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A Clash of Kings

A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2
Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2
Length: 37 hrs and 12 mins
5 out of 5 stars (65,322 ratings)

Regular price: $63.00

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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.

Critic Reviews

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 Ratings

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    370
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    327

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    44,213
  • 4 Stars
    8,710
  • 3 Stars
    2,498
  • 2 Stars
    597
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Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    46,919
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    1,395
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    263
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Did not disappoint...

Roy Dotrice again, simply great at what he does....

The twists and turns in the book is simply great and I am loving how the characters are very slowly but purposely being developed. The book has three different stories running as one it seems and it weaves together very well. Just plain impressive.

Overall... Just plain epic!

74 of 88 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Benjamin
  • LOS ANGELES, CA, United States
  • 05-06-13

Great book, but bad "chapters"

Any additional comments?

The first audiobook (Game of Thrones) has chapter breaks that coincide with where they would be in the physical book. These breaks are timed out, and so happen at random points in the story. Even the four "parts" of the book break mid-chapter.

It would be a better listening experience if the breaks happened at an appropriate chapter break.

82 of 99 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Epic novel, terrible narration.

Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

Martin is incredible. Great characters, fearless plot--no one is safe--and masterful pace/susupense.

Dotrice, on the other hand, has mastered all of maybe 3 different voices, and each of them is about as easy on your ears as broken glass mixed with sandpaper.

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

I may not even listen to the rest of these novels simply BECAUSE Dotrice is involved.

85 of 103 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robin
  • Washington DC
  • 07-02-13

Problematic, but good on the whole.

What did you like best about A Clash of Kings? What did you like least?

Martin's series is grand and ambitious in its scope, and that is simultaneously its blessing and its curse. The writing is strong, but the pace of the story is at once somehow quick, drawing the ear to the next page, and painfully slow. His use of different perspectives to tell the story is refreshing, but there are certain characters that it seems should be added to that list who remain absent, while some characters can grow simply tiresome at times. Nonetheless, if you're here for more of what you got in "A Game of Thrones", you'll find plenty.

That being said, Dotrice's narration is, to say the least, a mixed bag. Some characters, mainly the older male characters, are given excellent voices. Similarly, the voice he uses to narrate the general text itself is deliberate and clear. That being said, the list of characters who are nearly destroyed by his flamboyant voicing is long and unfortunate. He miserably fails at voicing literally every female character in the book, especially Brienne of Tarth and Mellisandre, and he manages to butcher most of the younger characters, including Theon Greyjoy and Bran Stark. His most distracting and consistent failures come with two of the most important characters, Tyrion Lannister (who is given to sound like a shamefully caricatured leprechaun) and Lord Varys, whose sloppy annunciation and unmstakeable lisp are a shame to Mr. Dotrice and an absolute failure to grasp the character. Also worth mention are his terrible performances as Hodor the stableboy and Yoren the black brother. With Hodor the failure is less distracting, since he only says one word anyway, but Yoren is consistently annoying and hard on the ear in every scene.

Nonetheless, the writing is strong enough that a careful listener can work around the narration. I would recommend this recording of this book, but be aware of what you're getting yourself into beforehand.

What other book might you compare A Clash of Kings to and why?

More important, I think, are the books I would not compare it to. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Heinlein's works and essentially all other rote fantasy material is not fundamentally comparable. Often, the books read more like a novelized, fictionalized history of Scotland or England, and that's a compliment. Martin understands the kind of society he's mimicking, and as such he manages to write what is mostly a political novel with fantasy elements, rather than a fantasy novel with politics.

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

I will, but *only* because his is the only available narration of these books. Otherwise, I would not be caught dead listening to another of his performances.

Did A Clash of Kings inspire you to do anything?

Keep reading the series.

57 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Track Markers Are All Out of Place

Its a shame that you can't go to the beginnings of chapters because the track markers seem to be at random places in the middle of sentences and in middle of chapters.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • Prince George, BC, Canada
  • 04-02-13

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.

77 of 94 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Prepare to work on little sleep once you start

Any additional comments?

This whole series is well worth the time and the money. Once you start its all consuming. if you dont dream about it when you finally go to sleep, then your not paying attention.

51 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic ongoing story from a skilled author.

George R. R. Martin continues his epic tale filled with greed, passion, intrigue, and war. If you are a veteran of A Game Of Thrones then you'll have learned to expect the unexpected; surprising plot twists and turns and a sort of literary brutality with the fates of his characters put Martin well above the fluff-writing fantasy authors infesting bookshelves today. You'll go through the full gamut of emotions before you're done and, tired and weary, you'll be left wanting more. The narration by Roy Dutrice is phenomenal--his myriad voices and accents and seasoned, gruff voice is perfect for Martin's grim, realistic writing. Now, there are many people who don't like Martin's penchant for making the "good" characters suffer for their ignorance and lack of ruthlessness. There are many people who don't like Martin's realistic take on villians and how bad people with lots of power can do really bad things. There are many people who don't like seeing the characters that they've invested their emotions in get killed or have worse happen to them (yes, worse.) If you are one of these people. then go read something else that will fill your hearts with kittens and butterflies and chocolate chip ice cream. To everyone else: Strap yourselves down because you're in for one heck of a ride.

49 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bad "Chapter" Separation

Would you consider the audio edition of A Clash of Kings to be better than the print version?

Print version is better.

What three words best describe Roy Dotrice’s voice?

Most people sound like old beggars.

Any additional comments?

The first book separated the chapters into discrete segments, but this audiobook has completely arbitrary divisions. As someone who reads the print version when he can, and then goes to that spot in the audiobook during chores/driving, I find it very difficult to navigate the audiobook. Huge disappointment and annoyance. If this wasn't the case, I'd be pleased as a pickle.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caitie
  • United States
  • 07-13-13

horrid chapter breaks

Any additional comments?

I loved the story, but I switch back and forth between the audiobook and the physical book, and the chapter breaks on this audiobook version are timed roughly every 45 minutes rather than at every chapter break like in the first audiobook. This makes my switching back and forth nearly impossible and incredibly frustrating. Come on, Audible, let's get it together! It's not hard to format an audiobook intelligently and consistently with the first book in the series!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful