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Extended Audio Sample A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (18,486 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George R. R. Martin Narrator: Roy Dotric Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Song of Ice and Fire Series Release Date:
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George R. R. Martin began his series, A Song of Ice and Fire, with such a compelling plotline in A Game of Thrones that it was hard to believe he could keep it up in sequels to the book. Yet, A Clash of Kings, the second book in the series managed to be equally gripping, developing some of the characters that hadn't been fleshed out in book one, in place of characters we had lost, like Ned Stark. In book three, A Storm of Swords audiobook, Martin continues to astound us by taking characters that we've grown to think of in a certain way and turning them around so that we see a whole new side to their personality.

Until now, we believed that Jaime Lannister was one of the bad guys. Not only was he having an incestuous relationship with his sister, he apparently killed the king before Robert Baratheon by stabbing him in the back which resulted in his nickname, “kingslayer.” Now, we have Jaime refusing his sister's advances and revealing a secret that suddenly casts him in a new light. As a result Jaime is now seen as an unsung hero.

Plus, we'd grown to think that the Stark family was finally making a comeback after Ned Stark's death, in the shape of Robb Stark who had become King in the North with many followers. But Robb makes a fatal mistake that has tragic results for the entire Stark family.

So once again, the chess pieces have changed completely at the end of this book and Martin continues to keep us guessing about what will happen next. One might wonder why exactly this series is so popular given that the fantasy element is very small and it's mostly about a fictional kingdom where people keep killing one another. And it's not always the good guys killing the bad guys. It's usually bad guys killing bad guys. And yet, there's something about the book that keeps us hopeful that good will triumph in the end. Even if someone with integrity like Ned Stark or Robb Stark is killed, someone else rises up in his place to keep the flame going.

Martin, known to many of his fans as GRRM, has been a writer since childhood. He studied journalism in college and started his career writing fiction, at which he was quite successful at first. However, his fourth novel wa not so well received and he turned from books to TV, getting involved in writing for the Twilight Zone remake. When that series came to an end, he became a producer for Beauty and the Beast, only returning to writing novels in the early 90's. The result was A Song of Ice and Fire, his most successful work yet. The books that comprise the series have frequently been on the NYT bestseller list and have also won numerous awards. A Storm of Swords won the Locus award, the Geffen award and the Nebula award.

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world.

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I always expect the best from George R. R. Martin, and he always delivers.”

    Robert Jordan

  • “High fantasy doesn’t get any better than this.”


  • “Martin creates a gorgeously and intricately textured world, peopled with absolutely believable and fascinating characters.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Martin’s epic advances his series with gritty characterizations, bold plot moves, and plenty of action.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “The latest and the best in a powerful…cycle that delivers real people and a page-turning plot.”

    Contra Costa Times

  • “Enough grit and action to please even the most macho…A page-turner.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “A riveting continuation of a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle.”

    Patriot News

  • “George R. R. Martin continues to take epic fantasy to new levels of insight and sophistication, resonant with the turmoils and stress of the world we call our own.”


  • “One of the more rewarding examples of gigantism in contemporary fantasy…Richly imagined.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2001 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • A 2001 Hugo Award Nominee
  • A 2002 Nebula Award Finalist for Best Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Graham Crawford | 2/16/2014

    " Wow. this was as good as the first book again! and a killer epilogue. This book (both of them) made me ball my eyes out. I want Daenerys to marry Tyrion AND Arya. Two bad girls (one with a pointy bit), a dwarf, and three dragons. What more could you want in a power marriage. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gail Mallin | 2/14/2014

    " I think this is the best of the series so far. Lots of pace and interesting plot developments with a few twists that surprised me. I found it hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Geanina Raluca | 1/26/2014

    " No one is safe in George RR Martin's world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kelly | 1/11/2014

    " Wow......thats all I can say, the plot just keeps getting more and more full on...loved it "

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