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A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – September 5, 2000
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"Martin amply fuLfills the first volume's promise and continues what seems destined to be
one of the best fantasy series ever written."
-- "The Denver Post"
Don't miss any of the novels in George R. R. Martin's saga
A Song of Ice and Fire
A GAME OF THRONES
A CLASH OF KINGS
and coming soon
A STORM OF SWORDS
From the Inside Flap
In this eagerly awaited sequel to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a work of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination. A Clash of Kings transports us to a world of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare unlike any you have
A Clash Of Kings
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.
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The main appeal of the books for me is actually two-fold. First, I love to read. Second, reading the book helps plug some of the gaps. Unfortunately, there are times when I get a bit lost watching the series. I have a hard time keeping up with who is who and what is exactly going on. The major characters I can handle, but the ones that are a bit more minor can get lost in my crowded mind. So when I read one of the books after I’ve watched one of the seasons, I come to such revelations as “So that’s where Stannis came from. He’s Robert’s brother. So that’s why he thinks he should be king.” And so on. I’m sure many can follow along better than I can, but this is an area where I struggle.
Now that’s not to say that the books can be a bit challenging as well. Especially when it comes to characters. Author George R.R. Martin seems to have some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder to list the name of every single minor character that he introduces. Even if they don’t stay in the story for very long. Is there anyone out there reading these books that can keep track of all the different “maesters”? It’s a bit of small sin, but a rather irritating one. Sure, the author provides a “who’s who” in the back of the book, but who really wants to flip back and forth that frequently? Especially when one is reading on an e-book.
Since the HBO series is so popular, I’m guessing that more have watched the series than have read the books. I would recommend all that have watched to read as well. It really is a great story. I must also say that the casting of the characters for the series seems impeccable. It’s really hard, for example, to read about Tyrian Lannister and not immediately see Peter Dinklage in the role.
From what I understand, the narrative in the books and the HBO series don’t exactly coincide, although after the second book, I would have to conclude that at this point the similarities are very strong, and I can’t see any real discrepancies. Perhaps this happens a bit later. If I’m not mistaken, the author has been stuck on book six for several years as I write this review, and the producers of the show got tired of waiting, so they just went ahead and started continuing their own version of the story without him. Probably a good thing. There are still those that are hoping the author finishes what he started, however. The books are still extremely rewarding, even if the story never gets officially “finished”.
But those are all part of Martin's masterstroke, which he carefully unfolds into a series of spectacular climaxes by the end. This book puts a lot of interest into the political maneuvering of the various rising powers in Westeros -- I loved that Tyrion's cunning gets plenty of time to shine. And the morality of most of these characters lands squarely in the grey region -- not all Lannisters are as bad as they seem, and not all of the Starks' allies are as noble as the late Ned Stark. This is a darker novel and world than its predecessor, no longer featuring mighty tournaments of knights, but full-blown wars and assassinations. And it's glorious.
You will have to invest some patience for Martin to work his magic, but it's absolutely worth it. He shows off his versatility as an author, pulling off a helluva juggling act to depict a volatile political landscape.
And as always, be wary of getting attached to characters. You may get your heart broken