**spoiler alert** After Game of Thrones it seemed like you read the first book of an absolutely brilliant, fantastic, mind blowing and flawless trilog...more**spoiler alert** After Game of Thrones it seemed like you read the first book of an absolutely brilliant, fantastic, mind blowing and flawless trilogy. Well, after Clash of Kings you feel like you read the second volume of a 7-8 fantasy epic saga. Things start to SLOW DOWN big time.
I was a little bit disappointed to be honest. Okay Clash of Kings is still better than 95% of the fantasy novels out there. But Martin stumbled over himself. If its predecesor gets five stars, this should only get two stars. Where the first book was perfectly paced and moving forward all the time (in the first 100 pages people travel from Winterfell to Kings Landing), this book has its fillers and very slow storylines, especially: - Jaime sits in Riverrun and does nothing - Daenerys has maybe 5 chapters and does practically nothing but wander around (very disappointing after the great Khal Drogo story and the hatchted dragons) - Sansa sits in King's Landing and hopes to escape - Arya is captured and stays in Harrenhal - Jon is exploring behind the wall and trying to find his uncle
The storys of this five characters slowed down/did nothing after book 1 and all the important change does not start till the end of Clash of Kings or even the start of Storm with Swords.
However: Catelyn's, Tyrion's, Theon's, Brandon's and Davos' Stories are great. Davos is a little bit shallow and his POV seems sometimes chosen practical just to have a viewpoint for Stannis army.
To sum it up: Theon and Tyrion carry the book character- and plot-wise in my opinion.(less)
There are a few reasons why this book is so great:
1) STRUCTURE AND PACE: Game of Thrones is one of those rare Fantasy Novels that are perfectly paced...moreThere are a few reasons why this book is so great:
1) STRUCTURE AND PACE: Game of Thrones is one of those rare Fantasy Novels that are perfectly paced in my opinion. There is not a single boring chapter in this book. Martin takes the "arrive late, leave early" attitute in his chapters to perfection. So he leaves the characters on a high point and starts a chapter in the middle of an action or after a lot of stuff happened. This results in very few filler moments and a very forward driven structure. I'm a slow reader but you can not put that book down. Since the chapters are also very short it has this "just one more..." feeling to it.
2) CHARCTERS: Okay some of the characters are total stereotypes. The drunken but good heartet fool king, the nasty plotting queen, the good daughter and the bad boy-like daughter. Arya is a bit too likeable and Tyrion is a bit too whitty. But Martin characterizes them so well that this doesn't matter. You feel for them and you are moved by their fates. What more can you want. It's always said that all characters in westeros are shaed of grey but here you cleary have a somewhat "good side" and "bad side". I guess this will chnage in later novels. You can't argue that at least Geoffrey is truly absolutely evil, he takes pleasure in the misery of others.
3) STORY: Perfect scope in this big world. Some expected deaths and some very surprising deaths. Especially one is the real shocker in this book but it works perfect in this world and for all the chartcters. The mixture between medieval europe and few fantasy bits is exactly my taste. But this is clearly a first chapter in a long series, so a lot of things are left open and all characters are not fully developed. Can't wait for A Clash of Kings!(less)