Publisher: Harper Voyager
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders--Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon--who hold 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. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which 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, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
I dove into this second installment of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series without too much of thought because really this series and I - not to mention my favourite TV show Game of Thrones which the series is based on - just cannot disappoint me no matter what happens to some of my favourite characters and it's almost like we are fated star-crossed lovers (as cliche as it sounds) who've only just come to meet. Really we're like that. And, once again, I was right about us being fated because yet again Martin has blown me away by his superb storytelling, his solid characterization, and his almost too realistic-like medieval world, and boy isn't he such a brilliant old chap for making me have all these 'feels' for his series!
So before I begin my actual review, it's very hard to lay out such a complicated storyline and introduce it to newer readers and to you all, but in case I confuse you with some of the details here and there, I'll just get straight down to the characters themselves. The one thing that turns me into such a fangal of the series and gets me into the mode of blabbermouth.
Introducing us to some new and old characters, I think what makes this series so special, so intriguing, and so very unique in every aspect, is how Martin manages to write his characters and how he makes each one of them play a certain part in his storyline. I mean, it is hard enough to write two or three characters in an already heavy-fantasy world let alone SO MANY more of them, but somehow and in some way Martin manages to write them all down and you can still keep track of every single one of them and remember each of their own stories (at least that's how it works for me) and I have to say that takes quite a lot of talent. Usually I would give up on a series such as this one that contains way too many characters because that can bore me from time to time, but Martin does not allow me to do so at any given time of the day when I'm reading one of his books because . . . I just HAVE to be there with his characters. To experience what they're experiencing. To feel what they're feeling in times of war and kingdom politics. It's just one of the quirks in Martin's writing that I cannot help but adore!
This now leads me another favourite thing of mine in this Martin super duper world of his - the different perspectives we get to see through. In each of the chapters going back and forth, we are also introduced to so many characters with their own stories to tell and much like with Martin's talent in writing so many lovable characters - some more ruthless than others - but what I've come to appreciate in Martin's writing alone - apart from its obvious brilliance - is how engaging he is with each character perspective and it only strengthens his world even more because of that. But I have to say there's a huge shout out coming from me when it comes to the perspectives of Ayra, Jon, Sansa and the brilliant but terribly witty Tyrion, whom for me are what keep this series alive. I adore all of the characters for sure, but those four characters I mentioned . . . I love seeing the world through their eyes alone and they are so entertaining too!
Overall, A CLASH OF KINGS was a such a perfect and flawless follow-up to the A Song of Fire and Ice series and offers up a very interesting sequel, making me shake in frustration for wanting the third book as well. It was needless to say so easy to get caught up in Martin's world - both beautiful and breathtaking in its own right - and boy I need more of it!