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Sunday, 19 January 2014

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

4.5/5 Stars

11788811

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 911
Chapters: 69 (Plus a prologue and an appendix.)
Publisher: HarperVoyager

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Finally! I finally reached the end of A Clash of Kings! *Does celebratory dance*

I feel like I've walked through a beautiful jungle of colours and foods, walking and walking, and when I wanted out, I got lost. Crap.

The second instalment to A Song of Ice and Fire is much like its predecessor: Big, bold and brilliant. This time, however, the book has a kind of settling into the story kind of vibe, whereas the first is setting everything up. There's also a lot more mysticism in this one compared to the first, so it's very refreshing, if somewhat confusing at times.

I've kind of moved past my drawbacks of the first book, a little anyway. There are still enough adjectives that have you reaching for a dictionary, and also an onslaught of new characters that could sink a ship. But I've come to accept these things and embrace them.

After the ending of the first book, I flew into this book hoping for this great huge war and stuff. It's fifty/fifty. While there is a lot of sitting around, you learn a lot more about war tactics, and at the same time, a lot about the characters. The plot is just as engaging as the first book, but now that we are attached to the characters, it's easier to follow. The author, even while war threatens every corner, is always alluding to some other danger in the future. It's hard to catch your breath, but what did you expect?

This entry is a bigger investment than the first, and I made the mistake of moving straight into it. Whose idea was it to marathon a series like this!!? Damn you to hell. Oh, wait, it was me. Bad me!!!
I suggest taking a break in between books. After a while it starts to drag, you get a little less interested and a little more peeved. Read them when you have the time and energy.

I am so happy to be back with this cast, and I've come to realise Mr Martin is a master of characters. Like I said in my review for A Game of Thrones, the good have bad tendencies while the bad have streaks of redeemable qualities. Apart from Joffrey, everyone hates Joffrey, I see a burning hell in his future and hopefully soon. In the end even if you're not into fantasy you should read these characters, it's a great lesson on how people we perceive as evil rationalise their actions to make them seem like they are doing the right thing.

The writing as always, apart from the heavy descriptions of everything, is fantastic. It has a timeless quality to it and it shows when reading the book. You won't miss a thing, and while at some points things might be confusing, don't beat yourself up, it's almost always explained better down the line.

Okay, hopefully that was mostly spoiler free. Time for a break.


Previous Instalment: A Game of Thrones


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