A Clash of Kings is the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I must say that after the first book, I had high hopes and had set the bar very high for this book. And all I can say after I read the book is that although this one wasn’t quite as good as the first book (they usually aren’t), George R.R. Martin did a great job in continuing the series by creating another great literary masterpiece.
Rating: 9.2 out of 10
Brief Summary: As the main king of the kingdom of Westoros dies, many other “kings” arise from different regions and duke it out in order to claim the one Iron Throne. Meanwhile, in the North, disturbances of savages arise, and in the far East, a new generation of dragons begin…
My Thoughts: This book was a great continuation of the previous book, A Game of Thrones. Martin is just amazing at leading on the reader and coming up with the unexpected. The plot twists of each of the characters makes for a constantly engaging storyline, while Martin’s prose and description is so realistic one can just imagine so clearly each main character.
Speaking of characters, there are a lot of them in this book. All of the various knights, lords, kings, advisors, and lowborns might be overwhelming, and you tend to forget the different characteristics for each subcharacter. But overall, the book guides you through each character very well, so if you just pay close attention to the details of the book all will be fine.
This series is the only series I have read that actually had the audacity to be able to kill off its main characters that hold a perspective in the book. This makes the war in the book all the more realistic and much more understandable to the reader, although you may never see one of your favorite characters again in the later books.
One thing I also observed is that Martin does not choose to show the perspective of only the main characters, but also other lesser characters in order to show the different sides of the war and to reveal how everyone in Westoros and beyond are feeling and how they are affected by the war. An example is Davos, who is just a smuggler, but he is an advisor to one of the self-proclaimed kings and therefore he plays an important part of the story and reveals some important information.
I truly enjoyed the plot of each character and of the whole series. The fact that Martin switches between characters in different chapters and has control over who he chooses to write about at different times allows him to create the most elaborate cliff hangers. He may reveal an important piece of information with one of the characters in one chapter, but he may not return to that person’s perspective for a considerable amount of time. This allows the reader to continue reading in hopes of finding out what happened to each character. Although the first book was slightly more dynamic, this book also did a good job in portraying these cliffhangers.
Overall, this book was very similarly structured to the first book. If you want a more in-depth analysis into the setting and plot, take a look at my review of A Game of Thrones