Victoria's Reviews > A Clash of Kings

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

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, favorites, so-good-i-reread-it
Recommended to Victoria by: Seiya
Read from June 12 to 27, 2011 , read count: 2

Warning: Minor references to character plots, but no major plot-points discussed.

The first time I read "A Clash of Kings" was a rather hasty affair; at the end of "A Game of Thrones" I so desperately wanted to know what happened next that it would seem I raced through "Clash" to get to "A Storm of Swords." As such, for the longest time I only had the vaguest impressions of the second in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Series: Good, but not as good as what came before and what came after.

After a re-read, I find myself having to reevaluate that assessment. This time, I took my time with it and found myself more than pleasantly surprised at how much I'd missed. Martin takes on an interesting challenge in the narrative sense with his POV format. Not only must he further each POV character's individual storylines, he must also advance the overall 'big picture' plot. Arya *is* wandering around Westeros, but the little snippets of information she chances upon (even if she herself, does not understand them) in her travels are huge clues to what's to come and could easily be missed if a reader is not careful. This is true of most information in Westeros--most everything a character hears is from somebody else, and what *isn't* said is just as important, if not more so than what is.

As a reader, the Stark sisters' POV sections really stand out, particularly Sansa's evolution from an innocent, lovestruck teenager, to hostage looking for a way out of King's Landing. Her scenes with the Hound are among the best in the book. Tyrion's escapades as Hand of the King are also delightful as they showcase his wit and cunning. The Battle of Blackwater Bay was beyond epic, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it done in the TV series. I felt that Martin could have done with a few more Jon and Dany chapters as they are the only eyes-and-ears readers have beyond the wall and across the sea. However, considering the addition of Stannis and his followers, it's easy to see why they've been scaled back in comparison to the first book.

Which brings me to my one point of contention for "Clash": it *is* a bunch of setup for the third book. Martin spends most of his time introducing us to key players (who may not seem so key at the moment), and laying down the foundations for what's to come in "Storm of Swords." On second thought, knowledge of what's to come probably heightened my enjoyment as I was able to more clearly see the subtle hints Martin laid out this time around.

Perhaps a more apt title for this book would have been "(Relative)Calm Before the Storm" or "The Minute Before Shit Hits the Fan."
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06/12/2011 page 53
06/20/2011 page 170
17.0% "Theon"
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