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A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) (original 1998; edition 2000)

by George R.R. Martin

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17,306365100 (4.35)489
Member:glade1
Title:A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
Authors:George R.R. Martin (Author)
Info:Bantam (2000), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 1040 pages
Collections:Permanent Collection
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, fantasy, Read 2012

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

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» See also 489 mentions

English (347)  Spanish (6)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (365)
Showing 1-5 of 347 (next | show all)
This second instalment in Mr Martin’s Game of Thrones and I am thoroughly engrossed in this series. That’s saying a lot since, as mentioned previously, I am not a huge fantasy fan. I cannot even begin to devise a summary of this book because SO MUCH happens in its pages. Where the first book was the introduction to the lands and it occupants, this one is definitely the “everything goes to hell in a handbasket” instalment. Wars rage, families are splintered, rage rules the day and old debts are settled all in the name of protecting the realm. Danger is at the doorstep and when the people of the realm should be banding together it seems fate is pulling them further and further apart.

Did I mention I am a huge fan of this series now? On to Book 3 …
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Welcome back to some Machiavellian basics: "The only way to keep your people loyal is to make certain they fear you more than they do the enemy."

Okay...maybe it's only a Machiavellian concept from one character...one king. But, as the title suggest, this is a story about a clash of kings, about a clash of different ideologies on how to rule the people. Some may believe that it is only through fear that the people will follow you. Others believe that it is through trust and honesty (where did that get Ned Stark, then, huh); others believe it is through deceit and manipulation. You could still think of many other ways to rule the people. But the question is...do any of them work?

I really enjoyed [b:A Clash of Kings|10572|A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)|George R.R. Martin|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1307734601s/10572.jpg|3272005] because of its intricacy into the world and mind of [a:George R.R. Martin|346732|George R.R. Martin|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1195658637p2/346732.jpg]. He weaves a plot with so many different arcs that sometimes I wish I could just follow one character's story line all the way through. Then maybe go back and read another character's story, knowing full well some of the details of what may happen...but not all the details. With all this complexity, I'm especially excited to find out what will happen in the next book of the series.

"My first rule of war, Cat--never give the enemy his wish."

I want so much for a happy ending to occur for some of these characters, but we're certainly not going to get that this time around. As a reader, I'm not going to get my wish.

What about the characters? There's certainly too many of them to really give a good overview of. But what I can say is that one of my new favorite characters is Tyrion Lannister, I still don't like Sansa Stark, and I hope Arya gets to kick some butt in the next book.

Overall, an excellent book, and definitely a series I would recommend to all those that love a good fantasy series with more than just magic spells and fire breathing dragons. If you want a good political squabble complete with trebuchets and wildfire and direwolves, then this is for you.

And some of my favorite quotes:

"Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less."

"Love is poison. A sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same."

"There are no men like me. There's only me." ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
A Clash of Kings is a great sequel to A Game of Thrones, but I cannot give it 5 stars like its predecessor however. It's very well written and the shifting perspectives and decent chronology aspects never get to bore you as a reader. Nevertheless, halfway the book, I found that most stories and subplots had come to a standstill when literally all kings contending for the realm decided that waiting for the others to attack each other first would be the best strategy. Shortly after Martin took me back in his typical roller coaster and all was well again.

Another mentionable point is that the chapters always end on a very well chosen moment. There are cliffhangers, moral points to decide on and nicely rounded up subplots. This keeps the 1000 pages a treat to read.

I already started in the third book (A Storm of Swords) and really look forward to the remainder of the story! ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
I'll admit to being a little worried when I picked up George R.R. Martin's "A Clash of Kings." I read the first book in the series so long ago that all I could remember was there were characters named Arya and Tyrion and there was a big wall out in the wilderness.

Martin did a great job refreshing my memory without getting into old stories too heavily. I find his characters interesting and their revolving viewpoints work together well.

I'm really not a big reader of fantasy novels, but this series is definitely fun and compelling. I'll definitely continue on with the next book at some point. ( )
  amerynth | May 29, 2015 |
This continues the story begun in book one. It is clearly a book in the middle of a series. It does not stand on its own, but it really is not intended to. Season 2 of the TV series follows this volume fairly closely. The story unfolds, as we follow the various self-declared kings - Renly Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Robb Stark, Joffry Baratheon, Daenerys Targaryen, and Mance Rayder, viewed through the stories of Sansa, Arya, Tyrion, Catelyn, Jon Snow, Davros, Daenerys, Bran, and Theon. ( )
  EowynA | May 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 347 (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)
Publisher's editors
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:51 -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)

» see all 11 descriptions

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