Book Review: A Clash of Kings

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

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Book Review: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

As I continue my exploration into the fantasy literature, I could not leave out one of the greats by George R. R. Martin, the series A Song of Ice and Fire. But when I finished the book, it was in the middle of Hurricane Irma, so I didn’t have electricity to write this review immediately. But here I am, a couple of days later, on the electricity of our church as our house is still deprived of electricity, writing this review. And I have to say, this book was a good one.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Brief Summary: There is a clash between a bunch of high-class people for the throne of a kingdom.

My Thoughts: I’ll have to admit, I was partially drawn to this book because of all the hype around the TV series going around nowadays based on the book. I haven’t seen it before, but now that I’ve read the book, I can understand why people came to love the story.

A Game of Thrones is a beautifully written book, with a well drawn-out plot, realistic dialogue, great characters, graceful descriptions, etc. I was an amazing experience to read this book.

The one thing that I thought the author did exceptionally was how he ended the chapters. The point-of-view changed with each chapter, and due to this, the author could craft amazingly suspenseful cliff-hangers at the end of each. Just as I was dying to see what happens next, the author moved on to another perspective, and by the end of that chapter, I was dying to know what happened to that character too. It was generally very well thought-out endings to each chapter, and I admire and appreciate the author for this.

The second thing that I believe the author did exceptionally well was the formation and pacing of the characters. Because the book dealt with a lot of nobility and politics, there had to be a multitude of people who had to be introduced to the reader in order for the story to proceed. The author made it so that it was never quite overwhelming to the reader to absorb all of the new characters, and by the end of it, I was comfortable with most of the names that were thrown around by the author.

The main characters’ feature and characteristics were also well captured and described, as I sympathized and loved the style of Arya, understood the pain of Bran, and absolutely despised Cersei. Overall, the great characters make a great story and suffice it to say I could not find any flaws in the characters of this book.

One thing I would like to add is that this is the first book I have read in which a person whose perspective is shown in the story dies. No other book I have read had ever killed of one of the main characters who had a whole perspective to themselves. It was interesting to find out that I would never be reading from that person’s perspective again.

The world-building was masterfully crafted within the book. The places all flowed well together, and the descriptions in the book always had me poring over the map in the beginning to find out where exactly the characters were located at a particular moment in the story.

The plot was well thought out and well drawn out. Each aspect of the story had a clear purpose, and each character had a clear role to serve in the plot. Interesting twists in the story kept me reading in anticipation of what will happen next.

The ending was somewhat expected, as the author had been hinting at it throughout the whole book. It left me in great anticipation for the next book, and I will be reading it as soon as the library will let me.

Overall, the book was very enjoyable. It wasn’t quite immersive in some parts of the story as others, such as Catelyn Stark’s point-of-view, but overall each part played it’s role to create this masterpiece of a product.

I would recommend this book to anyone with a love towards epic medieval fantasy or a good story in general.

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I read about how amazing this book was and received so much positive feedback that I had to pick up this book and try it out for myself. I can’t say that this book lived up to my expectations, but I suppose that’s just because I had set the bar too high. It was a pretty good book, but not a great book (at least to my standards).

My Rating: 7.7 out of 10

Brief Summary: There are six teenagers who are given the task to retrieve a drug maker from a high-security prison.

My Thoughts: As I previously mentioned, this book was not a great book as I was told. It was an ordinary fantasy genre book with a relatively ordinary plot. Continue reading “Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo”

Book Review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
This book is the sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with this book. This book had the same great satirical language, but the plot development on this book was much messier and not defined.

Rating: 6.7 out of 10

Brief Summary: Arthur Dent and his friends? go adventuring around the galaxy, time traveling and going to meet the man who rules the Universe.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams”

Book Review: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

I picked up this book because of a random recommendation from a comment on some random blog post, and although I had no idea whether the book was a good one, I am seriously glad that I read this book. A beautifully written book indeed.

Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Brief Summary: A boy named Vaelin is left off by his father in a house/training place to serve the Faith with the sword. He learns how to fight and goes off to fight a bunch of people.

Continue reading “Book Review: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan”

A Poem: Obligation & Procrastination

I really don’t want to make this a habit, but I’m going to upload a poem that I thought of.

I’ve seen many other poems on blogs, and I can’t say that I’m really attracted to any of them. Most of the poems don’t really evoke any emotion in me, so I don’t really enjoy them all that much.

But hey, I wanted to try out something new. But this is probably going to be a very occasional thing because I want this blog to revolve around book reviews instead of other stuff.

So here’s the poem.

Continue reading “A Poem: Obligation & Procrastination”

Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This is my first science fiction book review on this blog, and I’m happy that it is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Brief Summary: Arthur Dent is the only person to survive the destruction of Earth by aliens due to the fact that a hyperspace bypass was going to be built there. He goes to a mysterious planet with his not-so-human friend Ford and some other people/aliens.

My Thoughts: Once again, I am very horrible at writing summaries myself, so if you want a better summary, go to any book reviewing site other than this one to do so. Continue reading “Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams”

Standardized Testing

We all have to go through the ACT or SAT while we are in high school. As of now, I have not taken my ACT test, but I plan on doing so later this year. I have an ACT study book, and my dad told me to work on it in preparation for the upcoming test.

But I really don’t like tests like this. Think about it; millions of students every year are working their butts off to get a good score on the ACT or SAT to show that they are better than their peers, while not truly developing any skills. Continue reading “Standardized Testing”

My Favorite Books

I have two favorite books (series).

The first is The Kingkiller Chronicles series by Patrick Rothfuss. The first two books in this series, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fears, are beautifully written, and I am avidly waiting for the last book to be released, The Doors of Stone. 

The second is the Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch. The first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora, is an absolute masterpiece and the rest of books are very well written too.

Try them out for yourself. You won’t regret it. I promise.