Justin's Reviews > A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jun 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2011, epic, fantasy, random-house
Read from June 22 to 26, 2011


Spoilers in here.

My A Song of Ice and Fire reread continues and let me say - A Clash of Kings is bloody depressing. I mean really, does anything good happen in this book? Theon's a self-entitled jerk. Tyrion is a good dude (generally) who gets constantly dumped on because he's dumpy. Catelyn and Robb watch their family get annihilated. Melisandre squeezes out shadow babies. Joffrey is a real asshole. And Tywin needs to get laid - badly. The funniest part is - I know A Storm of Swords is going to be even worse!

Since all of these books have been reviewed endlessly I'm just going to offer a few thoughts here and there about what I read:

A. I never quite understood why Quoran Halfhand takes Jon Snow on his trek and why the Old Bear would let him go. It doesn't really make sense.

B. This book is filled with chapters that I just didn't want to read. Sansa. Catelyn. Theon. Bran. Yet wouldn't you know, by the end of each of those chapters I was totally sucked into the story lines. It's a real testament to Martin as a writer I think.

C. I'm continually intrigued by Martin's choice to not use Robb as a POV character. I'm now halfway through A Storm of Swords and it continues to perplex me. So many items like Whispering Wood and Jeyne Westerling are pivotal to the plot, but we only see them through his mother's eyes. I'd love to ask Martin why he did that someday.

D. The battle at King's Landing is pretty bad ass. Tyrion riding out, Pod Payne doing his thing, and the look ins on Cersei and Sansa are so tense. Brilliant battle.

I'm already about 60% through A Storm of Swords. Looks like I'll finish my re-read well before A Dance with Dragons hits the shelves (for real).

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Jennifer Clash is my fave of the bunch so far. I still think the Battle of Blackwater Bay is the best battle bar none of the series, especially to see it through 4 POV, both sides of the conflict as well as participants and non-partcipants. Brilliant stuff. I'm only 100 pages into Storm but plan to finish AFFC before Dance comes out. Might be close!

message 2: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat I agree with you both on the Battle on/by/in/around the Blackwater. I find it the most impressive of GRRM's battles so far, it's battle as bleak, out of control & unpredictable and especially interesting considering that we only find out about the crucial attack by Tywin and the Tyrells afterwards and indirectly.

A - It's the hero's path and that doesn't sit comfortably with the realistic tone that GRRM is using
B - definitely particularly Catelyn after Winterfell
C - yeah, but it works doesn't it?

Benjamin Regarding Robb as a non-POV character, I think I remember GRRM saying that he didn't do that for any of the characters that were or are kings. We only see them through someone else's eyes. So for Robb we get Catelyn. Stannis is Davos and so on. I can't swear that GRRM has said so explicitly, but that's what I remember hearing.

Justin Benjamin wrote: "Regarding Robb as a non-POV character, I think I remember GRRM saying that he didn't do that for any of the characters that were or are kings. We only see them through someone else's eyes. So for..."

It makes sense. Interestingly Stannis, Rob, and Renly all get associated POVs that view them favorably. Davos, Cat/Bran, Brienne... Joffrey/Cersei never do. They're only given POVs that view them negatively - even Tyrion does.

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