Synopsis: Read on Amazon
Author: George R. R. Martin
The first book took a while to read because it was 899 pages, therefore I expected a similar reading experience with the second installment, A Clash of Kings. Boy, was I waaaay off!
First of all, it was a whooping 1000 pages (this varies, depending on the edition you read). Second, it took me three times as long to read. The first book provides gives you the starting point of the world Martin has created for our reading pleasure. The second book is successful in moving the storyline further, only this is much slower than the first. Don’t let that deter you from reading. The truth is, it is a necessary step in the story for the madness that is about to ensue in the third part, A Storm of Swords.
The story continues to focus on three main storylines, one taking place across the Seven Kingdoms, another at The Wall, and the last one in the East. It is told by 9 POV characters: Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, Catelyn Stark, Bran Stark, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, Davos Seaworth, and Daenerys Targaryen. In the Seven Kingdoms we follow the the aftermath of King Robert’s death with what is dubbed the War of the Five Kings: Robert’s son Joffrey vs. his brothers, Stannis and Renly Baratheon, all who declare themselves the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, Robb Stark is declared King of the North and Balon Greyjoy declares himself King of the Iron Islands and wages a war to conquer the North as well. At the Wall, Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch organizes a scouting party (including Jon Snow) beyond the Wall to learn more about the threat of the wildlings and the so called “King-beyond-the-Wall”, Mance Ryder. The last storyline in the book follows Danearys Targaryen, Jorah Mormont, her remaining loyal Dothraki people, and 3 baby dragons towards the East. They end up in the city of Qarth, seeking aid for her quest to reclaim the Iron Throne.
In a nutshell, this entire plotline follows those guys’ attempt to sit on the most comfortable chair ever (not). Although there are lots of moments of turmoil and conflict, most of this part of the story is political scheming which means lots, and lots of conversation exchanges and switching viewpoints. I was hoping for more quotable moments like in the first book; not that there aren’t quotable moments, perhaps because Martin expands so much on the story you need to keep up. What you get after you read the entire book is that feeling of this was awesome, but oh boy, do I want to read the next one right away! It definitely sets the stage for some of the juicier plotlines of ASOIF.