Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin - Book Review

Two out of five is not bad considering it's only March, I'm currently working my way through A Storm of Swords, but that is a tale for a later post. The tale at hand is of course A Clash of Kings, the second book in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series. Be ye warned, this post might be a little spoilery if you haven't seen the tv show or read the books!

A Clash of Kings mainly revolves around the feud of the five newly risen kings of Westeros. Stannis Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, and Joffrey Baratheon all want to rule from Kings Landing. Robb Stark is declared King in the North and demands that the north be subject to the southern king no longer. Balon Greyjoy declares himself king of  the Iron Islands and sends his son Theon and his daughter Asha to pillage and conquer along the coast in the north. While all this war and turmoil is raging we follow characters through their very own big and small losses and victories.

As in the first book everything that happens is told and seen through the eyes of POV characters. In this book we follow:

Prologue: Maester Cressen, maester at Dragonstone.

Tyrion Lannister - Acts as hand, and tries to secure Kings Landing's defenses before they are attacked by either Stannis or Renly

Lady Catelyn Stark - Follows the army of her son Robb and struggles to come to terms with the loss of her husband and the fact that her daughters are being held captive at Kings Landing.

Ser Davos Seaworth - A former smuggler now sworn to Stannis Baratheon struggles with his faith and his allegiance as he sees the red pristess Melisandre work her terryfying shadow magic to further Stannis Baratheons claim to the Iron Throne.

Sansa Stark - She spends every day in fear of Joffrey and rejoices when she thinks she will be allowed to leave the castle when Joffrey takes a new bride in Margaery Tyrell. She also continues to develop her strange relationship to the hound.

Arya Stark - Arya hides herself under many names trying to avoid detection from her fathers enemies. She meets a mysterious man called Jaqen H'ghar who promises to kill three people in her name as a service for having saved his life and the lives of two other criminals.

Bran Stark - Bran finds new friends in Jojen and Meera and they help him discover the source of his wolf dreams.

Jon Snow - Jon and the rest of the night's watch have travelled far into the northern wilds in search of Benjen Stark and the other missing brothers of the watch.

Theon Greyjoy - In desperate need of approval from his father Theon turns his back on Robb and storms Winterfell with only 30 men, taking Bran and Rickon as his prisoners.

 Daenerys Targaryen - Daenerys leads what is left of her Khalasar through the red waste to Qarth, a large trading city where she and her dragons become the talk of the town. She thinks she has found an ally in one of the merchants of Qarth, but that alliance fails her and she ventures to the house of the undying in search of aid.

Now let's get down to my opinions shall we? I of course loved loved loved the first book in the series and the second installment doesn't disappoint either. It is just as detailed, just as gritty and just as believable as "A Game of Thrones". The biggest difference is that the pace has slowed down somewhat in this book. Things slowly reach a boiling point in Kings Landing as Stannis attacks but is beaten back by Tyrions well thought out defensive tactics. Daenerys finally finds a ship that will take her away from Qarth, Arya makes her first kill and Jon Snow is brought face to face with the wildlings of the north and his own sense of honor. It doesn't really bother me that things develop slowly because I'm honestly more interested in the characters than in the greater political schemes.

By now I have a clear opinion of who my favorite characters are and I feel excited every time I get to read about Arya, Sansa, Tyrion and Daenerys. They are the characters I feel connected to and if one of them dies I think I might actually get a little heartsick.

I have also developed quite an amount of hatred for some of the characters as well. I can't stand Cersei and Joffrey because they are, well evil. Theons betrayal of Robb and his egotistical and cowardly actions thereafter really turned me of. And to be completely honest, Rickon Stark is a spoiled and horrible little shit. I know he's only a small confused child, but I can't stand him.

I usually measure the greatness of a book by how much it makes me feel one way or the other, and I have to say that this series makes me feel a whole lot of everything. Happiness, sadness, anger, hatred, disappointment, excitement and wonder. That alone is enough to make it great in my opinion, but the way the books are written, the language itself and the amount of world building that has gone into it all is just tremendous and makes it work on every level.

(c) Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

I just can't wait to learn what happens next!

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, the literary pirate.

No comments:

Post a Comment