A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Clash of Kings is the second novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George Martin.
After reading the first novel, I was prepared for Martin’s writing style of switching narratives. The different point-of-views were not as daunting.
However, I was surprised when different characters were introduced with their own POVs almost instantly. Davos, Theon… “Who are these people?” I asked myself. I hadn’t paid much attention to Theon in the first novel and certainly Davos was never mentioned.
So that was interesting.
In ACOK, suddenly everyone wants to be a king. There are contenders that pull together their own armies and challenge each other for a right to the throne. We find some of our beloved characters suffering through trials and betrayal.
However, for all the brouhaha and pointed descriptions, nothing much seems to actually happen in this story! We see the strength of armies amassing and then simply disseminating into nothing.
I read the book very quickly and haven’t truthfully retained much from it, which is why I say that nothing much seemed to pop out at me. The different people carried on with their destinies and we are introduced to Melissandre, a red priestess who is touting a new god known as R’hllor, god of light and fire.
That’s where things start to get really bizarre. R’hllor seems to have special capabilities, such as summoning forth shadows to commit assassinations. I experienced some chills when reading about the sorcery that is committed.
So with everyone attacking each other and people making different allegiances, I found the book to be just a bit boring. Reading about a war and strategies is only so interesting and I definitely found the Sansa story line more interesting than the rest.
(Don’t even get me started on the Bran story line. Ugh.)
In conclusion: I gave this book 4 stars because I feel that even though it was somewhat boring, it is effectively bridging book 1 and 3 together. You can see where Martin is building up the tension and plot, so I’ll forgive him all the war talk, especially considering that book 3 has been pretty awesome so far.
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