Lucky Bradley's Reviews > A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
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Nov 08, 2008

really liked it

This review is for the first four books in George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire". It is written as a single review because the "Song of Ice and Fire" feels like a single story, rather then multiple books.

Pros:
1. The writing is excellent, Martin is able to make a person lose themselves in the story. His use of descriptions and phrases is great, coupled with his ability to describe both violence and sexual situations. Unlike many other authors, he doesn't hold back on all situations. Many authors will only describe violence, but not sex. This isn't the case with Martin.

2. Unlike many other authors that use different POV's, he does not retell the story from each point of view for every minute of the story. When you finish reading one character's POV, the next one starts at the time in the story AFTER the previous POV. This results in the story progressing faster then other similar fantasies.

3. Realism, the story has what I refer to as a realistic feel. Main characters die without seeing it coming. None of the characters are absolutely good, or absolutely bad, they all are fallible. Its sort of a more adult version of the Jordan series of books.

CONS:
1. Too many points of view. In book one A Game of Thrones, there were a reasonable number of POV. It gave a good overall feel to the story. Unfortunately by book 4 there are so many points of view, that in book 4 you don't get to read them all and Martin had to split book 4 into book 4 and book 5.

2. The story is too long and taking too many years to right. I am not against a long story, but if its going to be 7 books long, please try and write it in less then 10 years. At this rate it will take 20 years for the stories to be written. That is fine if the story was completely written and the books were released over a few years. Waiting 4-5 years for a book release means I don't remember all the details of the previous book. I have been fortunate, I read the four books one after another, but now I am suffering from the "Jordan" effect, having to wait possibly up to a decade to finish the story, or worse yet the "Jordan" ending where the author may die before the story is finished.

3. This isn't so much of a con now, but when I first read the book I had the common understanding that the story was about a few specific characters. It isn't, rather its a story of the war with the dragons, others and the realms of Westerous (I can never spell that right). None of the characters may survive the entire story (and in the first book major characters die which caught me by surprise). Now that I understand the story isn't about specific characters, I like the writing style better.

4. TOO MANY POV. I love reading from different people's perspectives, but by book four there are so many POV that you don't even hear from some characters at all in this book. I wish Martin had reduced to to no more then 4-5 POV, now it feels cluttered.

Overall I would give this story a 3.5 (but since I can't give a .5 I rounded up). I think the whole premise is close to a 5, but the amount of years between books, and the number of POV's is what brings it down for me.

I definitely recommend everyone read at least "A Game of Thrones" and as long as you understand its a story of the upcoming war, not the specific characters then you may find you like it. I did.
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Reading Progress

November 8, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
September 5, 2017 – Finished Reading

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