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A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
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A Clash of Kings (original 1998; edition 2000)

by George R.R. Martin

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16,757356106 (4.35)477
Member:katiekrug
Title:A Clash of Kings
Authors:George R.R. Martin (Author)
Info:Bantam (2000), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 1040 pages
Collections:Your library, Wayne
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, fantasy, medieval

Work details

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (1998)

Recently added byanitabowser, private library, btemkin451, VincentDarlage, emsoukup, ankney1, G.David, DorisBrody
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English (336)  Spanish (6)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (354)
Showing 1-5 of 336 (next | show all)
I felt a bit mixed about the first Game of Thrones book and for quite a while avoided reading further. That had nothing to do with the quality of the first book, which I rated a full five stars and I thought earned it. Both books immediately pulled me in and made me care about its characters--perhaps a bit too much. Part of why I was reluctant to continue after the first book was that Martin killed off one of my favorite characters--and in a way that was a shock. I knew going into A Clash of Kings that no one was safe. And that does have a payoff, helping to create real suspense.

A lot of the characters I fell in love with in the last book are closely followed in the second and were a treat to return to, particularly Tyrion, Arya and Daenerys. What impressed me most in this book however was how smoothly Martin introduced new characters that were just as compelling to follow such as Melisandre, Davos and Brienne. Not necessarily characters to root for in the same way as my favorites from the first book, but certainly complex and alive on the page. Having read a short YA while taking a break from this behemoth I newly appreciated how much stronger Martin is as a writer than what you typically find in the fantasy genre, and much more gritty and dark--verging on too much so for my tastes.

If I'm docking this half a star from the first book, it's because this second book didn't quite generate the same intensity of emotion, and certainly not the sense of almost awe of the first book's ending. Instead, this book ended on very much a to-be-continued note designed it seemed to push you along to the next book. Something I wouldn't mind so much if this series was finished and Martin didn't have a tendency to go years between books. ( )
  LisaMariaC | Jan 28, 2015 |
I liked this book just as much as I liked the first one even though this one has a different job in the series. The first book acted more as a way to set up the characters so that readers could get a feeling for them. It also acted as a way to set off all the action that happens in the second book. Basically, the first book holds the catalyst to everything that happens after. The ending is the tipping point for the series.

I really enjoyed this book because it stepped away from the action a little bit. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of action and fighting going on in this book, but what really made this book good was the intrigue. While the first book gave us the basic outline of the characters, we really get to delve into them in this one. Characters that seemed a little one dimensional in the first book (like Sansa) start to fill out and become more complex.

Also, most of the action in this book consisted of a behind the scenes look at how war actually goes. It's not all swords and battles as this book makes absolutely clear; it's also about cunning strategy, betrayal, and alliance bonding marriages. I loved be able to back away from the action a little and really see what it looks like on the other end. It takes both brawn and brains to win wars.

Alas, there were still some of the same issues that I had with the first one, like the unnecessary internal dialogue and obsession with food (see more about these grievances in my post about the first book), but I always end up glancing over these issues because the story is so awesome.

Overall, I am really pleased with this series so far and look forward to continue on with it. Stay tuned for my blog post on the the third book, A Storm of Swords. ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
3.5 but I'm rounding up because I enjoyed it a lot more than GoT. It would have gotten a solid 4 but the ending was confusing and kinda shitty (in contrast to the prologue, which was awesome). I don't know why GRRM always cuts away from the action and has characters recount the events later. It's like the literary equivalent of cockblocking.

On the plus side, I'm so happy that we got a lot of PoVs that weren't from the boring Starks. I loOOOooved the characters that were introduced: Davos (ONION KNIGHT ;___;)! bb Brienne! Asha! Renly being his bad sassy self. And Theon (or should I say, Thedong), you suck forever. I even liked Arya's storyline although I continue to hate Bran with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

Also: STANNIS IS MY KING.

edit: actually I think I accidentally skipped two chapters. Which would explain why I thought the ending was so confusing. ( )
  megantron | Jan 2, 2015 |
I watched the HBO series that captures the events in this book prior to reading the novel, so my perception of A Clash of Kings is in many ways guided by having watched the show first. It’s hard not to make comparisons between the two. The first thing that stands out when reading any of the novels in this series is how well and professional the writing is. As a fellow author, I really appreciate Martin’s craftsmanship and attention to detail. He is a writer I truly admire.

As far as this novel goes, there are so many memorable scenes that Martin has created. The ones that are most memorable are the ones that center around John Snow and Arya Stark. In general, the characters in the series are amazing, multi-dimensional characters from the major ones to the very small characters. Martin creates better characters than any writer I’ve ever read. There’s great action, great drama, and excellent tension. On the down side, it was hard not to compare the book to the television show, and there were certain things that I liked much better how the show handled it. One is the climactic battle at King’s Landing. The novel mostly just glossed over it. Another is how Bran escapes from the clutches of Theon at Winterfell. The show also goes far more in depth into some of the characters such as the Tyrells. That is not to say this isn’t a great novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it was a notch below the first novel in the series as well as the television show.

Carl Alves – author of Two For Eternity ( )
  Carl_Alves | Dec 29, 2014 |
This was a bit of a slog. I didn't care for it at all. ( )
1 vote benuathanasia | Dec 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 336 (next | show all)
Martin manages very well to have satisfying volume completion and satisfying character arcs within the volume—slightly less well than in the first book, but still remarkably well considering how difficult it is.
added by Shortride | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Sep 10, 2009)
 
Once again Martin treats us to a magnificent tapestry that is, at once, both stunningly detailed and amazing in its ability to draw the reader into its grasp.
added by Shortride | editSF Site, Wayne MacLaurin (Feb 1, 1999)
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Candeias, JorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dotrice, RoyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
to John and Gail
for all the meat and mead we've shared
First words
The comet's tail spread across the dawn, a red slash that bled above the crags of Dragonstone like a wound in the pink and purple sky.
Quotations
This world is twisted beyond hope, when lowborn smugglers must vouch for the honor of kings.
Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them.
"In a room sits three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. 'Do it,' says the king, 'for I am your lawful ruler.' 'Do it,' says the priest, 'for I command you in the names of the gods.' 'Do it,' says the rich man, 'and all this gold shall be yours.' So tell me--who lives and who dies?"
There's no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.
Some men are like swords, made for fighting. Hang them up and they go to rust.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
In the portuguese edition The Clash of Kings is actually the 3rd book, because the publisher split game of thrones in two books game of thrones and Muralha de Gelo (Wall of Ice)
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Book description
Publisher description for A Clash of Kings;

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.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare. 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.

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment--a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.
Haiku summary
Winter is coming.
who cares? lets kill everyone
valar morghulis

(miketopper)
New guys ev'ry page

Don't even try to keep track

They're going to die

(mazeway)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553579908, Mass Market Paperback)

How does he do it? George R.R. Martin's high fantasy weaves a spell sufficient to seduce even those who vowed never to start a doorstopper fantasy series again (the first book--A Game of Thrones--runs over 700 pages). A Clash of Kings is longer and even more grim, but Martin continues to provide compelling characters in a vividly real world.

The Seven Kingdoms have come apart. Joffrey, Queen Cersei's sadistic son, ascends the Iron Throne following the death of Robert Baratheon, the Usurper, who won it in battle. Queen Cersei's family, the Lannisters, fight to hold it for him. Both the dour Stannis and the charismatic Renly Baratheon, Robert's brothers, also seek the throne. Robb Stark, declared King in the North, battles to avenge his father's execution and retrieve his sister from Joffrey's court. Daenerys, the exiled last heir of the former ruling family, nurtures three dragons and seeks a way home. Meanwhile the Night's Watch, sworn to protect the realm from dangers north of the Wall, dwindle in numbers, even as barbarian forces gather and beings out of legend stalk the Haunted Forest.

Sound complicated? It is, but fine writing makes this a thoroughly satisfying stew of dark magic, complex political intrigue, and horrific bloodshed. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:33 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Five separate factions vie for control of the realm of the late Lord Eddard Stark, while an ancient form of magic, an everlasting winter, and an unearthly army threaten to return.

(summary from another edition)

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