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A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire,…

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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17,77237597 (4.35)494
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, Currently reading

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

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English (356)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (375)
Showing 1-5 of 356 (next | show all)
War! The inevitable result of when five men start wearing gold on their brow is “A Clash of Kings” the second book in George R.R. Martin’s epic series A Song of Ice and Fire. After the conclusion of the first book, readers knew things were not going to go as previous fantasy books had gone and were right to expect the unexpected.

Not pulling any punches from the start, Martin once against kills off a character in the prologue but not without introducing three important characters to the overall story who are on the island of Dragonstone. With the Lannister’s backing Joffrey’s claim to the Iron Throne and Robb Stark uniting the North and Riverlands in an independence movement, King Robert’s brothers both declare themselves their brother’s heir. The Baratheon brothers involvement bring about the next bit of magic encountered in the series and pushes towards the book’s big climax in the Battle of the Blackwater which is set up by Tyrion Lannister’s time as Hand of the King for his nephew while battling the “establishment” unlike Ned Stark had been able to do.

However the events in the south aren’t the only game changing events, Theon turns against Robb and takes Winterfell in the name of his father only to ultimately fall leaving the North in chaos. Beyond the Wall, Jon ranges and learns about the Wildlings he is charged to fight against then switches sides. In Essos, Daenerys’ leads her small khalasar through harsh desert to the city of Qarth where she finds empty words and disturbing prophecies before deciding it time to take her growing dragons towards the West.

“A Clash of Kings” finds Westeros torn into pieces with fighting happening everywhere while no knowing the danger gathering beyond the Wall. The political intrigue, growing power of magic, and combat are in abundance as well as revelations of the past adding to the overall tapestry that George R.R. Martin created in the second book of his fantasy epic. After finishing, the reader will wonder what will happen the storm really hits the fan. ( )
  mattries37315 | Nov 9, 2015 |
I definitely underestimated A Clash of Kings the first time around. ( )
  FourOfFiveWits | Oct 26, 2015 |
The re-read, continued. Biff! Pow! Bang! Hack! Slash! Arrrrrgle. These are spoilers. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |

First and foremost, my note of advice for anyone who wishes to embark on the beautiful journey that is reading A Song of Ice and Fire. Buy every tissue box in your general area. Because you are really going to need them. George R.R. Martin (fondly referred to as GrrM online) holds no qualms with killing off major characters, as we saw at the end of A Game of Thrones.
I'm going to try to be a spoiler free as possible, so i probably won't talk about the plot as much because doing so would unleash a floodgate worth of spoilers. Instead I'll try to concentrate on the fantastic characters that we are given this time around.
This book switches point of views from Daenerys Targaryen, the Khaleesi Queen with her three dragons - to Jon Snow, the bastard Stark on the wall - to Arya Stark on the run from the Lannisters - to Sansa Stark who is held hostage at King's Landing - to Bran Stark, a cripple and the last Stark in Winterfell (aside from Rickon) as Robb rides off to war - to Catelyn Stark, a grieving woman who just wants to keep her children close - to Tyrion Lannister as he attempts to fix the many problems caused by his nephew on the throne, Joffrey - and the latest addition are chapters in Theon Greyjoy's point of view as he is finally free from the Starks hold and returns to the Iron Islands as well as Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight who swears fealty to Stannis Baratheon.
I was told by a friend who'd read all the books so far in the series to just never get attached to any of the characters because inevitably you are going to end up regretting it. As i said, GrrM will kill literally anyone for the sake of the plot. And what a plot it is. In the second instalment in A Song of Ice and Fire chaos rules Westeros. What with Robb Stark appointed King in the North, Joffrey on the iron throne in King's Landing, Renly Baratheon naming himself king, and Stannis Baratheon coming to claim his rightful throne. One king is bad enough, but to have four is madness. Summer has ended and War has come to Westeros.
The problem with attempting to not become attached to the characters is that inevitably, no matter what, you do in the end. Because GrrM writes his characters with such depth that you come to know them inside and out, amid all of their flaws and shortcomings. You see the good and the bad in every character and in the end it makes you love them even more. There are very few characters that i can actively say i dislike in this series. Even the ones that you're not supposed to like, i find myself drawn to (Like one Viserys Targaryen in the first book. But alas, what can i say, I'm drawn to unstable antagonists).
What i adored about ACoK is the whole slew of new strong female characters. Anyone that says these books are written for a male audience or that these books have no strong female characters need to go to the corner. Because what we have is not a book full of strong male leads and a few Mary-Sue's. Every female character in this book is an incredibly strong willed woman. There's Arya who has to disguise herself as a boy and flee King's Landing, journeying with the ranger Yoren and his recruits for the Wall (most of whom are criminals and rapists). Sansa, who seems like a spoiled brat at the beginning of the series but has become a strong young lady and in this book fights to keep herself going as a hostage who is regularly tormented and beaten by her betrothed. Catelyn whose eldest son (at 15) is leading an army and she has to be the strong one as her family falls from her grip. Cersei Lannister who, for all her scheming, is probably the strongest woman in the entire series. Dany who lost her husband and nearly all of her khal and yet still has to press on and continue in hope that one day she will return to her homeland. In this book we get new characters like Brienna, a comely sword maiden and Asha Greyjoy, Theon's sister who is a formidable longship captain.
As a girl who is against Mary-Sues of all literary form, i approve of how GrrM portrays women in his series. It's true to the time period but also totally badass. Which is another thing to note, as this is a political fantasy above a sword and sorcery it has an air of realism that would be dampened if he didn't portray women realistically. Does the book have it's share of whores and brothels? Why yes, because hey, those exist and in that relative time period that's pretty normal. Is it true that all the strong characters are nobles or high born? Well, obviously as the story follows the nobles and the highborn (with the exception of Davos, but he is a knight...)
To be frank, I have totally and completely fallen in love with GrrM's world and his writing style. These books are perfectly woven and the story is magnificent. If A Storm of Swords does not come in the mail for me within a matter of days, i might have to cry. I have to know what happens next. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
The Good: The characters in this series continue to amaze me. They are so wonderful. Or horrible, depending. So many secrets, lies, hidden pasts waiting to be uncovered. I never know what was going to be revealed next. The political intrigue plays out in often scandalous fashion. The more I read these books, the more I see the series as primarily historical fiction with a hint of magic thrown in now and again rather than straight high fantasy and that really works for me. A little easier to put down than the last one, but still a very quick read considering the length of the book. Can't stop, have to keep going, have to know what happens next.

The Bad: Thing dragged a little more here than in the first book. There seemed to be a decent amount of unnecessary filler and not as much plot progression as I would have liked for a book of this size. ( )
  TequilaReader | Sep 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 356 (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
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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

New guys ev'ry page

Don't even try to keep track

They're going to die


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)

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