By: George R. R. Martin
Published: March 1999
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire
Genre: Medieval Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
A Clash of Kings is the second installment of the Bestselling series A Song of Ice and Fire and picks up where the first book left off. After the death of their father, Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell, the Stark children are trying to survive. His eldest, Robb has proclaimed himself King of the North, leading a war against the Lannisters; Arya is on the run, trying to get back to Winterfell; Sansa is trapped in Kings Landing, under the eyes of the court, a prisoner; and Bran and Rickon are holding down the fort in Winterfell, the new Princes of the North. Elsewhere across the sea, the usurped heir to the throne, Deanerys Thargareon, the mother of dragons, continues to travel, looking for a way to get back her throne. The Iron Throne is the most sought after object in the land, and the kings will battle whoever stands in their way to achieving it.
An amazing novel. This is a novel that effortlessly creates a realm bringing to life a rich story. The story is about survival, about a throne, about characters who are trying to right a wrong, whether it being the true king or queen, or whether it be a life unfairly taken. It’s hard to imagine that the events of this novel only happen within a few months, capturing so much detail and story within the pages.
Martin has a way of putting so much detail onto a page, giving the reader amazing scene specifics. Each scene is rich with detail letting us know the conditions of where the characters are while also putting the reader in the scene. And as the narration changes and the scenes changes, the flow is perfectly done. Even though the narrations will go from one character to another in a completely different setting, it moves perfectly because the war, the overlapping story ties everything together perfectly. What one character may be suspecting, one may hear from traveling news, another character will be experiencing.
All of the characters have amazing growth from not just the first book, but from the beginning of this book to the very ending. Arya is one of the characters that has to endure so much, and where fear grips others, she forces her fear to become her strength, making her a very strong character. Although the male characters have it easier, they bring a lot to the pages, especially Tyrion, who is by far, the most charismatic and brilliant character. The way he undermines and suspects his sister at every turn, while at the same time creating his own plots to survive is genius and makes his one of the more likable characters in the novel. Sansa Stark often appears to be the weakest of the characters, lacking both spine and will, but with the circumstances that she has to endure, a hostage and betrothed to one of the most wicked characters, she has the strongest will to survive the plots and devious plans of the royal court. In my book, that makes her one of the strongest of characters. ★★★★☆ (A+)