A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire #2
FANTASY

rating

A comet the colour 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 at 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.

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment—a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.

“Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them.”

This one took forever to finish since I read these slowly, but I do enjoy them. I have my favorites like others do where the chapters draw me in more than others. Martin’s writing style is easy on the reader palate, making it an easy read despite being huge in page count and scope.

I enjoyed the first book a little more, but this was a worthy sequel. Usually with reviews I do breakdowns with plots, but I think in this case it makes more sense to focus on the characters and their personal journeys.

Daenerys is still a top favorite, although she doesn’t have as many riveting scenes as she did in the first book. There’s important plot progression where she and her journey is concerned, love seeing the developing dragons, and I have a huge soft spot for her loyal companion who seems madly in love with her. I dig that she still holds some compassion despite how brutal the world is, and despite how she may waver sometimes with normal self-doubt that stays determined to overcome her obstacles and stick straight to her path.

Tyrion is still my #1 with his wise wisdom, courageous strength and cunning maneuvers, and also I’m always drawn to the black sheep of the family and the shunned outcast of society. He has a particularly hard story in Clash of Kings, violent and brutal. Cersei is still a sister from hell toward him, his father is cruel and unrewarding, and despite his strives to become independent, he only sees some major stepbacks in this one.

Sansa’s scenes with the grandmother and friends that the demented king is courting was her best part of the book – she’s a character who tries to find strength when she feels she’s losing it, and good reason. I do like her points of views since they stay interesting and get into the court drama and twisted dangers, but I’m curious where she’ll go from here and if she’ll keep staying as interesting. She’s not a favorite but she does have some of the best scenes in Clash of Kings.

I’ll always hold a strong bond with Bran because he’s a pretty epic little kid. My heart ached with him since he’s now without his legs and dependent on the mercy of others. He already has a hard life but it gets much tougher. There’s some confusing developments with him discovering there’s more to him than meets the eye, so I’m curious where that will eventually lead.

Catelyn – I get her reasoning and I feel bad for her motherly struggles, but some of her scenes are small skimmers for me. She’s sympathetic to a degree but not a favorite because some of her chapters start losing their luster.

Theon is a major mover in the storyline but I do grow bored with his chapters for the most part. Not sure why, but I have little chemistry with the character so far.

I know people are gaga over Jon Snow and that he’s a fan favorite, but like Theon I have less chemistry with him over some of my other favorites.

Arya gets a lot of page time. She’s a brutal and determined girl who embraces her violent mentality to get ahead. The scenes with the assassins was particularly interesting and brutal. She’s definitely bloodthirsty but does have some of the best scenes of the book, and seems to be one of the author’s favorites so far.

Jaime gets more of a voice in this one – I didn’t like him in the first but interesting dimensions of him come across in this book.

As for the red comet, I dug the symbolism of it and how the book opens with the coming of the comet and different character’s perceptions of this omen and what it means to them personally. It seems some paranormal elements are raised in this book, which I find especially interesting.

Favorite aspects of the book - Some of the character progressions for Daenerys, Tyrion, and Ayra. The red comet and kingdom politics and wars. The betrayals, secrets and maneuvering in the Lannister family. The wolves and the paranormal creatures taking over the forest. Bran’s journey and discoveries.

There are still a little too many points of view for my personal tastes, and some slower parts I wasn’t as invested in brought about some skimming – eek. I have to admit some of the chapters downright bored me, which is a shame, but overall the book was a good continuation of the first. 





   Book Quotes:

“I will hurt you for this. I don't know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid.”

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