Review: A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire

Pages: 1,009

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adventure

My Rating: 5/5

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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“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 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 it 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 can I say about this book? Wow. I’ll start off with wow.

A Game of Thrones was a wonderful novel, one that dragged you into the story and A Clash of Kings isn’t any different in that regard. I found myself drawn in from the moment it began, partially from being familiar with some of the characters already.

A lot of things have changed. We watch the children grow up, not just in age, but in soul; they have to grow up, either that or face death. And death is a constant rock on your shoulder, it’s always there to remind you that any moment could be the last. I think that’s one of the selling points: the author isn’t afraid to hurt the main characters. We see Sansa get beaten by Joffrey’s men, we see Sansa get beaten, we even see Tyrion get hurt badly. There is pain and grief for every one of these characters, Lannister and Stark alike.

The story focuses mainly on the fact that the Lannisters are bound by incest and should be killed.

Boy, there is a lot of talk about incest in this story. Not just incest, but sex. There’s talk of women and men being raped, the incest between Cersei and Jaime, and it goes on and on about “maidenhood” and whores and who’s bedding who. This isn’t the kind of story I’d read to a child every night before bed.

One of the best parts that I’d like to point out is the magic. In a lot of fantasy novels, magic is there but more so. Characters can depend on it and save themselves with it. In this series, it is briefly touched upon and while it’s there, it isn’t the premise for the entire story. It’s touched on lightly, which is a nice change from the “bam, in your face” that most novels seem to have these days. There’s even a supernatural aspect to all of this. Example being Bran and his third eye. I don’t want to get too far into detail, but there’s things like this as well as, I think they were called “green dreamers.” Children of the forest blood is likely.

And the ending. My goodness! That was surprising, though I took the news happily. I had worried through so much of the book, feeling disgusted and uneasy with what had happened. Thankfully, all of those thoughts were put to rest.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, I would. Of course, after you read the first in the series. I gave this a 5/5  because, again, I felt like it was written quite well, the language is up to par (with what, don’t ask me), and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Parts of it stuck with me and made me feel. I’ve grown attached to these characters and definitely will be continuing with the series after I take a short break from it. Contrary to popular belief, well, with what most people seem to think, I liked this one a bit more than the first. There were also certain parts that were kind of difficult to get through. I felt like it dragged on when it could have been finished much quicker. Yes, I know, that goes hand in hand with epic fantasy, but some parts I just didn’t enjoy.

Prepare yourself for a big surprise!

Enjoy, and happy reading!

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