‘A Clash of Kings‘
by George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire # 2
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who hold 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. 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. (Source: Goodreads.com)
My thoughts about the book:
‚Epical‘– that’s probably the word, which describes best the entire book and the story behind it, with all his unbelievable facets and heroic characters.
It happened so much in this book, that I don’t know at all where I should start!
The best would be to begin with the writing style of Martin, which is, as well as in the other books, to be read well and fast. He doesn’t exaggerate it with his descriptions, although everything is decorated nicely and vividly and a movie is running off before the inner eye. Unfortunately he talks sometimes a little bit too much and too exactly about all the family-stories of the single clan and their origin and their background stories – though not so exaggerated as Tolkien with Frodo’s related ones - however, it quite scratches on the border and this is partially also unnecessary in my eyes and too exactly for my taste.
Otherwise there isn’t much which I could criticize. It was a constant up-and down for the characters in the books and I couldn’t really decide from which character I wanted to read more. Everybody has suffered many strokes of fate and the main characters came in this book only from a misfortune to the next and most times I’ve often been worried with them and have hoped for them that they don’t die. Since the end from ‘Game of Thrones #1’ we know that Martin doesn’t hesitate for long to kill and let also main characters die. Which I think is very extreme, because one never knows whether it goes well or an important character dies again, though on the other side, at the same time there’s more tension and thrill, just because one doesn’t know whether a favorite character comes out again healthy from an emergency or not.
My favorites in the books are still Jon Snow – he is and remains my absolute hero in the story, even if he shows sometimes too much heroism and gets himself because of that in dangerous situations, only to prove that he is good guy, that he can be more than just a bastard. Sometimes it breaks my heart and sometimes I only want to shake him, so that he gets a clear head again and not risk his life.
And it’s also very alike with Arya to me. These two are and act very similar in my opinion, with their stubbornness, as well as their power of endurance and ability to go on and on, no matter how precarious or hopelessly it may seem. Moreover Arya is cheeky and has a loose tongue and such figures can always conquer my heart easily.
Though Sansa and Catelyn got better in these books, they still don’t belong to my favorite characters. Now it has developed to the fact that I tolerate them, because they also have experienced a lot of awful things, but I don’t really feel for them and therefore their chapters also weren’t my highlights.
In return the dwarf Tyrion could persuade me once again and I also like Shae and I‘m curious how it will develop with him or maybe together with her.
Unfortunately in this book wasn’t really of a lot of positive or very interesting things with Dany, who I’ve liked particularly at the beginning of the series very much. But here she loses somewhat of her sympathy and sometimes works also to dogged and recalcitrant, although she must be it, because now she’s a ruler of a Khal, but nevertheless, I preferred her before and I hope this change again in the next part.
!!! SPOILER Alert from here on!!!
And I must confess that I‘ve also lost a few tears at the end. Though I’ve been glad to read again a chapter of Bran and to find out that he and Rickon are fine and high-spirited, but it was also sad to read how it ended with Winterfell. Also for me Winterfell is, since I started to read this book series, a small place to retreat and has become the ultimate home of the main characters and it has hurt me, to see them leaving everything behind deadly and lost. Also I found it very sad that so many characters had to die again. Although I always expected it and was prepared, it was awful and really a bad surprise.
Unfortunately I don’t really like the covers in this series and for me they are also absolutely not the reason why I read the books. So I’m happy I’ve encountered them another way and not with a catchy cover.
All in all:
Another masterpiece of Martin which I recommend to everybody who loves to read books like ‚Lord of the rings‘, or likes high-fantasy or is a fan of stories of medieval times, knights or bloody fights and which are also heroic and with big feelings.
4 of 5 points (Great, great, great)
“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.”
Jon: “There’s no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.”
# 1 : George R. R. Martin – A Game of Thrones »»
# 2 : George R. R. Martin – A Clash of Kings »»
# 3 : George R. R. Martin – A Storm of Swords
# 4 : George R. R. Martin – A Feast of Crows
# 5 : George R. R. Martin – A Dance with Dragons
# 6: George R. R. Martin - The Winds of Winter
# 7: George R. R. Martin - A Dream of Spring
About the author – George R. R. Martin:
George R.R. Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included. Later he began to write fiction for comic fanzines (amateur fan magazines). Martin’s first professional sale was made in 1970 at age 21: “The Hero”.
In 1970 Martin received a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, graduating summa cum laude. He went on to complete a M.S. in Journalism in 1971, also from Northwestern. Martin became a full-time writer in 1979.
Martin’s present home is Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (he was South-Central Regional Director 1977-1979, and Vice President 1996-1998), and of Writers’ Guild of America, West. (Source: goodreads.com)
Visit his Website »»