And it did.
A Clash Of Kings by George R.R. Martin.
If you find spoilers in this paragraph, I’m sorry, but I can’t help it. It is hard to put in words the brilliance of the sequel without giving out some of the story. Anyways, I’ll do my best. The book picks up right where A Game Of Thrones stops. Robert’s son, Joffrey Baratheon, is now the King. Robb Stark declares himself the King Of The North. Robert’s brothers, Stannis and Renly all claim the throne of Westeros, and are now a threat to Joffrey. Theon Greyjoy gets to meet his family, and Daenerys Targaryen travels east with her three most prized possessions and her followers travel east in the hope of raising an army strong enough to conquer the seven kingdoms.
There are 9 characters through whose eyes the story is told. Obviously, this book is a little more twisted than the first one. The storyline is complicated, and it might become a little difficult to understand what exactly is happening. Theon Greyjoy and the Onion Knight are added to the narrative, and this gives rise to the story being told from the point of two kingdoms whose existence is ignored in the first book. Like in the first book, this works wonders.
I’ll just admit this. By the end of the first book, Tyrion Lannister was not exactly my favorite. He was interesting, definitely, and incredibly important to the story. But here, he is the highlight of the book, and he was the one I connected with. His narrative provides the book with some amazing dry humor and some incredible mind games. Personally, I loved the parts which involved Tyrion with Varys and Littlefinger, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the book was difficult to read. But the maturity with which Tyrion handles himself, the reader will find most of the other characters, including Theon and Daenerys, acting childish and predictable, which is what I think GRRM wanted to do, because Tyrion and Davos have the most unpredictable storylines.
I’ve been told the story is slow, but it didn’t matter. The narrative characters are firmly in this book, and the story moves ahead without any hitch. Anyways, ‘slow’ is not the proper term. ‘long’ is. The book is about 1000 pages, and it seems even longer when you are reading it on a Kindle. This book has intrigued me so much that I’ve decided to drop the two other series I’m reading and start A Storm Of Swords tomorrow morning.
Talking about the writing. I don’t think there is anything to discuss here. GRRM crafts the story wonderfully. The multiple point-of-view structured narrative is presented in a way that you’d want to read and relish the experience again and again. There are lines in the book, which are so well crafted that it almost sounds poetic. While some make perfect sense, some are so deceivingly written that you’ll find solace only when you are satisfied with a meaning after analysing all possibilities or when GRRM explains it to you later on in the book.
“Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them.”
“Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”
That second line. I can’t even begin to describe how much sense it makes.
Like the first book, this book is also deeply rooted into realism. Every single chapter that talks about war strategies and the war itself is a brilliant example of the realism I so love and hope for in the coming books. The mad, what-the-hell ending of the first book brings about the first mythical part of the story, and it is excellently managed here. To weave something supernatural with a world that closely resembles ours is no small achievement.
This is one great book, and I cannot emphasize in words how awesome it is. I’ll not give it a 5, just because I’m hoping the next ones will surpass this.
Rating: 4.5 / 5.