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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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  • 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.

46 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

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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!

62 of 73 people found this review helpful

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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.

46 of 55 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

73 of 88 people found this review helpful

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  • Alisha
  • United States
  • 05-28-13

Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up

Where does A Clash of Kings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I thought it was a fantastic story, and well narrated. My #1 pet peeve, which I found really irritating, was that the listening chapters didn't line up with the chapter menu on my iphone. It made it difficult to find my spot if I lost it, made it impossible to figure out how much of a chapter is left, and I couldn't check the next chapter to see who's perspective was coming next (which I like to do).

Would you listen to another book narrated by Roy Dotrice?

Yes, I'm ready for Book 3!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I love the end, how the author positions all the characters for changes in the next book. I also love every section about Arya Stark, with her cleverness, strength, and stubborn determination.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

47 of 57 people found this review helpful

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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.

72 of 88 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Best Modern Epic Fantasy Series, no contest...

I love the "Song of Ice and Fire" series so much that I have read the books three times and now have listened to the audio books as well. Martin is very skilled at drawing you into the story; he moves the plot(s) along at varying paces, sometimes slow, even plodding and sometimes he hits you over the head with a war hammer. At it's heart, the story is one of schemes within schemes, Machiavellian intrigues, lust, murder, greed, envy, deception, betrayal and all the other good human virtues :-). The fantastical elements within the story don't overwhelm; they merely add another flavor. Although as the plots of the first books unfold, the power of magic is growing, as supernatural events seem to be increasing in power and frequency. This will be even more apparent in the third book, "A Storm of Swords". Roy Dotrice is amazing as the reader for the audiobook. You may know him as Mozart's father in the Movie "Amadeus". Dotrice does a brilliant job of capturing the personalities of old crones, young children, gruff knights, pitiable beggars, and a host of others. Nothing beats a long drive and these audiobooks to keep you company. What am I saying, I listen to them at home as well because I don't want the story to end. I can't wait for the next audiobook, only so I can enter the world again while I wait for "A Feast for Crows" to get published. If you enjoy Tolkien, Robert Jordan, or other epic fantasy series, you will fall in love with this. It's simply the best series being written today, and deserves a place in the short list of great epic fantasy tales.

60 of 74 people found this review helpful

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The Half-man rules!

Witty, weighty, whopping, widespread, wonderful!

After listening to this entire series several times, A Clash of Kings, Book 2 has emerged as my favorite of the existing 5. The one over-riding factor is Tyrion Lannister. The twisted monkey-demon has wit and cunning like a Roose a dolphin or killer whale writ small in a sea of numerous, lesser equipped beings.

Roy Dotrice, a fantastic narrator, and this series as a whole is the reason I "read" at all. I became addicted to audiobooks because of this series. I noticed several bad reviews about Dotrice and sure it's a tad annoying when he pronounces a name inconsistently once in a while, but that just lends to the organic nature of his performance. After all, there are 224 distinct characters in the 1st book alone! (Guinness World Record) His performance of the Late Lord Frey is one of the funniest things I've heard in any audiobook. His range is from various "common-folk" voices to haughty lords is impressive. I love him!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful