A Clash of Kings (Review)

Book cover for "A Clash of Kings" by George R.R. Martin.Title: A Clash of Kings

Author: George R. R. Martin

Publication Year: 1998

Pages: 1040

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Source: Borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

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 is the second book in A Song of Ice and Fire series, after A Game of Thrones.)

After the fallout from the events in the first book, everything seems to take off in A Clash of Kings. Up until this point, everything was character development and conflict setup. Backstory, if you will. Now that everything’s in place, the drama really starts to happen.

It didn’t take me as long to really get into the thick of things will this book as it did with Game of Thrones. Once you get into the cadence of Martin’s narrative, his style of storytelling – and the constant shifting of perspective between characters – keeps things interesting and moving. The layers of deception and complication just keep coming, and while it’s disconcerting, it’s also part of the allure, and part of what makes the series so fascinating and popular.

I think my favourite characters at this point in the series were definitely Daenerys, Arya, and Tyrion. Not that it changes much later in the series (at least so far), but this is really when I started to identify them as the sections of the books that I most looked forward to. I was rooting for them! And the dragons! Oh how I loved the dragons. It’s like this little touch of fantasy in an otherwise minimal-magic universe.


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