Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2)—George R.R. Martin

Summary: 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. 
Summary from Wikipedia.org. Cover art from Goodreads.com. 

My summary/review: Holy cow! Books are NOT supposed to end the way A Game of Thrones ended!!! Good is supposed to conquer evil and the good guys, though always courting danger, are never supposed to die! Especially un-heroic though entirely realistic deaths on the chopping block. George R.R. Martin established his reputation as a serial killer of favorite characters, a reputation that he enforces through all of his published works. The reader now knows that no one is safe and everything is at stake.
     Book two picks up as Ned’s son Robb Stark reclaims the ancient Stark title of King of the North and wages war against the Iron Throne. Told alongside Robb’s war for vengeance, the story flashes over to Daenerys Targaryen’s climb to power and then to Tyrion Lannister’s apt ruling of King’s Landing. Where Eddard Stark came out strong as the obvious protagonist in book one, these three characters each effectively persuade readers to root for their conflicting causes. This is what makes me love these books so much. Not knowing who to root for, not knowing what end I should possibly even hope for.
     This book introduces two new POV characters—Davos Seaworth who is stalwart and boring, and Theon Greyjoy who is so detestable he makes King Joffrey look gallant. Another challenging and fun aspect of these books—living the life of the villains for awhile. Some villains are respectable and relatable. Some are just…vile. We get that with Theon. All in all, we’re still rooting for House Stark—will the remaining Starks ever be reunited?—though we want good things for Tyrion and Queen Dany as well.

My rating: 4.75 stars

For the sensitive reader: This book (and series) is not for you. With more baddies in the mix and with full-on war, all the offensive things are kicked up a notch—swearing, violence, gore, rape, etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No Theon was not just vile and unrelatable, he was an incredible character with multiple layers and partially sympathetic or at least pitiable,maybe a reread will help you see that.


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