I’ve been so busy recently with uni work that I haven’t been reading as much per day as I would like to but somehow I still managed to finish A Clash of Kings. It was no easy feat considering the book is pretty chunky – 900 pages long! Reading the novels is helping tide me over till season 7 though so I can’t complain too much! It roughly follows the second season of the show so if you watched the show first then it will add more depth and insight into the characters during those events.
As an avid fan I enjoyed seeing the plots unfold even though I knew what was coming, it was still refreshing to read through the different POV’s of characters and see what they were thinking in iconic moments. I particularly enjoyed reading / seeing through the eyes of Tyrion as he is one of my favourite characters and you can really appreciate how intelligent and masterful he is. He gives Varys and Littlefinger a run for their money in this installment for sure. His relationship with Cersei, is also particularly interesting to read, there is a part where he tries to comfort her when she is crying over losing her daughter Myrcella but is rejected:
“Don’t touch me” she said, wrenching away. It should not have hurt, but it did, more than any slap”. (p. 291)
I found this part really sad and touching in a sense as we see him actually trying to reach out but he is rebuffed, despite his and Cersei’s dysfunctional relationship- HUGE understatement here. Cersei is even more cold and callous than in the tv series, if possible, I love to hate her for sure. We don’t see much of Jaime Lannister aka the Kingslayer in this novel as he is largely held captive by the Starks which was a shame but I loved seeing Brienne introduced as she is another of my favourite characters. Catelyns reaction when she first see’s Brienne, is representative sadly of the kind of world Westeros is, where a womans beauty is regarded first and foremost rather than her personality or other skills.
Pity filled Catelyn’s heart. Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman? (p.312)
Another POV I found interesting was that of Theon Greyjoy. We see his thoughts behind the invasion of Winterfell and why he decides to betray the Starks – the only family he has ever really known. This part really got to me, especially since Theon and Robb were best friends, more like brothers in fact and this betrayal has so many repercussions, both for Theon personally…as we’ll come to find out as well as the Starks.
Overall I would say that although Kings moves slightly slower than the first novel it’s just as immersive and interesting, it just takes more time setting up stories and expanding on characters. Something which is of course necessary but can be tedious for a reader at times. If you’re looking for a fast paced story, this particular installment isn’t for you, this one is all about characterisation and development of what book 1 set up.
I am looking forward to reading the next in the series even though I am fully prepared to throw my book across the room at a certain wedding. If you know, you know. Or if you’re like Jon Snow you know nothing. If you’ve never read or seen Game of Thrones, then I would really recommend it. It can be quite crude, violent and really complex but don’t let that put you off because the payoff is definitely worth it.
Until next time,
7 thoughts on “A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin”
Here’s to hoping George R.R Martin actually gets to finish this series. There are a few fantasy series that have been left without an ending. David Gerrold’s War Against the Chtorr is a perfect example of that. The series went on for 4 books before stopping without resolution. The 5th book has been “in progress” for over a decade now.
I know right? I would hate to never really get a conclusive ending or some closure to ASOIAF. I’ve never heard of that series but that sounds so frustrating, at least it’s ‘in progress’ rather than no news at all but difficult if you’re a fan! x
Great review but in all honesty, the Game of Thrones books absolutely terrify me and I do take my metaphorical hat off to anyone who’s read them! I haven’t watched the season yet, either. Despite hearing SO many good things about it. The books are just SO long and they seem so complicated. I would like to give it a go one day but it’ll take up a lot of courage. They seem like a HUGE commitment! ❤
Thank you! They certainly do take a lot of commitment but it’s worth it haha, they are massive though so it takes time. I’d suggest watching the show first to ease into the series! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 💜
Great review! I have to admit I haven’t read the books and have just watched the series, but I would love to read through them as I have heard that they are quite different! xx
Sophia x http://sophiawhitham.co.uk
Thank you! I started out with the show as well but recently decided to start the books and they’re just as good (: definitely give them a try as some details are different as you said! xo
OMG as soon as I saw the title of this post I got so excited! I’ll be interested to see what you think of Cersei in the later books, too. I’ve been rereading them as well to fill in the gap between the end of Season 6 and July 16, and it’s been really neat for me to see how much the show has influenced what I picture while reading.
I’d love to see a Tyrion-Littlefinger-Varys showdown! The three of them are such magnificent characters in their own (often unsavory) ways!