Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (#2)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Published: November 1998
Summary: Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead...victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
"Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them."
First, I need to say a few things before I give you my opinion. I do NOT watch the television show based on this series. I don't care if you love the show or hate it, whether you think it's a terrible portrayal of the books or a fantastic one, that did not play a part. I do NOT WATCH THE SHOW. I ONLY READ THE BOOKS.
Second, this series does have some adult topics in it, so don't read it unless you're mature enough.
Also, no spoilers in the comments. Thanks!
This book was a great sequel to the first one. It didn't fall into the awkward pit hole that most 2nd books do. Just wanted to congratulate Martin on that. Nice job!
But the thing that the book did best of all was helping you see every character's point of view. For those of you who have never cracked open a book from the Song of Ice and Fire series, you need to understand that every chapter changes the point of view of a character. There are some flaws in that, but I'll point them out later, for now, let's focus on the pluses.
This is how it works; you've been waiting for this. A big battle has broken out (since, you know, they're at war.) The men are running and dying and the women are fighting in their own ways, but then you realize something strange. You don't know who you're routing for. Who do you want to end up ruling Westros? There's the Lannisters, who are bad-ass (expessially Tyrion) and they hold the throne. Or the Starks, who would make the most just rulers and have held your heart since the first page. They might not have a claim to the throne, but they are so noble! Maybe Stannis or Renly, the only ones with true claims, but they're not rulers. They're just relatives. How would they fare running everyone? Should their blood be good enough? Or Dany, mother of dragons, last in line of the Targarens who ruled decades ago? Is the throne hers? You've seen it from everyone's viewpoints, but you have no idea who deserves it! And that's what makes it fantastic!
But there are some issues to changing viewpoints. No matter how much you try, I don't care what Davos's views are on this war. You just gave me plot-changing information last chapter, and he is pretty boring in comparison. Not to mention, it gets really confusing sometimes, and you get confused on what's going on. But it shouldn't be too hard to stay on top of as long as you pay attention. Skimming will bring only hardship.
I actually was really confused on what happened in the last two chapters. I just did't understand. I'll re-read them soon though, don't worry.