But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others, a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords....
©2000 George R.R. Martin, (P)2004 Books On Tape, Inc., published in arrangement with Random House Audio Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Richly imagined." (Publishers Weekly)
"A riveting continuation of a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle." (The Patriot News)
"I always expect the best from George R. R. Martin, and he always delivers." (Robert Jordan)
"High fantasy with a vengeance!" (San Diego Union-Tribune)
The story and narration are excellent, but is it too much to ask for the audio book to be constructed properly? The chapter breaks do not align with the actual chapters and the parts will end in the middle of a paragraph. Very sloppy and unprofessional. For a $50 audiobook I would expect more.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
As I sat and listened to the book I found myself once again at the edge of my seat almost. The book seemed to be moving too slowly and yet too fast as I read it. Too slow in that you get impatient wondering what is going to happen next yet everything seemed so relevant and then too fast in terms of when you do reach the end you are left pining for more.
George R. R. Martin did a superlative job with every character in the book. This particular book has one of the most startling twists yet, one of those twists that make you think "What the?!?!" I remember listening what happened and for a VERY VERY long time wondering "Did that really happen?". He spares no one in these books I find and I have now come to expect the unexpected.
Roy Dotrice.... What can I say? There is little I can say about his performance except this... just plain exceptional.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
This review contains comments on Books 3 and 4 of the Ice and FIre series.
Dear Ice and Fire Junkie
The popularity of the HBO series, Game of Thrones has enticed many folks to pick up and start plowing through the entire series of tomes from which the TV shows derive their inspiration. And, once you’re sucked in, it’s pretty much like quicksand. The brilliant acting of most, if not all, of the characters along with the masterful writing of their roles and place in this Tolkienesque saga makes us easy prey for this quagmire. But beware good reader, there is much more to this sticky wicket than a mere addiction.
Before you get too heavily invested in this series, if you haven’t already, you owe it to yourself to pay attention to the negative reviews of Books 4 and 5. Among those reviews, the breakdown in narration after Book 3 is particularly egregious. I am generally a fan of Roy Dotrice. He is not my favorite narrator / performer but he is unquestionably a very good one but mostly for playing the roles of older men. The characters of young men seem to present Mr. Dotrice with something of a challenge and that of female characters, especially young ones, a challenge that is unsurmountable. That being said, Mr. Dotrice’s contribution to the powerful and stunningly produced first three books in this series was not insignificant. There were parts in the writing of those that seemed to drag on and on too long but they were still made entertaining by the narrator. In Books 4 and 5 there were many more dull, uninspired passages that were also made less entertaining by the narrator.
And, that being said, what in the heck is up with the changes in pronunciation of names and the voices of their owners? Was anyone paying attention to the editing and production of these last two books? I don’t know if it was Random House Audio or Audible who dropped the ball here but it all starts with Roy Dotrice. He’s the common denominator here and has to be aware of this huge distracting shift that took place between books and has to have the most responsibility for better quality control.
As far as the story goes, I will repeat here some of what I wrote in a review of Book 1. While I loved a lot about the writing in the first installment, I cared so much about the characters, to have so many of these good and honorable protagonists tortured and killed, I thought that I did not need to continue beyond Book 1. But, continue I did and was not sorry after Book 2. I enjoyed the third installment but things slid downhill in all respects after that. There are characters that I am still interested in and wish to know about their fates, even a couple of the villains. But, will I invest 2 more credits in this series? Me thinks not, at least not at this time. It is not That great.
Oh, and lest I not forget, the ending. Book 4 contains the very worst ending of any book I have ever picked up. If an author lacks so much imagination that s/he cannot satisfyingly end a book even if it is not the last in a series then me thinks the author's imagination needs work. I believe that authors owe it to their readers to finish a book and not just entice their readers to buy the next installment. Shame on you GRRM. Book 3 was an excellent book. It left many unanswered questions but at least had a decent conclusion. And, dear reader, you may wish to just end your addiction with Book 3. It's all downhill from there.
I had a very hard time turning this one off... I'd find extra house-work to do or look for traffic jams on the way to work just so I could keep listening.
The narrator, Roy Dotrice, is fantastic.
The characters in this book are amazing... We see the bad parts of the good guys, and the good parts of the bad. We get an understanding of what motivates both, and it's not always what we think. And, just as in the first two, G.R.R.M. has no problems setting people up with opportunities to win or escape or get out of whatever mess they're in...sometimes they get out, sometimes they die - no matter how important a character they've been...
This is not a kids book. This is not the usual "you are special and need to save the world" drivel with hollywood happy endings we usually feed on... This one is more...real.
The story keeps moving, plenty of action, laugh-out-loud funny parts, hardship, and surprises.
Anyone who says G.R.R.M. was only trying to make the book long, probaby wasn't paying attention.
I just finished this book, the third in the series and it was the best 40+ hours of audio book I've ever listened to. I have listens to well over a hundred audio books and all 3 of these books stand out as the very best. 110 hours and I could do it all over again. I will wait and check each day until the next book to ready. Powerful fantasy written for adults.
Amazing writing and fantastic narration. I have listened to all three books two times by now, and I cannot wait to get my hands on "A Feast for Crows" which is currently in print. Both hardcover and audiobook should be released in August, so write to Audible and ask them to get "A Feast of Crows" ASAP.
Read this book because it's good, but the performance by Roy Dotrice can often times be so mush-mouthed and affected, it makes many of the characters he portrays completely unintelligible. Sadly, we only have his performance to listen to.
I wish the narrator put a lot less Cockney in his characterizations.
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
This review is short, and winter is coming. Quck summary, here is a tasty in less than 1/2 minute: Swords, sex, incest, ships, war, slaves, maidens, maidenhead (no not that town in Berkshire, England), night, knights, dragons, draegans, a dwarf, dire-wolves, the cold, war, sex, fire, ice, crows (crows, crows, crows), snow, Snow, whores, weddings and more sex.
Roy Doltrice does a good job with the narration of a long book, but he seems to only have four voices: King/knight and low-born man; high-born woman and whore. It is like a barratone choir with only four notes. Great notes, rich notes, but only four. That makes it difficult when the audiobook has more flaming swords than voices. That being said, didn't Bono say once that all one needed to be great was three chords and the truth. I guess, then, this narration has the truth + 1.
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.
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).
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