Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Clash of Kings Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   I took way too long in finishing it, but in my defense my classes are intense, summer terms generally are. It's been a little over a month since I finished A Game of Thrones, so I think it's time that I start the next one. I've started and completed two other series and I feel like I've neglected my child too much. Ergo, A Clash of Kings. This will be my last summer read and I wanted to end on a good note since I know I'm going to love this book. George R.R. Martin, please don't let me down. The synopsis is provided by Goodreads:

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over and 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, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. 

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

This is the second book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

(safe for those who haven't read this book)
   What I particularly loved about this book has to be the fact that it began to intertwine elements of fantasy I think makes the genre. Which is magic! The supernatural. Monsters. Spirits! All that jazz. And as you know from the end of the first book-- dragons!
   After the emotional ride of the first book, I wasn't expecting anything less in this one. Death, betrayal, secrets, this book may be probably more emotional. While I read this over the course of about two weeks, I had to come back and forth on the stories, but still whenever something happened-- which is almost every chapter-- I'd be just as anxious as to find out how the conflict would be resolved. 
   However there were some things that bothered me, the pacing being one of them. While I still enjoyed every chapter, there were a bunch of times I would put the book aside because I didn't feel the story going anywhere. Well, that's the wrong phrase, I felt that I couldn't quite picture what was happening so I mindlessly read over words. These moments were particularly the battle scenes and those scenes in the north with Jon Snow. Another sad point, while I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters of Jon in A Game of Thrones, in this book I felt some of his chapters incredibly hard to get through. 
   And about the ending, it wasn't as climatic I felt as the first book because that ending was really shocking, this one was just a nice ending. It's a nice set-up for the next book.
   I feel a little rusty when writing reviews so I can't find much else to say. Or maybe I wrote down most of my feelings overall about the series I can't say much else without sounding redundant. Sorry! 
   But yes, great story. Many amazing moments in this book and while I wish I could start the next one immediately, I have other books to read. Maybe in a month or so! :)

I give this book 4.5/5 stars. I would've given it five stars however the pacing was a little bit inconstant.

Author's Quote:
"Where were the gods then? The gods don't care about men, no more than kings care about peasants."
Brienne, A Clash of Kings

"You've ended that. I will hurt you for this. I don't know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
-Tyrion, George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
The Diviners by Libba Bray

River Song Spoiler's:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   Saddest death in this book? In my opinion, as all reviews generally tend to be, has to be Bran and Rickon. It was the saddest death until it was revealed that they weren't! If you're reading this and you haven't read this book, shame! Now I ruined it for you. But other than that, I argue the saddest death was Yoren of the Night's Watch. Renly and Stannis didn't really hold me with an respect so with them out of the picture, it'll help to concentrate the war between Robb and Joffrey. Which by the way-- how is he still on the throne?
  The Hound, aka Sandor Clegane, I really began to notice had a soft spot for Sansa probably near the beginning, though he saved her or at least pitied her plenty throughout. I really want to see how the Hound makes his appearance. And while I enjoyed the chapters with Sansa, I hope in the next book she puts up more of a fight, because as of late the submissive nature gets a little boring and predictable.
   Arya is great, I'd have to say other than Tyrion Lannister, she's my favorite character. I believe I said that in my last review but it still holds true in this book. She's a perfect example of a multi-dimensional character. She makes mistakes and she's eager to learn and make her house proud. And she's driven to get home. How could you not admire that?
   Tyrion Lannister has a incredibly tough life, and that ending-- with him awakening to discover he's bedridden by injuries, some of which take his already grotesque face to a higher level of disgrace, I'm curious to read how Tyrion fares in A Storm of Swords. Will he be able to return to Shae? How will his father treat him? Or even more importantly, what does Cersei plan to do with him now that her father's there? Especially after he poisoned her, we'll see if she discovers that.
   How Robb continues to win these battles really baffles me. And this is probably since we never hear the story from his perspective, but how? When reading through Catelyn's POV we learn how he's backed by other people like the Freys and others in the north, but I would just assume that the Lannisters would win since they're the rich ones. That's how stories usually go. The bad win all the battles while good wins the war at the end. Thank you George for not following that guideline.
    I'm a little disappointed in the Daenerys chapters. While all the magic and dragons and spirits mainly happened in her travels, I loved that, but she just seemed to be all talk and no action. She spoke big-- and who wouldn't with three dragons on her back-- I mean not only are they terrifying creatures but they're incredibly rare and precious, I'd probably lower my eyes to her as well. In the beginning of the series I admired her, but now I just see her as a kinder version of her brother Viseyrs. She goes to the wealthy, begging and speaking pleasantries to her advantage. Not only is she in her prime and beautiful, but she has three dragons that only she can tame, she doesn't seem at least a little manipulative? I mean, while I didn't want her to marry Xaro Xhoan Daxos, like what was she expecting him to do? Give her whatever she wanted for free?? Her queenhood is really getting to her head. Not only is she an ex-queen since her husband has died, but she claims to be the true ruler of Westeros-- a land far across the sea and expects these people on the other side of the sea to just openly help her. I mean, she hardly even has a following-- about 100 khalasar and three dragons and an old exiled knight. She's led a rough life I'll admit, but she should actually do something about her situation instead of moan and complain. She's only 14 anyhow.
    And Jon Snow. That ending seriously, I'm so excited to read his chapters in the next book now. He's rebellious again like he was in the first book. He's going to be undercover with these wildlings and try to discover what he can that will help the Night's Watch. So yes, very excited.

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel


  1. i really need to get back into this series. Read up through the fourth book, and then went back and only reread Game of Thrones.

    LOL, I LOVE that you reference River Song in your spoiler section, that is absolutely brilliant! Keep up the great book blogging!

    1. I need to get back into this series too, it's been a couple weeks.
      And I'm glad someone likes the River Song reference, I've been asked what it means more times than I would like, haha.
      But thank you so much, I will! :)