Thursday, 16 May 2013

Review: A Clash Of Kings by George R.R Martin


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 and 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. 
A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, 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, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

 **(WARNING: This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for Book 1 & 2 in the series. I'd advise you do not read this review unless you have read both books..)**

Doesn't that blurb send such an exciting shiver down your spine? Goosebumps. I'm going to worn you that this review is most likely going to be a long one. I've a lot to say in this review, both good and not so good. Let's jump into the review. 

A Clash Of Kings begins where A Game Of Thrones left off. Ned Stark is dead and Westeros is descending into chaos. I felt this book was a lot different than the previous novel, A Game Of Thrones . In A Game of Thrones there is a lot more action and fighting where in this novel there is not as much. In A Clash Of Kings we see much more of the scheming, plotting and planning side to the battles and wars . We spend a lot of time looking at the things building up to the war and seeing what creates the tensions that spur the war. In the beginning of the novel I found this interesting but somewhere near the end I felt it grow a little tedious. 

The characters of this novel were both awesome and bland. There is an introduction of two new POV's in the form of Theon Greyjoy and Ser Davos, the Onion Knight. My favourite characters of the novel were Jon Snow, Danearys, Arya, Sansa and Tyrion. In A Game Of Thrones I really did not like Sansa. I enjoyed her chapters in A Clash Of Kings as she brought us insight into Joffreys character and the situation at Kings Landing. I feel really bad for her as Joffrey made his men humiliate her and beat her. I felt a spark of hope when Ser Dontos said he would free her and bring her back to her home but I'm starting to feel that there is something in it for him, and it is so creepy when he tries to kiss Sansa. Tyrion is just hilarious and I love his relationship with Shae! I also liked the other new characters Meera and Jojen, I found them really interesting. I also kind of want Hodor and Osha, the Wildling, to get together. I totally ship them!

Characters I didn't like: Cersei Lannister, Theon Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister, Theon Greyjoy, Davos, Joffrey and Theon Greyjoy. Did I mention Theon Greyjoy? Cersei and Jaime are just so un-caring towards anyone but themselves, so no change from G.O.T.  I kind of found Davos' chapters to be really boring and bland. I kind of skimmed them towards the end. I know his character is important as it shows us what is going on with Stannis and Melisandre, I really hope his chapters get better in A Storm Of Swords. Joffrey is just a little shit like always, no change for him. Now, Theon Greyjoy.  My God WHAT AN ABSOLUTE BUTT FACE!!!! If you looked up "Butt-Face" you would see Theon Greyjoy. He is so arrogant and self centred. He is a lot younger than his lords and he thinks he is better than everyone else. He was such a horrible character and his chapters made me hate him so much. I think I may have hated him more than Joffrey in this book and that is saying something! I also found Lady Melisandre to be so creepy and evil but I was also interested by her as she brought a more magical, rather than action , aspect to the novel.

I really enjoyed Arya's chapters. She really has developed as a character and has become so brave. I loved her relationship with Gendry and Hot Pie, although I hated Hot Pie at the beginning. I loved the different disguises she used- Arry and Nymeria and Nan. I can't wait to see where her story picks up next, especially after she escaped with Gendry and Hot Pie! I love her.

Another thing I didn't like about the novel was that there was not enough Dany chapters to suit me. She was such an important character in A Game Of Thrones and she is one of my favourite characters. In A Clash Of Kings, she only has five chapters out the 69 or 70 chapters in the novel. FIVE CHAPTERS! How is that enough. I really wish there had been more chapters with her because her story is so interesting. Hopefully she'll be a more regular character in A Storm Of Swords.

George R.R Martin's writing style was phenomenal in this novel. He took on a much more poetic style in this novel, especially with his use of the red comet metaphor. I loved his world building as when I read one of these novels I become so absorbed in the world of the Seven Kingdoms and Westeros. His writing is so vivid and descriptive and addictive. I loved the introduction of the more magical, mythical aspect to the story. Lots of sorcery, dragons, wargs etc., I found that very interesting as it was not seen in A Game Of Thrones. Overall a good sequel but not as good as I had hoped. I've heard that this book is the slowest of the series, where as the third book is the best of the series. I guess I'll have to read A Storm Of Swords and get back to you on that. I think I may start the Tv show soon... 

I also think this image sums up the amount of twists that were in this novel towards the end... oh George R.R Martin, you are the master of surprise!

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