** spoiler alert **
A Clash of Kings picks up right where we left off in A Game of Thrones. The kingdom is now divided, there are what, five kings... both Robert's brothers have declared they are king because of Joffrey being Jaime's son, than we have Joffrey, Rob Stark as the King in the North and than the Greyjoy's joining in waving their arms saying, you thought we where defeated all those years ago, fooled you, what's dead can never die! This is literally the biggest clash of people you're going to see. No one has anything but their own agendas in place. We have Davos, as a new character to follow the path of Stannis Baratheon, the older of Robert's two brothers, and the most boring and dull, just like Davos. I really don't like Davos. Also Theon is now a narrator too if you will. But personally, it's all my favorite old characters that still keep it going for me. Anyway, Theon is just a dumb ass.
The second season on HBO really did not do this book justice. As I thought, I really shouldn't have been so hopeful. They lost the focus. There are all these little factions all over the place working independently against each other, sometimes their own men and families are the enemies. Tyrion in Kings Landing though, that is the best ever. How his mind works rings around those other courtiers. He was made to play the "game of thrones." Despite his father's hatred of him, he is more Tywin Lannister's child intellectually than the other two. It is down to his genius that by the end of this book we have more than one of the kings licking his wounds. Caetlyn is still boring me to tears, but at least her ballsy release of Jaime shows that she is a Stark at heart. Renly, ok, yes, I now see that he's totally gay. Should have picked that up without being hit over the head with it from the show, but it totally makes sense.
Arya's story, re-reading it, seemed far slower and more boring than I remember, yet Sansa, being a prisoner of war and having to still keep acting that she loves Joff, oh, love it. To have this little girl, because, really, she is a little girl, at the center of evil and having to face it without any help, that takes true backbone. Jon's journey is an interesting one, and by far the most spine tingling of all. Beyond the wall anything can happen! The dead can walk again, giants roam the earth and a crow might turn his cloak.
As for Daeny... well, I've never been the biggest fan of hers. I liked her husband, but now that she's wandering around and then just visiting a city. It's all kind of boring. Sure she has dragons, but they don't do anything. Also, her visit to The House of the Undying, really, what was that all about? I have talked with my friends many times about these books, and I think Daeny's visit to The House of the Undying shows Martin's cracks beginning to show. He doesn't know how to incorporate magic into his world. The dragons coming back to the world have changed everything. Magic works again and Martin doesn't know how to use it. Instead it comes off odd or jerky in the narrative. Perhaps that's why we've been waiting all these years for more books, he shot himself in the foot and now doesn't know how to go back. At least the book ended with a great battle, so that's something. Also, it's the only episode I liked of the season... but than again, George Martin wrote it...