Review: A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)Published: February 2, 1999 by Bantam
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 760

This review is for the second book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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 fratercide, 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.

lolol I originally started this in January 2012, restarted it in March 2013, and finally finished it tonight.

I haven’t watched the TV show at all (not planning on watching any of it until I have read the books), so I’m not coming from that point of view with this review.

So after the unstoppable rollercoaster that was the second half of A Game of Thrones (I read the last 50% over the course of a couple of days), A Clash of Kings was a bit of a disappointment in the beginning. It was back to a very slow buildup, and it continued with some of the issues I had with the first book, namely that I found the constant changes in POV to be extremely frustrating. Over the course of this book, though, I kind of came to terms with it, because typically by the end of each section, I was like, NO, I WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT PERSON, STOP, DON’T CHANGE POVS :( so while there were a few times where I was basically crying NO, WHY A JON CHAPTER, I was usually able to make myself get over it pretty quickly and read on through, and was usually excited to get back to that character ASAP (and it didn’t happen with just Jon’s, that was just one particular example, haha), so it definitely kept me reading. The book definitely picked up pace around halfway through and I had a really hard time putting it down, even if I did stray to other books often earlier on in my reading.

While I was originally frustrated with the new characters because I wanted to go back to the old ones that I already knew and whose stories I was already invested in, I ended up really liking at least one of the new additions (Davos!), and those that I couldn’t really find exactly likable were still interesting for their own reasons. I’m both looking forward to and dreading new additions in the next book, haha.

I was kind of torn on how to rate the book, since the beginning was frustrating and slow for me, but later on it was SO HARD to stop and it was all I could think about if I had to put the book down for work or anything else.

I didn’t see a lot of the twists and turns coming in this book, though I was able to go back and see some of the foreshadowing, and I loved that. I’m so excited to continue on with A Storm of Swordsonce I can get my hands on a copy. I’m on the waitlist for it at the library right now and I have another library book to finish in the meantime, but the wait is going to be torture!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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