"Those not typically into this genre may find something to like here." This is where those people get off.
A Clash of Kings is A Game of Thrones x2. Mo"Those not typically into this genre may find something to like here." This is where those people get off.
A Clash of Kings is A Game of Thrones x2. More names, more political intrigue, more feasts, more descriptions of armor, more, more, more. Unfortunately the "more" is where this volume falls short. Everything, barring the political intrigue, from the first book is taken too far.
The superfluous naming goes from amusing (now we get to know the names of everyone's boat and/or horse as well as their house, family, and sword) to confusing. Any chapter that involves warfare becomes a rolodex of characters we've never heard of killing or capturing other characters who might have had a single line. This book is filled with unnecessary tedium. You will always know what each main character eats and wears every chapter. After the third ten course feast and seventh jewel-encrusted sable-lined tunic it all runs together; and it runs together for almost 1000 pages.
What I like least, however, is this book's mean streak. A Clash of Kings is a house of sadism where rape is the brick and cruelty the mortar. Every chapter has something uncomfortable to read. While this begins as a haunting account of medieval warfare it soon commits the same crime as the clothing descriptions. It becomes boring. Yes, ACoK somehow makes atrocities blasé
And yet, despite these blatant flaws, the good parts of this book are better than they were in the first. Interesting dialog, enrapturing mystery, and enough sympathetic characters to make me want to see the end. Those with a lot patience may still find something to enjoy here.
PS. Some authors get hung up on a single unique adjective that they like to use constantly. Timothy Zahn loved, "sardonic," and George Martin loves, "brusquely." This word will stick out every single time you read it....more
I don't think I've read another book that can be summed up so nicely on a pie chart. A Game of Thrones is 15% dialog, 30% descriptions of clothing orI don't think I've read another book that can be summed up so nicely on a pie chart. A Game of Thrones is 15% dialog, 30% descriptions of clothing or suits of armor, and 55% names. On average, every chapter introduces or mentions a dozen characters that may or may not be important to the story. What's more is we never hear about a character without also hearing where they are from and what family they are born or sworn to. So there's a lot of:
"Ser Anders sat bestride his warhorse gleaming in full plate mail the color of bone and inlaid with a dozen amethysts across its spaulders. He would ride for house Marrick of the river Torse and the honor of his father Lord Wimbley...etc. etc."
This minor quibble aside, A Game of Thrones is an engaging read about interesting characters surrounded by mysterious political intrigue in a familiar and accessible fantasy world. Those not typically into this genre may find something to like here assuming they can survive all of the superfluous naming. I'll definitely be picking up the second volume as this one just sort of stopped. It wasn't a cliffhanger per se, more like a chapter break without a follow-up....more
Finally put this tome to bed and now, what to say? This book ties up loose ends. First by, resolving the cliffhanger left at the end of book 3 (The WaFinally put this tome to bed and now, what to say? This book ties up loose ends. First by, resolving the cliffhanger left at the end of book 3 (The Wastelands). Second, by finally detailing the main character's past. And third, by delivering a chapter so ridiculous that you feel better about all of the "Twilight Zone" shenanigans that happened up to that point and prepares you for anything after.
In reviewing or putting a score to this volume the second point from above is my main consideration. Over 3/4 of this book is a complete story unto itself. Readers pining for the (fantasy/) western genre of The Gunslinger should be glad they held out this long. One could argue that it's a tad slow or ponderous, but as is the case for most of this series the climax is satisfying.
The afterword for this book is subtly amusing. Again, King explains how piecemeal the writing of the series was. In this one he cites two chronologically concurrent scenes that were written 14 years apart. The end result is a sort of, "it's not really my fault," kind of diatribe. I've never heard someone so patently apologetic for their work. ...more
A humorous read written for both the hobbyist and enthusiast zombie hunter. While this book offers a good deal of practical advice for surviving the iA humorous read written for both the hobbyist and enthusiast zombie hunter. While this book offers a good deal of practical advice for surviving the inevitable zombie invasion it is sadly based on flawed research and contradictory in some chapters. Keep this handy, just in case, but take its advice with a grain of salt. Remember, you only get one chance to survive. ...more