A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
Publishing Info: July 2011 by HarperVoyager (first published 1998)
Star Rating: 4/5
Back Cover Summary:
Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising. From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding lands of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war. As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky – a comet the colour of blood and flame – five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.
Having read A Game of Thrones last year and being completely sucked in, it was no surprise that I picked up its sequel, A Clash of Kings. For contextualisation, this is my first time reading the book series A Song of Ice and Fire and I haven’t watched any of the TV series.
I wondered whether A Clash of Kings could live up to the high bar set by the first book, and while I think I enjoyed A Game of Thrones more, there was still plenty to love about A Clash of Kings. With Westeros divided, there are plenty of rivalries and tensions between the various houses to provide conflict. Many of the characters have now been well and truly separated, meaning it feels like there are more threads to try and keep track of. It does get a little confusing at times trying to remember who belongs to what house and who is allied with whom.
There was a lot of emphasis on the red comet blazing through the sky at the beginning of the book, but then allusions to it sort of disappeared. I’m guessing at some point it was no longer in the sky, but considering such emphasis was placed on it, it seemed odd that it was never referred to again later on.
Sadly Daenerys’s plotline was rather uneventful. I felt quite bored reading her chapters because nothing much was happening to drive her story forward. I’m hoping her plotline will pick up in the next book as she is an interesting character.
There was one rather boring chapter in the final battle which is one rather lengthy description of a sea battle. I was totally lost as to what was happening, and so many names of ships were mentioned that I totally lost track of who was fighting on what side. Aside from that, the rest of the book kept me as engaged as A Game of Thrones did. There were a few unexpected twists and turns which kept the book’s momentum going and made sure I was hooked. There’s plenty of mystery and intrigue, characters to root for (and characters to hate).
A Clash of Kings did not disappoint. It was just as thrilling and addictive as the first book. I’ve already bought a copy of the third book, A Storm of Swords, and am eager to continue reading the series.