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Book Review: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

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Old 02-28-2009, 07:05 PM
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Default Book Review: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin


If you are new to the ASOIAF series I suggest you start with "A Game of Thrones" as it is the first one. If you aren't new to the series warn before you give spoilers as I won't be in this review and I am not done with the series yet (just finished clash). I would be willing to discuss anything about the series up to the end of Clash of Kings.

Overview:

ACoK is the second book in the ASOIAF series by George R.R. Martin. I had heard about the series when searching for fantasy books and it caught my interest. I had expected it to be the same as all the other fantasy books out there: An epic quest with a band of heroes but as I read further I was quite surprised. As the titles of the books may suggest (A game of thrones, A clash of kings) this series focuses more on the political aspect of the fantasy realm that not many authors do.

If you are already turned off by the political aspect I beg you to give the series a try. It is by no means bland, in fact I think it has more action than most other books in the genre do just not in the way you would expect. The characters are not slaying orcs every second chapter but the book is written in a way that makes even the smallest actions more intense than slaying a dragon.

It might not be like that in the first few chapters of the book but as you get more into the characters and the plot there will be times when you cringe, laugh, cry or be seething with anger.

Style:

The chapter system in ACoK (and the others in the series) is something you may have never seen before. Each chapter is the name of the character whose POV it is written in. After reading about 10 chapters you will have probably have read from each character that is represented in the book. It cycles between them to the end of the novel. ACoK has a slightly different character cast than the first book but it keeps the main ones.

The book is written in third person with the occasional thought of the character written in italics. When you start reading the book you will come across words like Maester, and Ser: It annoyed me a bit at first but it gives the book some character. Maester has a meaning that you will learn in the book but Ser is just a replacement for Sir when addressing a knight.

The book progresses at a satisfying pace but sometimes you'll be reading a certain characters chapter when you are starving to know what is happening to another character. This can be annoying at times and sometimes it just made me close the book but once I started to read the dreaded chapter it revived my interest and my disappointment was forgotten.

Content Warning:

There is violence in this series ofcourse but in my books that is open to any age group. There are some sexual scenes in the book but he doesn't go into painstaking detail like Jack Whyte (Skystone, etc.) does. It is certaintly not written in the erotic style of fiction and in the chapters that it appears it is never the main event.

Other things:

This series is riddled with twists and turns but it is not to the point of unbelievability. Do not expect everything to be rainbows and unicorns because this book is written in a way that not everything goes according to plan (that is not a spoiler btw). There are no pure heroes or pure villains in this book, there are human beings that think, act and react in a believable way. The protagonists and antagonist are different depending on whose perspective you are reading from and who you are personally rooting for.

Verdict:

Do not read this book unless you want to stay up till 3 a.m. and have a new addiction. I give thumbs up to renting this from the library as well as buying it if you want to add a book to your collection.

Mr.Gryn

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Old 03-03-2009, 11:28 AM
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Haha, I like that you shorten the title by calling it ACoK.

Anyways, sounds like a pretty cool series!
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Val Jester View Post
Haha, I like that you shorten the title by calling it ACoK.

Anyways, sounds like a pretty cool series!
Yeah, ACoK pronounced ay see oh kay lol. I highly recommend this series though, it is the best one I have read.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:58 PM
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ACoK. ahahahahaha! Awesome.

Anyway, I've never read Martin before, but I hear he has a habit of killing off characters just because he likes to keep readers on their toes. I've also heard he's a very gloomy writer, very dark, so it's no surprise that his opus would be as brutal and un-rainbow-ending-ish as the rest of his work.

I'm not a big fantasy fan. I hated Lord of the Rings (awaits salvo of knives and bullets and hardcover copies of Return of the King), but I think I might give GRRM a shot. I've heard nothing but good things about him, and your review makes it sound like a good read.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by JBStone View Post
ACoK. ahahahahaha! Awesome.

Anyway, I've never read Martin before, but I hear he has a habit of killing off characters just because he likes to keep readers on their toes. I've also heard he's a very gloomy writer, very dark, so it's no surprise that his opus would be as brutal and un-rainbow-ending-ish as the rest of his work.

I'm not a big fantasy fan. I hated Lord of the Rings (awaits salvo of knives and bullets and hardcover copies of Return of the King), but I think I might give GRRM a shot. I've heard nothing but good things about him, and your review makes it sound like a good read.
Just give this one a chance, he does have a habit of killing off some characters but it is seriously one of the best series I have ever read. It seems less like fantasy than an intense drama (which im usually not into but it is really good, can't explain)
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:30 PM
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Hmm. Maybe a trip to the local Barns $ Noble is in order ($ was intentional).
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:51 PM
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I tried to read the first in this series, but it was a huge and daunting task, and I have a very small attention span when it comes to fantasy. Sometimes I finish it, but most of the time I get bored of it. This one wasn't from boredom, more from the fact I had other books I saw that I had more interest in, which is one of my problems is that I get halfway through a book and because the newest Jack Reacher novel came out, I decide to read that instead and never return to that previous work.
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