Saturday, August 3, 2013

Book Review: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin
Release Date: 16th June 1999
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: eBook
Pages: 752
Rating: 5.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY, 2013 EBC and 2013 BSR

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"In this thrilling 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 we 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."

**This review has spoilers! (Sorry, I couldn't help myself). Read at your own risk!**

Everything I loved in the first book is delivered in this great sequel, and so, so much more. Lets take this one step at a time.

Firstly, along with the characters we all know and love, we're given two new narrators - Theon Greyjoy (who we've met before) and Davos, a knight (?) who serves Stannis Baratheon. This takes our narrator count up to 9 (those of you who have read my review for A Game of Thrones will know we had 8 narrators in that book). The range of narrators just makes this novel so much more interesting - not only do you get to see everything, but you get to know these characters much more so than if we had one narrator. Plus, you'll come to love (almost) every character, each for their own unique reasons.

With the range of narrators, balancing how much we hear from each one can be tricky. We need to know the full story, and some parts of that can only be provided by one narrator, so the balance is crucial. I think it's done pretty well, but I do wish that we heard more for Danaerys. I want to hear more about her dragons! And I'm eagerly awaiting the day that she makes her strike and begins the war to reclaim her throne. That will be some enthralling stuff. 

The plot itself is a solid follow on from what was established in the first novel. For a rather long novel, I was surprised that I did feel like the story lagged at all; the plot itself really was quite solid. Whilst I did find that I got weary with the story the more I read, that was more to do with the length of the novel itself, rather than the plot. Whilst I wish that maybe the books were just a little shorter, I don't think that could have been achieved - I think this book covered everything it needed to, none of which could have been left out. Each character's story forged ahead at a solid pace, and I am really looking forward to picking up the third novel to see where it leads them. If the TV series is any indication, I'm going to need to prepare myself. 

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