George R.R. Martin's superb and highly acclaimed epic fantasy A Song of Ice and Fire continues with the third in the series A Storm of Swords. There is passion here, and misery and charm, grandeur and squalor, tragedy, nobility and courage. Unabridged and split into two parts. The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud, and winter approaches like an angry beast. Beyond the Northern borders, wildlings leave their villages to gather in the ice and stone wasteland of the Frostfangs. From there, the renegade Brother Mance Rayder will lead them South towards the Wall.
The men of the Night's Watch are ready for the coming of a great cold and the walking corpses that travel with it. But now they face a horde of wildlings twenty-thousand strong - hungry savage people steeped in the dark magic of the haunted wilderness - poised to invade the Kingdom of the North where Robb Stark wears his new-forged crown. But Robb's defences are ranged against attack from the South, the land of House Stark's enemies the Lannisters. His sisters are trapped there, dead or likely yet to die, at the whim of the Lannister boy-king Joffrey or his depraved mother Cersei, regent of the Iron Throne. Cersei's ambition is unfettered while the dwarf Tyrion Lannister fights for his life, a victim of treachery. And on the other side of the ocean, the last of the Targaryens rears the dragons she hatched from her husband's funeral pyre. Daenerys Stormborn will return to the land of her birth to avenge the murder of her father, the last Dragon King on the Iron Throne.
©2011 George R. R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Colossal, staggering... Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world... one of the greats of fantasy literature." (SFX)
"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads... Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)
I LOVE this series of books, and have read them all. I wanted to read them again when I discovered Audible and decided to buy these editions instead. The first two books were well done, I liked what Roy Dotrice was doing in giving the characters British regional accents based upon their location in the Westeros land... ie Lannisters being from the west had Welsh accents etc. But in this book Tywin Lannister suddenly morphs into Winston Churchill and it has driven me to distraction. Dotrice has always been a little inconsistent with the voices, but considering his age and the numbers of characters involved, this has been more than forgiveable. But now, I've had to go back to my e-reader, and am annoyed that I've bought up to the second part of book 4 already.
Lessons learned: Don't buy too far ahead of your listening in a saga of books; listen to the sample on the book's page to check that the narrator's voice doesn't rub you up the wrong way. I checked one on another series and will definitely avoid that, though the reviews thankfully warned of it too.
Whilst I have enjoyed the GRR Martins stories, there are a couple of niggling problems with the audio book, the first of which is why have Roy Dotrice chosen to make Tyrion Welsh when all of the other Lannisters are not?Was he fostered to a Welsh Lord as a child? The narrator clearly struggles to do any accents other than those of the British Isles, anyone from exotic lands seem to automatically be given an Irish accent,but on the whole it's fairly well read It's not the type of book I can listen to falling asleep, as there's so much going on in it, really have to concentrate, even when driving I find myself having to go back in places when my attention has wondered as I've missed something important.
My only other criticism is aimed at Audible, and that is the chapter divisions. Why are they so random? Some are in the middle of sentences, chapters are split into seemingly random intervals.This makes finding my place quite difficult if I am listening on my desktop or a different device. The whole series has this problem, it can take a good 5 minutes of listening time trying to find my last place if I change devices or have drifted off.
Ill start off my saying that the book is amazing, one of the best books I have read and part of perhaps the best book series I have ever read. The voicing was not the greatest though. I felt that it really took away from the immersion of the book with not great accents and tones of voice.
I've been listening to Roy Dotrice's narration of the books for some time now, having read them all previously. It did take a while to get used to - I don't think he cares for women too much as he always seems to give them a whiny, wheedling tone, even the noble characters like Brienne of Tarth, who doesn't sound a bit like I imagined her. The regional accents are inconsistent and downright odd in some cases - Davos Seaworth = Captain Pugwash anyone? Almost expected an 'aaargh, Jim lad'. Brothers and sisters of the same family all having completely different accents, like Edmure Tully (Scots) and Caitlin Tully/Stark (English-not regional). And then Tywin Lannister suddenly morphs into Winston Churchill halfway through the book - very irritating. Despite this the books are terrific, and I am (mostly) enjoying the audio version - a little more consistency from Mr Dotrice would be a boon.
Slightly more character voices than - "West country", "Stupid Westcountry", "Female Westcountry", and "Robot Raven"
Will continue to read, but not audio.
I'm loving this audio book but I wander why Roy Dotrice decided to change the voice of Tiewen Lannister? He has already appeared in previous books with a stern Welsh accent, in fact he started this book with the same accent. Bizarrely, he now sounds like Winston Churchill!!??!! A minor blip in an otherwise superb narration.
I really enjoy the story but the characters accents are terrible. To many of the characters are made to sound like country bumpkins. I also dislike the fact that each book is split into two.
The book has it all, battle, magic, and the story nips along at a decent pace.
I wish people would stop criticising Roy Dotrice's narration. The novel has a huge cast of characters, and giving them distinctive voices is essential if you're to follow the dialogue. The choices he has made as to accents and pitch are completely in accordance with the characterisation.
BUT it is a bit weird to have an 88 year old man making sex noises in your ears; this book is just as dirty as all the others.
Everything. Don't mean to be glib. But it is simply brilliant.
All of them. Masterfully rendered.
Yes. As brilliant as ever.
I don't think I would like to listen to any book for 24 hours straight. But if I had to, this would be the one.
"Fantastic Narration and an awesome book!"
By the time you read this review you would've listened to the previous books, so all i'm going to say is, it's more of the same great listen as all the other books.
The great thing about this story is that just when you think you've got the usual plot figured out, BAM! you're thrown completely out of the water and have no idea what's going to happen.
Roy Dotrice's performance is flawless. Great narration and great character performance. i particularly picked up towards the end how the Lanister brother's accents were becoming more and more alike as the characters became similar in sympathies.
"I had to stop..."
I had to stop what I was doing to pick up my jaw, lest I stepped on it.
I think I have learned how this man writes and so brace myself for an unexpected turn, trying to predict where the book will go but for the life of me, I can not pick most of the plot line twists.
You can imagine how stoked I am when I come close to guessing it but on the whole, this series is highly recommended for those who wish to be taken on a roller coaster for over 200 hours.
Just as awesome as the first part of the story. And if the same bloke reads the rest of the books the rest will be just as good.
"More than pleased"
Loved it, stretch lissend for a whole week and loved every chapter. Great for slack..
"Brilliant riveting and a saga to rival LOR"
Its great and whats fabulous is the series and the book match which is double the benefit
"More of the same but getting hotter"
This is the third in the series. I am so glad I didn't read these books I would never have been able to read the amount I have listened to. Even listening I am finding that other things are getting in the way of my continuing to hear my story.
NARRATOR - Just the same as the first two books. He continues to disappoint in the accent department. But once again he is not too flowery or overly dramatic which would have ruined this saga. Overall he does a good job. I just think that I am spoiled by having listened to the magnificent Humphrey Bower too often (I mean honestly… how could anyone better THOSE performances??).
STORY – In this book the story becomes very graphic indeed concerning violence and sex. I repeat, this is not a story for little people, or even most tweens for that matter. But it continues to be a great story and is still moving along at a good pace with only a bit of “filler” creeping in here and there. The majority of the female characters remain a little one dimensional which annoys me. Having said that, this is improving, as some of the women (and girls), have started to show a little more to their characters than just pure good or pure evil.
I would recommend this book as the third in a series. It is not a read alone book, you have to start at the beginning.
Roy Dotrice is a complete rockstar. His performance, which much have taken an obscene amount of time (He's done audiobooks for the whole series) is flawless, and the giant range of character voices is extremely impressive. An awesome audiobook that I absolutely powered through.
The narration is excellent and suits the story which is also of epic proportions
Tirien witty character with a good helping of the good and bad in him and really cunning
Excellent narration his uses of the different dialecs and ability to switch between them in conversation makes the story all the more authticland excitinga
A classic epic involving in depth explainations of the 7r ealms
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