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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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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kristin
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 05-23-13

Appropriate but sometimes boring reader.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Listening to this book was definitely time well spent because it got me back into the Song of Ice and Fire series when I had left it for a long time after reading A Game of Thrones.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the change in perspective that takes place in almost every chapter of the series.

How could the performance have been better?

Roy Dotrice is skilled in that he does not have glaring pronunciation issues that seem too common, he does many different voices to differentiate between characters in dialogue and to give each character more depth of personality. Additionally, he is the stodgy sounding British man that I expected as the narrator for this series, but he can sometimes drone on in a monotonous way, especially in sections of the text that do not include dialogue.

Could you see A Clash of Kings being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Sean Bean, a bunch of unknowns, that one guy who is in a bunch of comedies.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nate
  • Jackson, MS, United States
  • 01-20-12

Settlers of Catan - Spectator Edition!

This was a tough one for me, in spite of the valiant efforts of Roy Dotrice. After the excitement and intensity of the first book, I figured there was enough momentum to propel the entire series - but this one took a very different direction. Game of Thrones was a very unpredictable, genre-bending fantasy/noire that threw in every curveball it could, then Martin decided it would be fun to watch everybody in Westeros slow wayyyy down and play a game of Settlers of Catan. You would think 7+ major parties vying for the throne would be exciting to watch. . . but I assure you no. Let's see - Tyrion traded 6 armor and 2 sheep for wildfire. Theon rolled the dice, then traded 3 iron for 1 rusty crown. This really is how the book plays out - except that it adds about 100 new characters, only 3 of which maybe matter. It's also hard to analyze just 1 book in the series, as I understand that we're building toward something - maybe in the bigger picture of the series it's not as big a deal... but slogging through these 1,000+ pages (37 hours) felt like pushing a safe across a sandbar, so my answer as to whether I will continue the series will have to be "Eventually."

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • Revere, MA, United States
  • 07-02-11

great book, terrible narrator

Unfortunately, Roy Dotrice makes this book harder to follow than it needs to be. A great book. A horrible narrator. Audible, please get John Lee to read this book!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unmistakenly DEEP

I've reread this book once already and plan to do so again. I found things that I absolutely did not remember on the second read.

The narrator is EXCELLENT with the many voices and he brings the characters up out of the book. Martin lives in another world to be able to write these story lines. After reading books like this I find it hard to get involved with movies... nothing on screen can be as realistic to me as the mind's eye listening to these type of books.

I can't see anyone enjoying the books in the series "Fire & Ice" without starting at the beginning and reading all the books in order. All the books build on themselves so you need to start with "Game of Thrones" to understand all that has/is happening.

I just hope that Martin lives long enough to get the series completely written...

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Yamhill, OR, United States
  • 08-09-11

More blood, guts and gore.

After reading the first of the installments: Song of Ice and Fire, I decided while I could appreciate much about the book, A Game of Thrones, it was probably too dark and I would not continue to A Clash of Kings. Obviously, I caved. I watched the HBO series of the first book and like it a lot. I particularly enjoy long complex novels so I gave ACoK a shot. While I was not disappointed, it was many hours of blood, guts and gore with very little forwarding of a real story line. A little more magic has been introduced but the common thread of just so much violence and death is just too much. If maybe I get sucked into next season's HBO continuation of Song of Ice and Fire I'll read book 3 but probably not till then. The story is very engaging and book 3 even now calls out to me but so too do some drugs. But I must be strong.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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AN HBO series

How did the narrator detract from the book?

he is very hard to understand, he does not speak clearly at all... I get that back in this time languages were different, but thats not the issue here its his pronuncation of words, he seems to mubble over words..

Any additional comments?

this is book 2, I just finished it after 4 week uggghhhh <br/>the story has progress a little and I have a little more understanding of the characters that are left, its slow a very slow story told many times over in each characters story, it still jumps from one to another with no ryme or reason it seems to me, the timeline doesn't seem to match when it switches characters so thats confusing to me..<br/>Trully not a favorite for me.. maybe book 3 will try to hook me more?????

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good, but not one of greats.

I am not as enchanted by this series (I'm about to finish book 2) as most people seem to be. It's good. The characters are interesting, bad guys are very bad and good guys VERY good with a couple of gray people to add spice to the mix. If you are looking for a long, complex series to fill the hours for quite a while, this is a fine choice. But "Lord of the Rings" it is not, nor even "The Wheel of Time." The whole thing is really about war and power and skulduggery. Which, if you like that, is fine. I am more into character development and interaction than endless power plays with the expected back-stabbing and chicanery. And eating. I am a writer too and I know filler when I read it. Every meal is described in absurd detail. Spicing, sauces, even cooking methods. Geez, enough with the food already. It goes on for literally hours in each book. I am not that interested in the quality of their cuisine and if I wanted to watch the cooking channel, I would do that!

It's readable. It has fine narration. There's a lot of action and interesting situations. I will eventually listen to the whole series I am sure, but I'm not in a big hurry to know how it turns out because I simply don't care enough, nor have I gotten sufficiently attached to any character or characters to become deeply involved. And oh yeah, Mr. Martin has a nasty habit of killing off anyone I really like. This is not a cheery tale and the good guys frequently lose. Kind of grim actually. I stick with my initial assessment. Good. Not great.

19 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • Naperville, IL, USA
  • 02-11-06

Clash of Kings bewilders, enchants, and delights.

After pouring through Game of Thrones by Martin, I had to start the second book. I am thorougly enjoying Clash of Kings. You can never get too comfortable with any of the main characters, because you never know when Martin might lop one of their heads off or torture them mercilessly. He is gifted at making you laugh, gasp, and shriek all at the same time and that's just in one paragraph. He writes with such determination and weaves such a tapestry of rich details and characters, that you can't help but delve headlong into his world. I highly recommend this book for any lover of fantasy. Martin is one of the all time greats!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Top Notch

The story is absorbing. It sweeps you along until your finger refuses to press the stop or pause button. I have often found myself sitting in the car late for an appointment, the novel running through my speakers. A mention to the reader. He is good. More than good. He reads with articulation and passion. What a great combo. Get it, you won't be sorry.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle
  • san diego, CA, United States
  • 08-10-11

In need of a good editor

This is a gripping tale and a good continuation of the story, as others have mentioned I think Roy Dotrice is one of the most talented narrators I've ever had the pleasure of listening to - he makes each character come to life. However this book is probably 30%+ longer than it needs to be - I listened at 2x speed and still found it to be plodding at times. That said, I will continue on to book #3 to see what happens with the Starks, Lannisters and Tagaryans.

21 of 30 people found this review helpful