The day has come. I’ve completed another epic book by George R.R. Martin. It took me approximately 16 days to complete A Clash of Kings, which contained 1009 pages! I started reading it on the 24th of January and finished it today, February 9.
Before moving on, I’d like to warn you that this review would be a complete example of the worst non-spoiled review for the reason that there would be lots of it (spoilers I mean). So if you’re here just to know whether it’s a good read or not then scroll down to the bottom of the page where I’ll be giving my “final recommendations”. But if you’re here just to see another reader’s point of view or you don’t really care about spoilers then read on!
Okay so on the previous book (A Game of Thrones), Lord Eddard dies, Sansa captive in King’s Landing with King Joffrey, Arya is lost and Bran crippled, Rickon, well he’s still the same old him and Robb becomes the Lord of Winterfell.
Before the civil war started after King Robert’s death, claims have been made by those who thought to be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Specifically, claims by Stannis Baratheon, Renly Barathen and Joffrey Baratheon. Beyond King’s Landing, Robb, Eddard Stark’s son claims King of the North and Balon Greyjoy King of the Iron Islands creating a huge war between them in Westeros.
A lot of things happened in the book to be mentioned but the above paragraph is what I think to be the basic premise of what the book is about.
So here’s what I think. I think the book is just as great as the first. Though it still contained extremely violent themes and others not common to Fantasy books (so far that I’ve read) A Clash of Kings was even better.
Two new characters are introduced here, Ser Davos Seaworth (A former smuggler, turned to a Knight under King Stannis Baratheon) and Theon Greyjoy (Former ward to Lord Eddard Stark and heir to the Seastone Chair.) And along are characters from the previous book, Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Catelyn Stark, Sansa Stark, Bran Stark and Arya Stark.
When I started to read I turned frail in sadness for Sansa and Arya. The results of what happened in A Game of Thrones really turned their futures ill. Arya was suppose to be brought back to Winterfell after she sneaked out with the Night Watch’s men and posed as Arry, a young boy (No girls were accepted to the watch). On the way they are captured by Lannister men and brought to Harrenhal where she played as a serving girl. Sansa on the other hand stayed as Joffrey’s betrothed. With him she is beaten either when Joffrey is displeased with her or he’s just really pissed off. Poor Sansa.
On the other hand, Bran is declared temporal Lord of Winterfell while Robb went out to war along with Catelyn Stark (their mother), rallying Tully and Stark Banners against the Lannister army. And in his endeavor to do so he also wins numerous battles in their homeland destroying thousands of Lannister men.
Tyrion however is brought back to King’s Landing as Joffrey’s Hand. Where he secretly plots his own attacks to preserve King’s Landing from the abominable attack of Stannis Baratheon.
Jon Snow is now a solid part of the Watch where we find him part of a scouting party beyond the wall. Where at the end he is stuck with Qhorin Halfhand as they both are hunted by wildlings. At the end Qhorin decides to lure them in and allow Jon to “yield” to these wildlings in order to learn their ways but not be a part of them (secretly). But in all this, an army of a thousand is said to walk on an attack to the wall led by the King beyond the wall, Mance Ryder.
Daenerys Targaryen still believes to be the Queen of all, as she is the mother of dragons .(on the first book, she hatched three dragon eggs on Drogo’s funeral pyre – thus owning three dragons who she named Viserion, Rhaegal and Drogon)
The story just gets compelling as you trudge into its deeper parts. Suspense gets intense by the page. It was cool to find out that the Stark direwolves are a lot bigger now, bigger than horses. Jon and Bran being skinchangers was cool too.
When I reached the ending parts of the book where the war started to commence. I started to feel giddy and excited. The vividness to which he described the scene was amazing! At Davos’s chapter, you’ll see him riding his ship the Black Betha as he moved closer to the shores of king’s landing as he shouted commands passed on by his sons. And When you do “see” you’ll feel the suspense, the curiosity of what lies beyond. You’ll hear the drums played while the oarsmen followed the beat and the taunts that meant battle was coming “Ahoooooooo, Ahoooooooo”
Then deeper into the war, Tyrion leads an army while he falls into a killing frenzy splicing heads with his axe. Wildfire spreads into the sea killing most of the Baratheon men. It was thrilling to read, though it was extremely graphic, the way it was portrayed was just super! It was extremely shocking though how Stannis lost the war, I totally expected him to win since along he had his brother’s army of more than thousands obvious to overthrow King’s Landing. Turns out, Lord Tywin Lannister withdrew from his battle against Robb and took Stannis by surprise.
Here’s what I have in mind to those who haven’t read the book. If you’re really into books like these where there’s lots of blood, semi complex politics, wars with sword and shield and medieval settings then you should definitely read this one. But to make it even simpler, if you loved A Game of Thrones, then this won’t fail you. I’d give this a 9 out of 10 < I took the last point out for the gruesome negative emotions one would feel as the story progresses. So beware!