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A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) Paperback – Unabridged, May 28, 2002
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How does he do it? George R.R. Martin's high fantasy weaves a spell sufficient to seduce even those who vowed never to start a doorstopper fantasy series again (the first book--A Game of Thrones--runs over 700 pages). A Clash of Kings is longer and even more grim, but Martin continues to provide compelling characters in a vividly real world.
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 Mass Market Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
The second novel of Martin's titanic Song of Ice and Fire saga (A Game of Thrones, 1996) begins with Princess Arya Stark fleeing her dead father's capital of King's Landing, disguised as a boy. [...] In between [the beginning and the end], her actions map the further course of a truly epic fantasy set in a world bedecked with 8000 years of history, beset by an imminent winter that will last 10 years and bedazzled by swords and spells wielded to devastating effect by the scrupulous and unscrupulous alike. Standout characters besides Arya include Queen Cersei, so lacking in morals that she becomes almost pitiable; the queen's brother, the relentlessly ingenious dwarf Tyrion Lannister; and Arya's brother, Prince Brandon, crippled except when he runs with the wolves in his dreams. The novel is notable particularly for the lived-in quality of its world, created through abundant detail that dramatically increases narrative length even as it aids suspension of disbelief; for the comparatively modest role of magic (although with one ambitious young woman raising a trio of dragons, that may change in future volumes)... Martin may not rival Tolkien or Robert Jordan, but he ranks with such accomplished medievalists of fantasy as Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson. Here, he provides a banquet for fantasy lovers with large appetites—and this is only the second course of a repast with no end in sight. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
"From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding lands of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war.
As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky - a comet the colour of blood and flame - five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.
Against a backdrop of incest, fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory is measured in blood."
This is an adult's story, there is no grossing over the battles, blood and gore and sex are very much part of George R.R. Martin's writing style.
The Tyrion and Arya chapters are the best parts of the book (for me); that doesn't mean the other character's tales aren't good, just that these were exceptional and had me swiping the pages to know what happens.
I started "A Storm of Swords" as soon as I finished "A Clash of Kings".
I don't know why I haven't read this series before now. Definitely five stars.
This is a difficult book to review because it is one part of a larger whole. Those skillful hands that began stitching the patchwork story in the first novel nimbly continue, giving us, at times, a clearer understanding of events. New threads are being added and we aren’t sure what image they are going to show us when all is said and done. But each new strand rivets us to the story and we become emotionally invested.
As I read A Clash of Kings, many things popped out at me from a writing standpoint. Martin has populated these books with a multitude of characters. In truth, I can’t name them all. It’s a no-no in the publishing world to do such a thing, so how does this author get away with it? The main characters are extraordinary, that’s how. Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen (to name only a few) are memorable. They have faults and virtues, they are multi-faceted, ever growing and changing.
The words on the page are at times beautiful. Even while characters are hacking each others heads off, Martin commands the language expertly. For example:
“The long low note lingered at the edge of hearing. The sentries at the ring wall stood still in their footsteps, breath frosting and heads turned toward the west. As the sound of the horn faded, even the wind ceased to blow. Men rolled from their blankets and reached for spears and swordbelts, moving quietly, listening. A horse whickered and was hushed. For a heartbeat it seemed as if the whole forest were holding its breath. The brothers of the Night’s Watch waited for a second blast, praying they should not hear it, fearing that they would.”
This passage is written in such a way to allow the reader to see and hear what’s happening. As a result, the anxiety seeps into you as it does the characters.
This world and its inhabitants combine familiar and mysterious elements written in such a way that it’s as if we’ve lived there all our lives. I found myself torn between wanting to read constantly until I’d finished and holding back so that I could remain immersed in the world for as long as possible. I should have the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series soon. I’m ready to continue the journey, anxious even.
The actual book is a fantastic read. "Just one more chapter," I thought as I read deep into the night. This book is intellegent, complex, and epic. But please, avoid the audiobook.
Most recent customer reviews
My review is regarding the quality of paper , it s crap, it is so cheap! Unbelievable!Read more