It’s true, A Clash of Kings has been super hard for me to read, but that does not mean it’s a bad novel – or series. In fact, it’s pretty damn epic, which makes my inability to read faster even more frustrating. However, since it, and the rest of the books in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, are basically an encyclopedia (I kid, *grin), I’m going to break the reviews into two parts. I’ve been struggling to read these bad boys quickly enough, so this way you will get a preview, before my final review. How does that sound?
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel . . . and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
This novel feels more chess like than the first one – A Game of Thrones – did. People are moving around and battles are being mapped out from every angle. Not much is actually happening, but because the point of view is switched between eight people, it isn’t the slightest bit boring or slow. Each person is dealing with or planning something that will affect other characters, as well as their world. So even though it’s not one on-the-edge-of-your-seat chapter after another, it doesn’t matter. Everything is leading up to something big, you can feel it.
Since the characters have evolved so much, all these moves that are being made amps up the anticipation even more. You no longer know what these people will do or what they are capable of. For instance, last go round I could not stand Sansa and her drive to be absolutely perfect for everyone she meets. She was super annoying and weak, in my opinion. But she’s changed now, she’s still putting on the show, but she’s doing it now to survive instead of just being perfect for the sake of others. She’s had to be cunning to survive another day, something I didn’t think she was capable of. It’s nice that I can actually read when it’s her chapter without rolling my eyes now! I love that everyone has grown up and become better, or worse in a couple cases, than they once were. It has made everything even more unpredictable!
With the long list of characters, and the twists and turns they create, you have a lot to take in with A Clash of Kings. That’s why it’s taken me a month to get halfway through its 969 pages! As frustrating as that is, I still love love love this novel so far, and the series, something fierce. I cannot wait to see what happens next!