{Review} Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

12 Apr

As read for the Once Upon a Time VI Challenge.

Since the 2nd series of the T.V. show started, I’ve been searching for an English-language version of this book. I found a copy a few days ago and have just finished it.

Blurb (from goodreads)
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.


I’m not going to lie; sometimes when I read longer novels the characters start to get tangled in my head and I have to jot the main ones down. No such problems with Clash of Kings though. Martin’s given each POV character a slightly different way of thinking and speaking. Although I do think that Bran (who’s 9 years old) sounds a lot more mature than he is. Maybe the maturity comes from having to be the Lord of Winterfell in his brother’s absence..

The character whose ‘voice’ I enjoy most is Tyrion Lannister. Before I began this series, I never noticed the extent to which handicapped people are vilified in literature. (OK, so the Hunchback of Notre Dame is one exception, but I’ve never read the book, so he could be very different from Disney’s Quasimodo). In the first book, Tyrion always has a riposte at the ready and ‘reads’ situations and people with ease. In Clash of Kings, he is on form and his character develops beautifully and realistically.

The story itself is very good, although I did wish that there had been a more definite ‘ending’ feel to it. Game of Thrones ended with hosts massing and kings coming out of the woodwork. [spoiler alert] Clash of Kings ended with Bran and Rickon fleeing Winterfell and heading into the unknown. [/end spoiler alert] Whilst it is an ending, it feels more like an open ending that will overlap with the third book in a ‘middle of the series’ way.

Overall If you’re looking for lush descriptions that don’t take over the page, witty dialogue that’s as much bite as it is banter, intelligent characters and a story that glues the reader to the page, this is the book for you.

WNI’s verdict? WIN!


Posted by on April 12, 2012 in 12 in 12, Books, Once Upon a Time VI


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

10 responses to “{Review} Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

  1. Buried In Print

    April 12, 2012 at 15:48

    I have the first book in the series in mind to read for this year’s OUaT; it’s been hanging around the house for years — long enough for the pages to slightly tint — but, as is always the case, hearing other enthusiastic readers talk about the series nudges it up the TBR pile a good bit!

    • wildnightin

      April 24, 2012 at 19:48

      That sounds like a nice copy, is it starting to get that slightly older-book smell? (Hope that doesn’t sound strange…) It’s worth a try, although it does seem to be one of those love-or-loathe books. One of my friends insisted on reading it with a pencil and cutting out ‘swathes of superfluous text’ (her words, not mine) but I liked it as it was.

  2. lynnsbooks

    April 13, 2012 at 23:30

    This series is so good! And yes to Tyrion. So snarky!
    Lynn 😀

    • wildnightin

      April 24, 2012 at 20:02

      😀 Yes, he is a brilliant character. Are you watching the series too? What do you think of the actor who’s playing him?

      • lynnsbooks

        April 25, 2012 at 00:12

        I really like the character playing Tryion (you’re going to tell me you hate him now?) I can’t help myself. He is great in that role. I haven’t actually watches series two yet – I’ve not finished the book and I won’t watch it until I have. Plus, I’ll probably just wait and buy the whole series which is what I did with No.1 – then I can have an epic Game of Thrones tv challenge where I watch all the episodes with virtually no sleep in between.
        Lynn 😀

      • wildnightin

        May 7, 2012 at 18:42

        No! Keep liking Tyrion (unless you decide not to). A Game of Thrones TV challenge sounds really fun. I need to do that as soon as the 2nd series goes on sale. I just hope it won’t clash with my epic LoTR rewatch in November or else I may be a little sleep deprived.. 😀

  3. Sarah

    April 20, 2012 at 01:45

    This book definitely belongs to Tyrion and he shines. I’m glad you enjoyed it and hopefully you’ll read the next. It’s the third one I found the most thrilling, and infuriating, but that’s what makes it my favorite so far.

    • wildnightin

      April 24, 2012 at 20:35

      I completely agree with you- Tyrion owns the third book. I really missed him in book four though. DX Hopefully he’ll appear in the fifth. The third one was the most brilliant of the series, like a roller-coaster in a book. Are you watching the series too?

      • Sarah

        April 25, 2012 at 16:48

        I am watching. I’m behind 2 episodes right now but I’ll catch up soon. I’m really happy with how faithful the series has been with the books.

      • wildnightin

        May 7, 2012 at 18:37

        Yes, the series is wonderfully similar to the books. I really like that Mr Martin has a say in the production of it. I’m one episode behind. DX


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