"A Clash of Kings" by George R.R. Martin | Book Review
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book #2)
Page Count: 768
First Published: November 16, 1998
I am continuing my journey through A Song of Ice and Fire, and I am here to tell you: the second book in the series does not disappoint. I can't say that I loved it quite as much as A Game of Thrones (check out my review here), but I still enjoyed it a lot. I can't tell you much about the plot without ruining the first book, but long story short: MAYHEM IN THE REALM. Be prepared to learn more about those who survived A Game of Thrones, but also to meet quite a few new characters and get introduced to new landscapes.
I think your enjoyment of A Clash of Kings depends on why you like reading A Song of Ice and Fire: if you want a lot of action, you won't get into this book right away—it has a bit of a slow start. However, if you love the twisted politics of Westeros—this will be right up your alley. For me, I can definitely say this was a bit slower than I would have liked, but it was all worth it in the end. Another thing to be ready for is that most of this book has to do with King's Landing and the surrounding "activities". This makes sense, considering the huge political shifts at the end of A Game of Thrones, but at the same time if your favorite characters aren't Tyrion, Sansa, and Arya, you may find yourself a bit disappointed.
Speaking of characters and being disappointed, probably the most disappointing part of the book for me were the chapters that had to with Daenerys. There aren't that many of them, and there was only one that truly got my attention—the one that had to do with prophecies and the House of the Undying. The other character's PoV I wasn't all that interested in was Catelyn, which is funny because I really like her in the show. On the other hand, Bran and Jon have unexpectedly grown on me—their characters are pretty slow-building, considering that I didn't care much for them in A Game of Thrones, but A Clash of Kings really made me interested in both of them. Bran is someone I expect to be an "endgame" character now, after thinking he is more of a "placeholder" for a while. The person I wanted to strangle in this book is Theon. What a sleazy guy! He's definitely up there with Joffrey for me, on the villain list. It would take a lot for him to redeem himself in my eyes, and I don't even know if it's possible at this point.
If I'm comparing A Clash of Kings to season 2 of Game of Thrones, I have to say the book flowed much better for me. Season 2 is my least favorite one, particularly because I thought it was very confusing and not very eventful. Though there we a couple of things added to the show in the same time frame that I enjoyed, I still think the book dealt with this transitional period of the story much better, and there were a few twists that were much more effective in A Clash of Kings compared to how they were presented in the show.
Overall, it goes without saying that I will be continuing with the series. Though not quite as exciting as A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings is still a solid sequel and that's why I'm giving it 4 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to read the next book!
P.S. If you're a fan of the show, have you been watching my weekly episode recaps? Check out the latest one below, and take a look at my Game of Thrones + ASoIaF playlist.