Ren the Unclean's Reviews > A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
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Jul 20, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in June, 2010

This book was almost as good as the first one, though slightly different in execution. It slows down a bit in the middle, but is still very interesting and picks back up and is awesome towards the end, with a couple of the different plot lines becoming very intriguing.

There is more setup and dealing with politics in this book, but it may have just been more noticeable because of Martin's Tolkien-esque approach to battles -- describing them mostly after they happen or with someone who wasn't actually participating. The climactic battle in the book even mirrors the battle at the Gates of Mordor in Return of the King in terms of perspective and result. This style keeps the focus of the book on the characters (which he does a good job with), rather than the confusion and bloodshed of the battlefield, but makes these large action scenes flash by quickly, emphasizing everything else. Rob, the character most involved in battles is not even one of the points of view that Martin covers.

As in the first book, Martin does a fantastic job with his characterizations and his writing makes the vastly different issues and plots that are present easy to follow. There are a couple of new characters introduced that I liked, most prominently the smuggler knight, Davos Seaworth and Theon Greyjoy. All the characters that were interesting in the last book were just as interesting in this book.

My one complaint is that Daenerys' story has become very slow and its separation from the main events of the book are even more obvious. It is obvious that something will come of it in books three or four, but in this volume it is purely setup with no real payoff. The threat facing Jon Snow in the north seems like it would suffer from the same issues, but is presented in a much more urgent way and with characters that are more interesting.

Overall I would recommend this book to everyone.
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