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)
"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.
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.
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.
Having spent over 70 hours over the last two books, I really don't know that I got anywhere. Oh sure, some of the main characters are killed off, but really, where are we left at the end? I know I am going against the trend here, but this is nothing more than a fantasy soap opera!
And sorry, I vested quite a bit of emotion into the Starks, and for over 70 hours, they are no better off and in fact, are worse off. Nope, this one kills it for me. Time to move on.
I love Roy's performance. It is one of the reason's I am not going any further. He doesn't do book for and in book 5 all of his characters voices are different.
Wonderfully expansive story
I would have preferred a straight up reading. His voice would have been fine, but his attempt at voices for specific characters fell short. He had 2 voices and one of them sounded too much like Donald Duck. It really took away from the book. My girlfriend stopped listening because of it.
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.
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.
Now I know there have been so many reviews that I hesitate to add one. I just wish to say I enjoyed these books tremendously. This one is the third of the series "A Song of Ice and Fire", whose title takes more and more ominous tones as the story unfolds. The first two books were "A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings", and although I haven't written a review of those, I agree with all those who raved for the book. I loved them all. How else could you listen to this third volume (38 hrs?!?) So I assume I am preaching to the choir here. If by any chance, you haven't listened to the first two, you really need to start with GoT (as the first volume is called amongst fans). Absolutely.
For the fans, I just wish to say that the fourth installment comes in November. I've already asked Audible when they plan to provide the audio version. I find these books more immensely enjoyable in audio form, although I recently bought the paperbacks as a reference, esp. when the fourth volume comes out. It'll be handy, and more easily browsable than an audio version.
So there. If you don't know where the web site is, and would like to read the announcement from the author himself, google it or go to georgerrmartin.com. In a previous page (now defunct, I wonder why) he explained that his choice for "A Feast for Crows", as the fourth tome is going to be named, is to take apart the book he'd be writing and only keep the part about the Seven Kingdoms (yeah! my favorite!) The part about Daenerys and the Isles is going to go into the next installments. This way he'll be able to finish the fourth in time, and in fact it makes more sense to him. And to me too: it was a bit irritating to jump back and fourth between the two continents in two stories which we knew wouldn't come together till much later in the story (perhaps not even in the next two volumes).
For those of you feel same, my favorite character is Arya. Can't wait to hear her story. Yeah!
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