Review: A Clash of Kings

Title: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Publication:1999 by Bantam Books
Format: Paperback

Book Synopsis

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.

What I Thought About It . . .

A Game of Thrones ended so spectacularly that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second book in the series. However, I seemed to have a bit of trouble laying my hands on a copy. Did every copy of A Clash of Kings disappear from bookstore shelves? I assume it’s from the popularity of the television series and everyone is grabbing them up.

Anyway I found myself easily drawn into Martin’s narrative again for the second installment in the saga. It was interesting to see how all the characters came back from the events of the end of A Game of Thrones, and most of those were quite unexpected! (Daenerys’s accomplishment was not a surprise.) It was hardly surprising that I failed to read anything else except this novel over the past week. It does prove a point that men desire power as each high lord seems to proclaim himself king with the Iron Throne as the ultimate prize. Why anyone would wish to wear a crown is beyond me, but I suppose that it is because history remembers kings. I have learned that no character is safe in this author’s universe, but I think Martin enjoys teasing his readers. The only parts of the book that I didn’t particularly fancy were the narratives of Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch, but I can see how it leads up to a climax as the calm before the storm type of deal. I just wasn’t as excited by it as the rest of the events happening to the other characters.

Characters remain as complex as ever. I wasn’t sure about Theon Greyjoy in the first book, but now that we get more of glimpse? Oh, I know which end of the sword I’d like to see him on. Yet he’s not the only one because I’m convinced that Stannis is mad. And I still wish to see Joffrey, the boy who would play at being king, flayed and his head mounted on a spike. However, he deserves much worse. Although my opinion on characters isn’t all bad in this second volume because I even like some characters more than in A Game of Thrones. For example, I can certainly see why Tyrion proves to be a fan favorite. I certainly like him even more in this book. He is a trickster for sure, but he motives are good because it serves to annoy his family. Perhaps that might explain some of the reasoning for it.

I must admit that Sansa Stark and Sandor Clegane is my new favorite ship!

One thing that I’ve been entertaining is the idea that there needs to be a prequel novel in this universe. Don’t get me wrong, the narrative is great but all these drops of information about the great rebellion that led to the ursurping of the Targaryen family? I cannot be alone in thinking that this would make an excellent story! True we would know how everything turns out in the end, but would it be any less epic for the knowledge?

I’m definitely looking forward to how events in the next book will play out.



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