I finished Martin’s second installment of the A Song of Ice and Fire series recently, A Clash of Kings. The novel was even better than the first, and I’ve eagerly began the next book in the series, which so far looks just as promising.
In this second book of the series, the realm of the Seven Kingdoms breaks down into civil war following the death of the former king, Robert Baratheon. Five factions fight for control of the realm: Robert’s brothers Stannis and Renly, his son Joffrey Lannister (incestously born of his wife Cersei Lannister and her brother, Jaime), Robb Stark (father of the murdered Eddard Stark, former Hand of the King), and Balon Greyjoy. Meanwhile, a sixth faction seeks to gain power over the sea before entering the war, as Daenerys Targaryen, daughter and heir of the former ruler Aerys Targaryen, attempts to nurture the only three dragons in the world before claiming what is rightfully hers. Alliances are formed, brothers war against each other, romance and scandal reign supreme, dwarves bask in the glory of war while kings are shamed, and the realm watches on as the world breaks into A Clash of Kings.
As good as the first book was, this one is even better. There is so much action in this book that there’s scarcely a dull page. As was with the first novel, A Game of Thrones, this book is rich with detail. More point-of-view characters are introduced in this novel, who serve to give the reader an inside look into all the factions vying for the Iron Throne. The characters develop more in this book, although the author is again not shy about killing any character (and I do mean any character). The plot development is fast, with several unexpected twists, and the series remains unpredictable as ever. The amount of action in the book cannot be understated; if you’re an action junkie, this series is for you.
I have almost no complaints with this book. The only one that even comes to mind is that a couple of the POV characters seem (to me, at least) a little boring. It’s not because the writing is poor; just a lack of action around those characters in particular. For example, I never enjoyed the chapters from Bran’s perspective much, just because nothing ever seems to happen to him; also, Jon Snow’s chapters seemed repititive and dull to me, but that’s changing now. I’m sure Martin has good reason to feautre these characters, and I look forward to finding out the reason soon. Other than that, I have no complaints with the book.
A Clash of Kings is an excellent fantasy book, even better than the first book in the series. There is simply too much action in the novel, and it’s incredible how rich the book is with details. I’ve read nothing remotely similar to this series, making this an extremely enjoyable read. Again, if you’re a fan of either action books or fantasy novels, this series was made especially for you. I’m eagerly working my way through the next book in the series, A Storm of Swords, and will share my thoughts on it as soon as I finish it. I’m giving A Clash of Kings a 9.6/10; I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve found criticisms in other books that I wouldn’t usually mind. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan (and even if you aren’t), read the books; they’re nothing short of excellent.