Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Clash of Kings ~ George R.R. Martin

This is a review of the second book in George R.R. Martin's famed series, A Song of Ice and Fire.  If you missed it, you can check out my review of the first book, A Game of Thrones as well.

So, remember how after reading A Game of Thrones, I was all pshaw, you crazy fans are making much ado about nothing because this is not really all that awesome?  I officially retract those words.

I finally got my life back sometime after breakfast this morning.  For the past week, I have done little else other than eat, sleep, and read A Clash of Kings.  I don't know what it is, but this book clicked for me in a way that Games of Thrones did not.  The writing seemed better (or at least less distracting), I had more of an investment in the characters and the plot, and I just couldn't put the thing down.  Martin does a really good job of building tension - hundreds of pages worth of tension, which just kept me hooked because ohmygod who will the king be?!

I need to devote some of this post to talking about my favorite characters and their progress (who I'm realizing now are all the kids...interesting):

Daenerys Stormborn: First off, I was pissed when Dany didn't show up until page 187 and even more so when she only had five chapters.  I mean, what is that?  I was relieved that she hadn't completely lost at based on the last time we saw her.  A brave, admirable female character who may be too obsessed with lineage for my taste, but is also justified in her wishes.  I thought the chapter with the Undying Ones was especially good

Jon Snow: I'm SO happy Martin has laid off of all the bastard talk.  And oh man, what he does at the end of the novel??  SO unexpected and kickass and I can't wait to see how that all turns out.

Arya Stark: This little girl is SO AWESOME.  She is brave and smart (but still makes mistakes) and doesn't try to fall back on her birth.  She gets shit done and keeps herself safe, which is more than a lot of people can cay in this world that Martin has created.

Bran Stark: I thought the switch from dreams as a crow to dreams as a wolf was a bit odd and indicated some mind-changing on Martin's part, but I quickly forgot that when I realized what was going on.  And then when the thing happens (you know what I'm talking about and if you don't, you'll be glad I didn't say), I was so angry.  But then it works out and I was so relieved.

Sansa Stark: So I know that before I was all complaining about Sansa being a total moron, but she's starting to grow on me.  She clearly doesn't have her sister's bravery, but she is starting to show some strength, which I admire.  She may be sitting in the lap of luxury, but she does have her trials and, like Arya, is at least managing to take care of herself.

Okay, I could probably go on all day about how obsessed I have become with this series, but after a week of compulsively reading its 1000 pages, I think I need to get back to real life.  Or at least NaNoWriMo, which I have been shamefully neglecting (currently at 140/50,000 words... I know).  I'll be waiting until winter break to read A Storm of Swords, otherwise I'll be risking failing my third semester of grad school.

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