Customer Reviews for

A Clash of Kings (HBO Tie-in Edition) (A Song of Ice and Fire #2)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

47 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

Complicated, Intense and Absolutely Epic

Many editorial reviews of book (or movie) sequels claim that the second is as good as, or better than, the original. I read the same thing about "A Clash of Kings", George R.R. Martin's sequel to "A Game of Thrones". I was a bit skeptical, I mean...how can one not quest...
Many editorial reviews of book (or movie) sequels claim that the second is as good as, or better than, the original. I read the same thing about "A Clash of Kings", George R.R. Martin's sequel to "A Game of Thrones". I was a bit skeptical, I mean...how can one not question whether Martin could duplicate what he accomplished in the first novel, let alone better it. "Thrones" is magnificently expansive and epic...how could book 2 match the energy and intensity?

Martin absolutely knocked the ball out of the park with "Clash". I don't know if it's better than "Thrones", but it's easily its equal. He takes the core set of surviving characters (Arya, Sansa, Bran, Catelyn, Jon, Cersei and the wonderfully rich Tyrion), and picks up almost immediately where "Thrones" left off. And I don't just mean in terms of plot, but also in building out his fantastic world of intrigue, adventure and politics.

"Clash" is complicated, intense and absolutely epic. It sprawls majestically over a widely varied physical and literary landscape. The politics within the plot, focused on four Kings battling over a land that's used to having only one, are intricate, but not difficult to follow. Martin's writing is clear, his dialogue is smooth and the interplay between characters is enjoyable and completely in sync with the overall tone and 'place' of the story. The book is very serious and heavy - at about 1,000 pages, the book is actually heavy, but I love the weightiness, with corresponding depth, of the story.

Like "Thrones", there's not a ton of fantasy in "Clash". It's very middle-ages-historical-fiction with a tinge of supernatural. There's more fantasy in this book than in the first, though, and it feels like it'll build into much more for the third book. There are dragons, but they set up a certain tone and act more as a plot device than anything else. There's no fire-breathing and attacking and destroying. There's further development around Bran's supernatural connection with his direwolf Summer, and we see that the bastard Stark, Jon, has a bit of the gift as well. There are a few more fantastical devices scattered throughout the book, which Martin develops slowly through his world's mythology rather than hammering in a slew of de facto dungeons & dragons.

The characters are Martin's true accomplishment. He feeds off a character's strengths and deficiencies, and each one is perfectly human and in some way relate-able. Individuals-as-'outsiders', is the base upon which the best characters are built. And he uses that foundation frequently. Tyrion, the dwarf prince, has become one of my favorite and most memorable characters in the series, and perhaps one of the most well-developed characters in any popular fiction. He's witty and smart, and sometimes obnoxiously flip. But his deep-seated insecurities which evolve slowly over the course of both of the first books make his chapters the most anticipated. Arya develops into a wonderfully three dimensional character as the tomboy princess cut off from her family, trying to survive and find a way back home. Sansa's princess-ly arrogance dissipates under the strain of trying to survive as a hostage, and finds friends in very un-princess-ly places.

I'm looking forward to seeing HBO's creation of Martin's world of Ice and Fire coming this spring. Until then, I'll start digging into book 3 - "A Storm of S

posted by JGolomb on February 3, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Made me want to kill myself...

500 pages into it and still nothing had happened. 600...nothing. 700...nothing. Oh, don't get me wrong, there were exceptional, page-long descriptions of what was being served at the banquet and what the uniforms of the royal guard looked like (and people thought Tolkie...
500 pages into it and still nothing had happened. 600...nothing. 700...nothing. Oh, don't get me wrong, there were exceptional, page-long descriptions of what was being served at the banquet and what the uniforms of the royal guard looked like (and people thought Tolkien was long-winded). 800...nothing. 900...wow, some action! 975...end of book... If you're into this kind of story, lots of politcal intrigue and would-be kings manuvering into position, then this book is for you. Martin is a good enough writer that he'll keep you moving through the story, but I ended up skimming lots of paragraphs just to get to the end. If you like action - ANY action - then head somewhere else. Side note: I try not to buy hardbacks as I read just way too much to spend $30.00 a pop. I read Martin's first book of this series in Sep. of 1997 and had to wait THREE YEARS for the next! What a joke! (Book 2 came out in hardback in Feb. 99 and the paperback was released in Sep 00 - a year and a half after the hardback, and 3 years after the first paperback!) The book has so many characters that you constantly flip to the appendixes to see who's who, and we're supposed to remember them all from 3 years ago...right! Tell you what...I'm not waiting around for another 3 years. See ya later, Mr. Martin.

posted by Anonymous on December 13, 2000

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Page 3 of 156
  • Posted July 15, 2013

    A real page turner!

    Very mysterious book with lots of unexpected plot twists. Martin keeps you guessing and always does things unexpected. The strongest part of this book is definitely the wide range of viewpoints working together to create one coherent narrative. This book is quite graphic at times so it may not be appropriate for some readers. Also, although this is a fantasy series, this particular book does not have a great deal of magic, mythic creatures etc. That being said, I would still recommend this book to someone looking for a compelling read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    Love this series

    This series is one of the best i have ever read. The character development is great. You really develop such strong emotions for these characters, be it hate or love. Can't wait to read book #3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2013

    Loved It

    I came late to the Song of Ice and Fire series so I have read these books back to back - they are all amazing. I hope they continue on for a long time.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    highly recommended

    I loved this series and read them all in 3 weeks!! A fabulous story and cast of characters. I am waiting for book #6.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    So Good!

    As I keep reading this series I fall in love with certain characters and not so much with others. I didn't think this book was as good as the 1st one, but since I fell in love with certain characters and wanted to know what would happen to them so badly, the book urged me on. On to book 3!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Dark

    There are a lot of evil people and evil ideas in his book.

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  • Posted May 21, 2013

    Big fan of the series

    I'm not sure what I can say that doesn't come out as squealing about Tyrion and how awesome he is and holy cow, how much crap does he have to endure?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Loved it

    One of the greatest series ever. Be prepared for a lot of charectors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Gdgj

    ?tu b yufjyyuyucbtu

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    Awesome

    Can't wait to start the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    Great read and season tree is Awesome

    I love seaon three of Game of Thrones and tje books were very good and I tjibk tht the stories and the passion is very good not nasty like an other romance slash passion slash action. Great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Excellent read

    Lovely

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Great series

    Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Games of thrones

    I absolutely love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Extremely fast shipping. Great packaging. No harm to the book. Wonderful experience all around.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Very good

    Very good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    LOVE

    George R. R. Martin renewed my love of reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Great BOOK

    Excellent read, very well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Only a slight disapointment.

    I found "Clash" to be a magnificent read, and I'm not sure if this is a personal proplem, however I found that on my Nook Color device, pages 445 and 446 were cimpletely gone.

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