A Clash of Kings is the second book ins George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka The Game of Thrones). After becoming absorbed in the first book, A Game of Thrones, I picked up a copy of the second book and (nearly immediately) began reading.
My favourite chapters followed either Tyrion or Arya… and I know that this probably means that George R.R. Martin is going to kill them (no spoilers). It seems that whenever you get attached to a character, or they have a redeeming moment or characteristic, then Martin kills them off. And when he kills them, it’s never dramatic or emotional, it’s blunt, quick and horrible. It’s actually more like real life than fiction or fantasy, but a little disappointing as a reader.
In this eagerly awaited sequel to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a work of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination. A Clash of Kings transports us to a world of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare unlike any you have ever experienced.
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.
It is a tale in which 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, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
From the publisher, Bantam, a division of Random House of Canada
I am really enjoying George R.R. Martin’s style of writing, and the narrative switching POV. I loved that the title of the first book came from a quote by Cersei. And this book really embodies the title well. Not only are Stannis and Renly fighting to succeed their brother Robert to the Iron Throne, but both brothers will need to fight Joffrey, the product of incest and not Robert’s true heir. Add to the mix that the northmen have claimed Robb of Winterfell as “King in the North” and are determined to split the Seven Kingdoms again.
I wasn’t as enthralled with Danaerys’ storyline of the trek across the desert and forming her own Khal. I found myself able to believe in her strength and wisdom more when she was portrayed in the TV series. However, I am curious since she is claiming herself to be the one true heir to the Iron Throne… which means another Ruler in the mix.
I wasn’t surprised by Theon Greyjoy’s betrayal. I was surprised that we didn’t see more from Robb in this book, he seemed oddly absent except when rebuking his mother. I was glad we finally got to see something from Stannis and Renly, although I was surprised that Stannis’ portion was through the eyes of Davos, The Onion Knight—a seemingly minor character.
I loved Arya’s part of the story. Escaping King’s Landing with Yoren and fighting alongside the boys—I loved reading about Arya’s strength, resolve, and determination.
As I mentioned above, I loved Tyrion’s parts. For a halfman who seemed to just have snark, wits and sarcasm in the first book, I love how he’s flourished as the King’s Hand. I also appreciate that he isn’t letting Joffrey and Cersei get away with too much. Even though they’re family, there is still competition within the Lannisters.
Jon’s sections and the story of the Night’s Watch seems to be progressing slowly. I predict that this will eventually become more important than who is King of the Seven Kingdoms, but that’s due to all the foreshadowing. I admit that I’m kinda peeved we haven’t discovered more about Beyond the Wall because the unknown / fantasy aspect really appeals to me.
All in all, good second book. I’ve already peeked at the third book, A Storm of Swords, whose beginning overlaps slightly with the end of A Clash of Kings. I better hurry up too—book five, A Dance with Dragons—just came out this month.
- A Clash of Kings on ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’ Wiki
- Review on Sci-Fi Reviews.net
- George R.R. Martin’s website
- P.S. Read the back matter in your copy of the book if you’re having trouble following the families and characters. There’s an awesome breakdown of the different Houses involved in A Song of Ice & Fire.