A Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

Clash of Kings CoverFrom Goodreads.com: Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, 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, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Why I Chose It: This is the sequel to A Game of Thrones and I wanted to check it out!

The Review:

I really love Martin’s world so I was definitely happy to be able to jump back into the story and see what the characters were up to! I have seen the second season of the show, so I already knew what was going to happen, but I was looking forward to seeing what differences there may be.

One of the comments that I made about reading A Game of Thrones was that I was able to see into the characters minds and discover more about them than you could ever get from the show. This continues in A Clash of Kings very nicely, and I enjoyed watching through the characters’ eyes as events developed. I did find, however, that in this book I struggled even more through chapters of characters that I didn’t like. I think part of that is there were a couple of additions of characters (like Theon) who weren’t previously given their own chapters. Now we get to see things through Theon’s eyes, but that’s not something I really enjoyed. I found I had to push myself to get through certain chapters, in order to get back to the characters that I did like.

I do think Martin has an amazing talent at being able to tell a story from so many viewpoints. I continue to be fascinated with how many full developed characters he has and how I’m attached to them all in different ways. It’s definitely a really cool world that he has created. I also really like how he is slowly introducing the fantastical elements into the story. I feel like in the beginning we didn’t have much, just a few children’s stories about things north of The Wall, and now we have the sorcerers, dragons, wargs. I really appreciate that these are being slowly added to the storyline, because it emphasizes the focus on the characters and how they too now have to adapt to the new elements.

Cover close up

So while I love the world and (most) of the characters, I did have to push myself through some chapters. I just didn’t feel that the plot was moving along swiftly, and that I didn’t learn that much about the story. Now, that’s obviously due to the fact that I have seen the series, but I was really hoping to learn more information from the book and get a bigger picture of everything. But my friends tell me not to fear – the third book will apparently blow my mind and I’m looking forward to that! :D

Rating: 3 / 5

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