Can I start by saying that it took me almost two months to finish Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin? I was reading every day but you wouldn’t know it! Why it took me this long has nothing to do with it being a boring or terrible novel. Oh no my friends! This thing was far from boring, it’s just super in-depth and I could only read so long before my brain turned to mush, haha. Luckily I still found Clash of Kings enthralling, and by far part of the most entertaining series I’ve read this year!
Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.
As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.
It’s odd to say that I very much enjoyed a novel that I trudged through it at a snail’s pace, but it’s true. Usually too much information, or too much to remember, is a book killer, but not in this case. The level of information and descriptions set up Martin’s world so vividly that it can’t possibly be dull. You have tons of characters to keep up with yes, but each one plays their part well and each one affects someone else, so in the end, it all comes full circle. Then it goes beyond that, because you get to know each family, what they stand for and why they picked the side they did. Martin paints a 4D picture with his words, with moving parts and changing backgrounds. It’s like watching a real life world, or chess game, play out in front of you. His writing is so incredible that although there are many moments of world/character building and lots to keep track of, the storyline never drags to a standstill. Something is always going on, and though it may seem insignificant at the time, later you see it wasn’t. Truly, I’ve never read anything remotely close to his work.
Which is why, though I’d love to go into great detail about the characters of A Clash of Kings, I can’t, lol. There are too many! But I can say that each has grown significantly in this tome and some so much they are no longer the same person. Plus, new people have been brought in, believe it or not, who have brought new tricks to the table! It’s hard to keep up with sometimes, haha I’ve gotten names and families wrong so many times I’ve lost count. However, having so many unique characters is part of why this novel/series is so incredible, so you won’t hear me complaining about there being too many!
Also I can’t delve too far into what happens in the novel either, since so much happens! I can try to sum it up, I suppose. Basically, everyone is at war and pretty much everyone wants the throne. You have dragons that have brought back the magic of the world which means creatures that haven’t roamed in centuries are now back. Children are losing siblings and parents left and right and brothers are turning on brothers. Plus, people starving to death…oh and a pathetic child bully king who likes to torture people. Yet, that doesn’t even touch what happens nor do it any justice. I will say the entire thing feels like the middle of a novel. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. It’s like the first of the series shows a fairly happy world that is turned upside down, which is how the beginning of a regular novel goes. This installment shows the ramifications that has caused, which would be the middle. It sets up the next novel to complete the storylines that hasn’t been resolved yet, which would be the ending. It’s kind of strange to have that pace so to speak as an entire novel, but it works!
A Clash of Kings may have broken my longest to read record, but I would do it all over again anyway. The world that lives in this book/series is incredible and so complex well it took me almost two months to read LOL. I do hope that doesn’t scare you off, because this series is so bad ass it’s a travesty to miss out on!