George R. R. Martin delivers another wonderful epic story in A Song of Fire and Ice series. Totally captivating...keeps you guessing...can't wait to read the next book in the series!!
Wait until he finishes the series before buying
The first three books where with out a doubt some of the best Fantasy writing I have ever read.
I mean 'Lord of the Rings' good, I will re-read them every couple of years, great!
But George has broken trust, the trust established between an author and reader of Epic Fantasy, I buy your books and you continue to write the story. I bought the books George! Now it has been 5 years, many excuses and broken promises later and still no book 5 is forth coming. I would recommend that we all wait for him to finish the series and then buy the books
I also now have a bigger worry, now with the HBO series coming out, will George give in to the temptation to write with an eye toward HBO picking up the entire series.
A Clash of Kings is the excellent second book in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. This installment was very enjoyable for me. The book is long. It reaches nearly a thousand pages. Despite its length it does not seem to drag on as much as A Game of Thrones, the first installment of the series. The only drawback to the length of the book is that, by the end of the book, the reader tends to forget whether certain events happened in the first book or in the beginning of this one.
Martin is a very talented writer. His work is descriptive and is very in-tune with the medieval world that it is so obviously styled after. The characters, though many in number, are well-developed. Several characters become more likeable in A Clash of Kings because they have had more in-depth story lines and have been allowed to grow past what we saw in the first book. Martin's strength is his ability to write this fantasy epic as if it were a true history, weaving different story lines together to form a more realistic time and place.
I would recommend this series to any fan of fantasy novels or historical fiction centered around medieval Europe. However, this recommendation does come with a warning. There are currently four books out in this series of what is said to eventually be seven. It has been five years since the last installment was published and the release date for book five keeps getting pushed back.
This second book in George RR Martin's beyond-epic series is by turns frustrating and highly rewarding. Like the first book, the story is divided amongst the third-person POV of several major characters, most of them Starks of Winterfell. But unlike the first book, this time the structure detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I was so eager to find out what would happen next in one storyline that I couldn't stop myself from skipping forward several times in order to see what happened next. The characters propelled me along so effectively that I was more than halfway through the book before I realized how little was truly happening. Characters are developed, but in terms of major PLOT developments, most of what happens to these people can be summed up in one or two sentences. The Daenerys story is particularly disappointing after her stunning final scene in the first book. She does get another great final scene here, but everything leading up to it is straight-up BORING.
I will say this for Martin -- it's very realistic fantasy. The story is not just non-stop action. But the problem is that when there ARE good action scenes, we usually hear about them second-hand, or from the POV of someone who isn't directly involved, and witnesses it from afar. Martin's strange decision to omit Robb Stark as a POV character means that we are not truly present for any of his spectacular battles. I guess Martin wanted to save his juice for the massive naval and land battle at the end. It IS an epic scene, totally unlike any I've ever read before, but a few earlier battle sequences wouldn't have given me any battle fatigue. He writes them so lucidly that they simply whet the appetite for more.
The main thing that did fatigue me is how tiresome the Starks became. They always make horrible choices that lead to some calamity or fail to act when opportunity presents itself. Time and again, it crossed my mind that maybe they aren't supposed to be the heroes of this story after all. But it's Martin's world and there are no rules -- just tons of rape, tons of characters and (eventually) tons of action. It's an excellent companion to A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1), but does not stand as well on its own as the first book does. At this point, it is abundantly clear that what you're reading is just one part of a gigantic story, and it becomes imperative to pick up the next volume immediately after putting this one down. Martin's fond of his cliff hangers. So I suggest that you have it handy. Then take a deep breath, and plunge in. As long as you hang in there for the slower sections, the ending is well worth the wait.
Unlike the first book in the series, A Clash of Kings did not make me race to read the next book in the series. While I had a difficult time putting the book down and was endlessly intrigued by the plot, on the whole the book was very dark and depressing compared to the first.
Here is the second volume in GEORGE R. R. MARTIN?S magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, GEORGE R. R. MARTIN?S stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
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.