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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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16,181342109 (4.35)468
Member:j7s7n
Title:A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Bantam (2000), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 1040 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:finished, finished 2012, fiction, fiction 2012

Work details

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

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English (323)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  All languages (341)
Showing 1-5 of 323 (next | show all)
In a sense it is of course quite difficult to review the books in this series individually as they are parts of one mega long continuous narrative. However, I would say I didn't enjoy this second book quite as much as the first, and the plot seemed to be treading water in parts around the middle, though the final chapters picked up. Also some of the point of view contributions seemed superfluous, especially those of Daenarys Targaryen. There are some dramatic passages and shocking deaths or apparent deaths (no spoilers). I'll certainly continue reading the series, though feel no urge at the moment to leave gaps shorter than a few months between each one - the appendices of Houses and characters at the end of each volume are an aide memoire to the reader in catching up. ( )
  john257hopper | Sep 3, 2014 |
Dreadful! I absolutely CANNOT fathom peoples' giving this series such glowing reviews! ( )
1 vote janerawoof | Aug 27, 2014 |
Well, there is not much to say about this book. Really. If you liked the first book, you'll like this one. If you didn't... well, you might or might not like this one. The writing style, fortunately or not, remains the same (and personally, I have no problems with Martin's writing style). In this book you'll find the exact same elements that made the first book so good: political intrigues, betrayal, epic fights and some magic.
There are two new points of view in this book (and this may be a spoiler, so you might not want to read what I'm about to say): Davos, who will show you the story on Stannis Baratheon's point of view, and Theon Greyjoy, who no longer follows Robb Stark and chose to be on his own side.
One of the things that I liked about this book is that the character are actually growing more mature. It is a slow and painful process, yet everything is quite enjoyable. I got to like several characters I couldn't stand, like Catelyn and Sansa Stark. Some points of view are slightly boring at the beginning, but as the action goes on, their story arcs becomes very interesting. ( )
1 vote aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
This review is going to be brief, because really...? What is there to say? It's more of the same excellent writing that follows on from "A Game of Thrones."

Presumably you're only reading this review because you've read the first book. If you didn't like the first one then don't bother with this one. It's more of the same.

BUT if you read and loved the first book, then you need to read this one, because it's more of the same.

I fall into the second camp.
Love this series. ( )
  JohnEKerry | Aug 20, 2014 |
A Clash of Kings picks up right where A Game of Thrones left off. Now Westeros in the midst of war. And everyone is trying to survive.

I'm enjoying this sweeping epic of survival and battle, of secrets, lies, and betrayal. Trying to guess who'll die next. The characters are growing on me. They're complex, complicated, filled with greys and contradictions. And there's the mystery of the direwolves unfolding.

AHEAD BE SPOILERS!

At the opening of the book, I wanted Bran to be king. Love Bran. He'd make a great king. Then I wanted Jon to be king. I think I still do. I think this means these two are my favorite characters. Though I do love Arya's character as well.

I was hoping Catelyn's character would have more of a role in this installment. In the first, she was a bit on the sidelines, the mother, the wife. She did affect the storyline with her kidnapping of Tyrion, and she has had a more important role since. She works hard to balance her relationship with her son now that he's king, but she is still the mother, the daughter, the sister. When she went south, she did have a hand in things, and she made all the difference for Brienne, but still, she feels like a secondary character where she could be so much more. But she keeps losing and losing -- what will she become if she has nothing left to lose?

I wonder about the girls, Arya and Sansa. After all they've gone through, who will they be when it's all over? How will their relationship with each other have changed? They are not the same people who left Winterfell. Not even the same as who they were when they last saw each other. Sansa is learning to lie better, to trust no one. Arya is learning to hold her tongue, to hide herself. If they survive, they might not recognize each other.

Tyrion is a puzzle. I can't determine if he's in fact good at heart or as bad as the rest. Likely something in between. He tries to play both sides, so he'll hopefully end up on the winning side. His overall plan is not to do what's right, but to protect his family, though he's concerned first for himself. He wishes his sister dead - because he thinks she's evil or otherwise? - but she's his sister, so he won't kill her -- not out of any sense of guilt or wrongness, but because he'd be cursed. Yet he has honor the others don't have and tries to bring some of that to the court.

The end actually brought me some relief. A well-deserved end for Theon - grr! - and to see Bran with his third eye open, and he and his companions safe, well, can't say the author only lives off our misery. Now if only his mother would know he and his brother are alive!

I can't wait to see what the next book brings for these characters. This one ended with much more of a cliffhanger, with Jon taken, Bran and company splitting off, Sansa waiting for escape, and Arya having just ran off. Oh, and Tyrion badly injured. I guess the only resolution we get is the war ending. But the Lannisters are still in power. And that will not do.

Just wait till they all find out the comet really does mean Dragons. Everything is going to change when Dany makes it to Westeros. ( )
  monica67 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 323 (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 (21 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
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
to John and Gail
for all the meat and mead we've shared
First words
La cola del cometa rasgaba el amanecer; era una brecha roja que sangraba sobre los riscos de Rocadragón como una herida en el cielo rosa y púrpura.
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 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)

» see all 11 descriptions

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