This is Part One of Book 2 of the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE Series.
George R. R. Martin's superb fantasy epic continues in consummate style as bloodshed and alchemy lay waste the Seven Kingdoms. This second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire is unabridged and split into two parts. The Iron Throne once united the Sunset Lands, but King Robert is dead, his widow is a traitor to his memory, and his surviving brothers are set on a path of war amongst themselves. At King's Landing, the head of Lord Eddard Stark rots on a spike for all to see. His daughter Sansa is betrothed still to his killer's son Joffrey - Queen Cersei's son, though not the son of her late husband Robert. Even so, Joffrey is now a boy-king, Cersei is his regent, and war is inevitable. In Dragonstone, Robert's brother Stannis has declared himself king, while his other brother Renly proclaims himself king at Storm's End - and Eddard Stark's fifteen year old son Robb wears the crown of the north at Winterfell.
A comet in the night sky, red and malevolent, the colour of blood and flame, can only be an omen of murder and war. Stannis's child Princess Shireen dreams of dragons waking from stone. And a white raven has brought word from the Citadel itself, foretelling summer's end. It has been the longest summer in living memory, lasting ten years, and the small folk say it means an even longer winter to come...The first rule of war is never give the enemy his wish. But winter will be the biggest enemy. From beyond the Wall the undead and Others clamour for freedom, and from beyond the sea the long-dead Dragon King's daughter hatches her revenge. Robb Stark will be exceedingly lucky to reach adulthood.
©2011 George R. R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"A Game of Thrones grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
"I read my eyes out. I couldn't stop until I'd finished and it was dawn." (Anne McCaffrey)
"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)
I started this series having watched the Game of Throne series on TV and it has not disappointed. It does take time to get into the stories as there are so many characters, plot lines and background history. What really helped me to follow what is happening was a website called Tower of the Hand, which has summaries of each chapter and links to biographies of all the characters.
A great ranges of interesting characters with most showing shades of good
and bad in their actions. Tyrion the dwarf is a great literary creation. The author is a natural story teller, packing the narrative with sparkling dialogue, inventive action, and most chapters end on cliffhangers. Unusually for
a fantasy series many of the early battles are only described to us in the third person, although later books start to describe the battles as first person encounters.
...this series deserves a better reader than Dotrice, but, that admitted, it's still one of the best ways of consuming this series although having to buy the book twice - no one volume is longer than War and Peace and other hefty volumes that are sold as one so why are these sold in two full price parts - is a bane and the strongest argument against listening to it in this way
"Don't forget to get part 2!"
The way the publisher has split a single volume into two parts is not only blatant profiteering but has limited my enjoyment of the series. This is the second time I have gone on to the next book without realising I had not finished the book I was reading!! The result is I know what is going to happen in the second part of this volume because I have listened to the start of the next book. The way Audible catalogues the books doesn't help- I have tried a couple of different filters and none place parts 1 and 2 of this volume together. It would help if Audible could warn you when you buy the book that it is in 2 parts, as other providers do. Started a new book by a diffferent auther- I might come back to this, but may just give up.
"Great Book - spoiled by poor narration"
My plan to listen to this with a glass of wine whilst languishing in a hot bubble bath was sadly cut short when I started to listen to Roy Dotrice narration. I am not sure if Roy Dotrice was using this opportunity to practice his regional accents, or looking for a part in the next Pirates of the Caribbean either way I was left feeling incredibly frustrated by wasting money on this book and the waste of such a wonderful bath.
Oh well back to reading I think and PS Mr Dotrice if you are looking for a tip - when reading a character with an accent a try give them the same accent throughout.
"Amazing story, poor narration."
This picks up where the recent HBO tv series left off. Obviously the book is better than the tv show, in fact the book starts good and by the end is utterly engrossing (and pretty dark). Unfortunately the narrator (Roy Dotrice) makes it pretty hard going by leaving inexplicable pauses in the middle of most sentences and attributing the most bizarre voices to the characters. His accent repertoire seems to consist of either irritatingly posh or rural with learning difficulties. Very strange choice of narrator for such a high profile book in my opinion. Still the story is so good that I'm going to listen to the next one anyway.
"Great book, hammy narration"
I really enjoyed book 1 which I read during a holiday. Being dyslexic I'm a slow reader so decided to get book two to listen to going to and from work. I have to say that Roy Dotrice does a pretty poor job of this in terms of narration. He obviously has a rich actors voice but the accents and character voices in this are all over the place! Many of them are generic/nasal (bad Lawrence Olivier impersonation) upper class or thick sounding working class. He has Tyrion with a thick welsh accent (!) while his brothers, sister and father all have southern accents. Totally bizarre acting choice (Tyrion was not fostered out as a child or allowed to travel the 9 cities when he came of age). Generally, he reads at an extremely slow pace (regardless of the pace of the action) and with a descending cadence at the end of sentences that just makes him sound bored. I would have loved to heard someone like Jim Dale doing a reading of these books... If Audible allowed a separate rating for narration it would get a two star from me. Sorry Roy!
I signed up 2 hrs ago and bought another book. I found the narration so bad i gave up immidiately, i then tried this book and have the same problem. I have to concentrate really hard follow the story. I have listened to some audio books before and enjoyed it very much.
I don't know if it's compressed to much, the narrator or the fact that it sounds like a recording done during the second world war. I've just wasted money on two books, disappointed.
"Spliiting into parts is a ripoff"
I enjoyed listening. However the lack of variation in voices made the experience often confusing, and I felt cheated that after buying part 1, I had to buy part 2 separately to finish the story. Will not buy another book with this reader and with this being charged twice system.
Roy Dotrice has a good voice and as narrator he's perfect. Given the geography of Westeros, it's OK to give the Lannisters welsh accents. The irish/scottish accents for other regions of the island are very confused though and seem to be random and inconsistent. From the delivery, many of the "little people" seem to be mentally impaired (not there in the text). BUT the worst choice in the exaggerated Churchill accent for Tywin Lannister, truly AWFUL. It made the scenes with him in a painful nails-down-a blackboard experience!
There are an enormous number of characters so there would have to be lots of generic "voices" but does every sailor have to be Robert Newton's long john silver?
"Disappointed by lack of continuity"
Ok I admit that I only summoned up the strength to go through this massive 3 part saga due to the ending of A Game of Thrones. Having spent 17 hours working my way through it I was somewhat dubious that I could do the same again but I was left needing to follow my favourite characters, the Stark family.
I had hoped that the '2 hour getting all the characters sorted out in your head' phase would disappear with this read and I was mostly right however, during that initial period, I was significantly disappointed to find that there had been some form of time disconnect between the various character stories in Thrones and Clash. Key characters who had become my favourites from Thrones had suddenly died, been executed or gone off in unexplained directions. I had to work through this trilogy piecing together their stories based upon the remaining character dialogue or new characters recanting tales. Not a happy bunny. This book is almost entirely dominated by the Imp who was a character from Thrones that provided an interesting supporting act or diversion to what I consider to be the main thrust of the story. Unfortunately I do not think that his court intrigues and whoring lifestyle can really sustain most readers for 18 hours.
The writing is as usual massively detailed, the characters well formed but a number of the new character story threads were based upon venal character traits such as petty court rivalries or personal peccadilloes and lacked the meat of the bigger and more inspiring foundations laid in Thrones.
I will buy and digest Swords because I still want some form of resolution for the Stark family who are to my mind the most noble of the characters. I will review it as well (if I can make it through the 24 hours it takes!).
As usual if you are looking for a casual read or some fast paced storyline try reading Alistair McLean and leave George R. R. Martin alone.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.