Petrik's Reviews > A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
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really liked it
bookshelves: owned-ebooks
Recommended for: Epic fantasy fans

4.5/5 stars

A Clash of Kings was a brilliant sequel that brought the spotlight of the series to one of the most well-written characters in fantasy: Tyrion Lannister.


A Clash of Kings is the second book in A Song of Ice and Fire saga by George R. R. Martin. The main story in this sequel mainly revolves around the multiple kings of Westeros battling in full force for the right to sit in the Iron Throne. This, however, is just scratching the surface of the story. Martin built upon everything he has established in the first wonderfully and with that, the scale of the story has become much bigger than before that I found it quite a difficult task to review this tome without spoiling anything, but spoiler-free review as always it is. Just like my review on A Game of Thrones, I’ll be doing some qualities comparison between the book and its TV series (Season 2) adaptation.

Picture: A Clash of Kings by Marc Simonetti


Continuing immediately from where the story left off in the previous book, Martin implemented a lot of incredible elements into the story such as shifting alliance, utterly engaging politics, intricate world-building expansion, and most importantly, compelling morally grey characters. There were new POV characters introduced in this installment and a lot of great character developments imbued. Although a lot of events happened in this book, this doesn’t mean that A Clash of Kings was a fast-paced read, honestly I found it even slower than its predecessor. Regarding pacing, in my opinion the TV series offered a better experience. However, unlike the first season where it pretty much adapted the book scene by scene, there were a few changes done for the second season of the TV series; some for better, some for worse, but overall I still think that the TV series did a spectacular job once again on adapting another installment of this series for the wider audience.

“There's no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.”


The devil lies in the details, and Martin delivered intricacies not only on world-building but on every aspect of the book/series. I can make this review longer than it should be by talking about each character’s merits and cons to highlight Martin’s awesome characterizations, but I’ll refrain from doing that here and instead focus on one main character, Tyrion Lannister.

“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it's served up.”


It doesn’t matter whether it’s the book or the TV shows, Tyrion Lannister is my favorite character of the series and having finally read the two books of the original material, I can already vouch that he’s one of the most well-written characters in fantasy. He’s witty, cunning, smart, and despite all the physical disabilities he has as a dwarf, he never gives up and knows how to use the one thing he’s best with: his brain. Reading the book, I can feel that Martin had a lot of fun writing his character. Martin’s characterizations in this book shined the most when Tyrion’s POV came to play and luckily there were a lot of them. Don’t get me wrong, many of the other characters and events were crucial in making this book as good as it was, but overall, more than anything, I genuinely think that A Clash of Kings is a magnificent book about Tyrion Lannister and if you love his character as much as I do, you’re most likely going to have a good time reading this worthy sequel. Also, I personally think Peter Dinklage did a super terrific job in portraying this complex character, and it has been repeatedly proven as the series progressed.

“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”


World-building wise, the novel provides insights into more magic and setting of the series. Martin is an amazing world-builder, it gets even more evident the more I progress through the series. The politics of King’s Landings were meticulously written, the dialogue between characters was immensely enjoyable, and the world he created is brimming with mysteries and revelations; they all made up for the slow pacing of the tome. There was only one big action piece happening within this book, The Battle of the Blackwater that happened at the final section of the book. Action sequences aren’t really Martin’s strongest talent as an author, The Battle of the Blackwater was the only big action sequence and it happened for more or less 50 pages; that’s out the two books (1,800+ pages) I’ve read so far combined. However, the battle itself was finely written. Martin’s prose has a strong immersion and vivid power that during this battle, the frantic situation, the swirling flame, the madness of the river, the vanishing of the deck, and the chaos were so easily imagined in my head.

“So many vows... they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.”


Admittedly, there were a few sections of the book that were simply too slow. I’m speaking specifically on Bran’s POV, which I found to be extremely boring. Remember, I’m reviewing this based on my experience as a first-time reader of the series who watched the TV shows first; I already know the major plot twists and events happening within the series. Because of this, Bran’s POV probably ended up becoming even more boring than it should be.

“He who hurries through life hurries to his grave.”


Although I loved A Game of Thrones more, safe for a few hiccups in pacing, A Clash of Kings is a worthy sequel that expands the world, histories, characterizations, and conflicts of the series fantastically. I truly enjoyed reading this one, and I have no doubt that I will enjoy the next one too. It goes without saying that I highly recommend this series to epic fantasy reader.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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Quotes Petrik Liked

George R.R. Martin
“So many vows... they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

George R.R. Martin
“Power resides only where men believe it resides. [...] A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

George R.R. Martin
“There's no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
tags: fear

George R.R. Martin
“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

George R.R. Martin
“He who hurries through life hurries to his grave.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

George R.R. Martin
“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it's served up.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

George R.R. Martin
“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings


Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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message 1: by Bea (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bea Great review! Tyrion is the best!

I agree on Bran, his pov became such a slog after a while...(though if I remember correctly it wasn't even that bad yet in Clash of Kings)


Megan Great review! And you're not the only one who found Bran's POV boring - and I haven't seen the tv show or know any spoilers. I think it's just a legitimately boring POV. 😂 In saying that though... I also find Danerys's POV pretty boring too, even with the dragons thrown in. 😝 So many people love her though, so maybe she's better in the tv show? *shrugs awkwardly*


Petrik Bea wrote: "Great review! Tyrion is the best!

I agree on Bran, his pov became such a slog after a while...(though if I remember correctly it wasn't even that bad yet in Clash of Kings)"


Thank you, Bea! Gooo Tyrion!!!

It was so bad, I remembered I was feeling okay-ish with his story on the TV show, but here it was boredom on steroid... I almost fell asleep!!


Petrik Megan wrote: "Great review! And you're not the only one who found Bran's POV boring - and I haven't seen the tv show or know any spoilers. I think it's just a legitimately boring POV. 😂 In saying that though... ..."

Thank you, Megan! Hahahah damn, I guess it was truly because of his POV being boring then!

Daenerys didn't really receive a strong focus here, but the part in the House of the Undying differs from the TV show and I found to it be much more interesting! :D


Nikhil Tyrion is GRRM's favourite character. :)


Petrik Nikhil wrote: "Tyrion is GRRM's favourite character. :)"

Ahhh no wonder! It totally felt that way just from reading it! :D


message 7: by Haleema (new) - added it

Haleema This was a great review !


Petrik Haleema wrote: "This was a great review !"

Thank you, Haleema! :D


James Hightower The characterization in this novel is insane. Great review!


Petrik James wrote: "The characterization in this novel is insane. Great review!"

I have to agree! Thank you btw! :D


message 11: by Foti (new) - rated it 4 stars

Foti Mantis Amazing review! What are your current thoughts if Jaime Lannister?


message 12: by Cosm!K1ng (new)

Cosm!K1ng idk why but I like Brandon's magic system much more...Idk if its the hard magic system he employs...


Petrik Foti wrote: "Amazing review! What are your current thoughts if Jaime Lannister?"

Thank you, Foti! Haha at this point of the book, it's kinda hard to gauge my feelings about him because I already know his redemption arc is coming soon. I'll just say that I loved the few appearances he made her. His dialogues with Catelyn were so damn well written


Petrik Cosm!K1ng wrote: "idk why but I like Brandon's magic system much more...Idk if its the hard magic system he employs..."

I get what you're saying. It depends on the mood for me. Their style are very different, Sanderson used hard rule and Martin sticks with the classic mysterious style of magic with no rule. Both are great though imo as long that it's executed wonderfully.


message 15: by Anne (new)

Anne My favorite!


Petrik Anne wrote: "My favorite!"

Yayyy! :)


message 17: by Bree (new)

Bree Awesome review :)


Petrik Bree wrote: "Awesome review :)"

Thank you so much, Bree! :)


Raysa Glad to see you reading these! I have been enjoying your reviews for months (I've added so many books to my TBR because of your reviews it's not even funny), and I was hoping you'd get around to my favorite series. ;)

I hear you on the slow pacing, but hang in there! I really feel a Storm of Swords is the best book in the series (so far). I think he makes up for a lot of what feels like plodding in ACoK by amping up the tension in the next book.

And, just getting ahead of things, just know Books 4 and 5 would have been better if he hadn't broken them apart. If you can get past that and just appreciate the stories, they're not bad. I can't wait for Winds of Winter! :D


Petrik Raysa wrote: "Glad to see you reading these! I have been enjoying your reviews for months (I've added so many books to my TBR because of your reviews it's not even funny), and I was hoping you'd get around to my..."

Thank you, Raysa! Hearing that you added a lot of books to your TBR because of my reviews gave me immense satisfaction! :P

I actually wasn't planning to read this series, not anytime soon. But I thought might as well since the final season of the TV show is ending this year and I want to know what the original material will feels like. I heard from a LOT of people that A Storm of Swords is GRRM's best work and I'm super excited for it. Well, I already know the big plot twists of the book so I guess that kills the surprise but I still hope that the book will be able immerse me into the story as good as the TV series.

I'll keep that in mind! I still don't know when I'll get to book 4 and book 5, I was thinking of reading them only after Winds of Winter has been released, but well... I guess we'll see! who knows what my mood will say xD


Jethplain Tyrion and Jon are my faves!


Petrik Jethplain wrote: "Tyrion and Jon are my faves!"

SAME!


Ahmed Bran’s chapters get interesting in fifth book, he has only 3 chapters but they’re amazing.


message 24: by Petrik (last edited Jan 21, 2019 01:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Petrik Ahmed wrote: "Bran’s chapters get interesting in fifth book, he has only 3 chapters but they’re amazing."

That's not reassuring, at all.

"I'm bored with this POV."
"Don't worry, it gets better once you've read 1 million words." xD

But, that's good to know! I'll keep that in mind! :)


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