A Game of Thrones
Running Time: 33 hrs and 26 min
A Clash Of Kings
Running Time: 36 hrs and 38 min
A Storm of Swords
Running Time: 47 hrs and 32 min
Author: George R. R. Martin
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
This is a collective audiobook review of the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire which includes A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. There’s many a reason to love this fantasy but two that stand out would include a fantastic narrator in actor Roy Dotrice and the fact that HBO is in the process of making a series out of the first book, A Game of Thrones.
If the Lord of the Rings were made in America, George R. R. Martin would be their Tolkien. A Song of Ice and Fire (1996) chronicles the political struggle between the Starks, Lannisters, exiled Targaryens and other houses that are sucked into the black hole of Westeros’ 7 Kingdoms.
The books are long, making the audiobooks longer. Each book is divided into 7 or 8 parts at 8 or so hours each allowing roughly 33 hours per book. The trilogy will definitely extend to more than 100 hours of listening at 2 credits per book on Audible. In comparison, a typical audiobook at one credit gives you roughly 6-8 hours of reading while this one gives you 30. If you’re one for quantity, this is a good deal.
Buying the audiobook because of Dotrice was only an afterthought as the two reasons why I initially wanted to try the series on audio was because I couldn’t get myself to actually finish a George R. R. Martin book and because I had a long commute. At that time I only had the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire on paperback but I had bought this at a time when I had just graduated from college (yes, many a year ago) and well, stopped reading. Today, I have up till Book IV of the trilogy on paper and for reasons already mentioned, am now hesitant to purchase book four as its read by someone else.
Roy Dotrice is hands down the best narrator I’ve ever encountered for this type of fiction. Whether you’ve read the book or played the card game, Dotrice paints a very personal and memorable picture of the characters we’ve come to love and hate: Tyrion Lannister, Gregor Clegane, Daenerys Targaryen, Robb Stark … despite the hundreds of characters Martin puts into Westeros, Dotrice manages to isolate each one with his unique voice acting, bringing all of them to life (and death).
There is hesitation for buying into book four, as listeners have gained more than 90 hours of empathy with Dotrice’s narrative abilities. I’m not saying John Lee’s narration for A Feast for Crows (Book IV) isn’t at par — or wait, maybe he really doesn’t paint a very good landscape, but Roy Dotrice has set the bar so high, it would be hard to find another narrator who can do Martin’s work justice.
If it is anything I learned from listening to the first triumvirate of A Song of Ice and Fire, it would be my discovery of Dotrice as a narrator, making me search for more of his spoken word. Definitely a series I would recommend onto your iPod.