July 22, 2012

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

I must say, I enjoyed this one even more than the first.  I had mixed feelings about that one.  A Clash of Kings is the second book in Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series.  As it is the second you have no hopes of understanding it unless you've read the first.  And I can't even begin to summarize the first for you as there is so much detail, characters, etc. packed into each of these novels.  So, if you haven't read it, you need to go start there.

For those who have read the first book, Clash of Kings starts where that one left off and takes up the storylines of all the characters.  Sansa and Arya each have their struggles renewed while Sansa remains a prisoner of the young King and Arya joins a band of people headed to take up the Black of the Night's watch.  Daenerys has her dragons, and now seeks to take back the kingdom that was her families, but is having trouble finding the help to do so.  Four kings all try to rule the seven kingdoms, Joffrey the young King, Stannis and Renly, brothers of the slain King, and Robb of Winterfell in the North, who was proclaimed by his own men.  They all have reasons for wanting the throne and must look to their backs as there are traitors everywhere.  The Game of Thrones is still played, and played more deviously by some more than others.

There are a lot of characters in this book.  So much so that it's hard to keep track of them all the time.  My favorites by far are Tyrion and Daenerys.  Tyrion is just so cunning and amusing and you're never sure of his motives so he stays interesting.  And I root for Daenerys to get her kingdom back.  The other kings aren't doing a very good job of it and I think she could be much better.  Plus she has dragons, which quite frankly is awesome.  I'm not a big fan of Joffrey, the Queen or Sansa, but I don't think I'm supposed to really like any of them, except for Sansa anyway.  The others I don't really care either way, which is probably a good thing with the high mortality rate in all of Martins books.  It isn't a good thing to become too attached to a character.

The plot was almost kind of filler in this book.  Yes, things happened, battles were fought, but it didn't seem like the book ended any plotlines.  There was just more stories found and different adventures started and always more and more intrigues.  It is hard to follow sometimes.  It did make me look forward to the next book though, I have to see what happens and who wins, etc.  It should be warned that this book doesn't hold back on violence, sex, murders, language, etc.  It's all there and not for the reader who doesn't enjoy these things. (Or rather not enjoy but tolerate).  But it serves it's purpose, the book is gritty and realistic because of these things.

A good continuation of the series.  I'll definitely keep reading and look forward to the next book in the series.

A Clash of Kings
Copyright 1999
761 pages

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