, can be of putting especially the Walsh dwarf , but the thing I found disturbing was the amount of descriptive sex scenes and the countless sexual remarks littered throughout this audible book 90% are irrelevant and speaks volumes of the authors frustrations . This book should have a X rated adult only warning written in Red as it is not a story to enjoy with your mum or your kids. .the next annoying practice of Mr Martin is to pad the story out with so much rubbish and pointless dribble, that if you edited all the nonsense out we would nothave to buy two part of the same book . It is a shame as the story is very good and at times gripping, but for Me it has been ruined by so much crude foul language .
"Change the narrator please!"
This is a well written and imaginative series of books that are similar in scope and imagination to the Wheel of time series. The only problem I have with the audio books is what other reviewers have mentioned in that Roy Dottrice is not a good enough narrator for the wide range of characters portraid. In a family, members of that family can have different regional accents for some reason and at least one character changed from a Yorkshire accent in the first book to a welsh accent in this the second book. I understand from reading reviews of the following books in the series that this problem gets even worse and for this reason I will not be purchasing any more in this series. Please Harper redo this series with a professional audio book narrator!
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