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A Clash of Kings (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two Paperback – March 6, 2012
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The Seven Kingdoms have come apart. Joffrey, Queen Cersei's sadistic son, ascends the Iron Throne following the death of Robert Baratheon, the Usurper, who won it in battle. Queen Cersei's family, the Lannisters, fight to hold it for him. Both the dour Stannis and the charismatic Renly Baratheon, Robert's brothers, also seek the throne. Robb Stark, declared King in the North, battles to avenge his father's execution and retrieve his sister from Joffrey's court. Daenerys, the exiled last heir of the former ruling family, nurtures three dragons and seeks a way home. Meanwhile the Night's Watch, sworn to protect the realm from dangers north of the Wall, dwindle in numbers, even as barbarian forces gather and beings out of legend stalk the Haunted Forest.
Sound complicated? It is, but fine writing makes this a thoroughly satisfying stew of dark magic, complex political intrigue, and horrific bloodshed. --Nona Vero --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Martin's characters bring a more realistic spin on knighthood and war. Cersei describes it best to young Sansa when she destroys the young girl's romantic view of knights by remarking that knights are for killing, nothing more or less. And kill they do. The battle scenes are raw and unglamorous, like the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan. Its all very realistic and gritty and heck, it makes sense: what do you really think happens when a not-so-sharp sword is swung haphazardly at another person: I've never seen it firsthand, but I'm sure its not pretty. It may be an oxymoron to claim that a fantasy book can be realistic, but this series is: after seeing the battle scenes in Braveheart or Gladiator, I have a deeper understanding of the horrors of sword fighting in, say, the medieval times in English history. Martin's story is realistic in the sense that it doesn't gloss over the horror and pain and terror of battles and the rage of the people who fight them.
Martin's series is a hardcore fantasy adventure for adults. While other authors cater predominately to a younger fantasy audience, Martin seems to write for the "college and beyond" crowd (at 31, I'm well beyond).Read more ›
So, when I came back to fantasy at the end of 1999, I read the usual: Goodkind, Jordan, etc. and then someone told me about GRRM and man, that was the kicker!
Here are the reasons to choose GRRM. I've also listed the reasons not to choose him to make it fair b/c I know their are certain personalities who won't like this series:
WHY TO READ GRRM
(1) YOU ARE TIRED OF FORMULAIC FANTASY: good lad beats the dark lord against impossible odds; boy is the epitome of good; he and all his friends never die even though they go through great dangers . . . the good and noble king; the beautiful princess who falls in love with the commoner boy even though their stations are drastically different . . . the dark lord is very evil and almost one sided at times . . . you get the idea. After reading this over and over, it gets old.
(2) YOU ARE TIRED OF ALL THE HEROES STAYING ALIVE EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE UNDER CONSTANT DANGER: this gets even worse where the author kills a main hero off but that person comes back later in the story. Or, a hero does die but magic brings him back.
This sometimes carries to minor characters where even they may not die, but most fantasy authors like to kill them off to show that some risked the adventure and perished.
(3) YOU ARE A MEDIEVAL HISTORY BUFF: this story was influenced by the WARS OF THE ROSES and THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR.Read more ›
But something odd happened. As the first pages flew by in a fever of needing to know what happened next, I started to notice myself reading at a much slower pace. Eventually I started drifting ahead and accidentally skipping passages. I had to put the book down and take a break. So I did for a few days. Then I picked it up again and still found myself moving somewhat sluggishly.
That is Clash of Kings ultimate curse. There are parts of this book that really drag on. Just about every character can claim more than one slow chapter in the story, and they start to add up too much in the middle. At some points you will have to will yourself through this book. Yes I know it's a 1000 pages so what did I expect, but did it have to be that long? Game of Thrones is long, but it moves at a rapid pace and tells a very tight story. There's much to trim here, or at least to substitute.
Then there are little things. Like take for instance the aforementioned Kings that clash. Of the five major ones, none have their own character chapters. Granted four of them do have their actions mentioned by characters near them, but one doesn't even have that (save for a visit from another character). Another one was built up as a main character in the first book (and a bad ass one at that), and is hardly mentioned as most of his actions aren't even followed directly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this series. What a masterpiece! Getting lost in the realms is like going on vacation. Wish I could write myself into the story.Published 5 hours ago
Amazing, Tyrion story was really good, as well as bran... Sasnsas got a lot better as you read, and any story with Jamie was sickPublished 8 hours ago by anthony bartholomew
I notice that even by Book Two, some reviewers here are complaining that Martin's story is not as tight as it used to be. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by s.t.
I didn't enjoy Clash of Kings (book 2) as much as book 1. I'm still hooked on the story though. Can't wait to read book 3.Published 15 hours ago by adam pepper
Mr. Martin is very proud of his ability to create names and characters many of whom are tangential to the story. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Rich Owen