R. R. Martin’s “A Clash of Kings”

Some readers may remember that some months ago I reviewed George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. Well, I have delved into the series some more and decided that it was time to review the second novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Clash of Kings. With such a developed plotline, it is going to be almost impossible for me to discuss this book without spoiling some of the first book (or season, if you happen to follow the HBO series). So without further ado, SPOILER ALERT!

The end of A Game of Thrones saw the political tranquility of the 7 Kingdoms shattered with the death of King Robert Baratheon. Ned Stark, one of the main protagonists on A Game of Thrones and Hand of the King, was also executed under false pretenses by those wishing to gain power. A Clash of Kings picks up just after the events of the first book, and follows the beloved Stark family as they deal with the fallout of the events mentioned above. With a new King of the Iron Throne in power, it quickly becomes clear that war is on the horizon. Soon, a handful of key individuals begin to push for their own claim to the throne, be it for power, revenge, or duty. As the War of Five Kings fast approaches, a certain Queen of Dragons finds herself embarking on the road to becoming a conqueror, and must face the hardships of such in a strange land. END SPOILERS!

A Clash of Kings proves to be everything a sequel should be. In terms of writing, there is not much I can say that will be unexpected. Martin delivers with beautiful imagery, and has a creative mind that stands with such authors as Tolkien, bringing to life fantastic locales and characters that capture the imagination. Everything found in the first novel is vamped up in A Clash of Kings, and the result is a series that will earn its place among the greatest fiction series, let alone fantasy, in literary history. Martin keeps his trend of telling alternating chapters from different viewpoints, so you can expect some of your favorite characters to make a return. Martin also adds a few new characters to the mix, bringing some fresh perspectives to the story, many of which will become fan favorites. The first season of the show does a remarkable job of following the novel, but I, of course, cannot advise you against reading the series, as well. If you have not read or even seen the first novel/season, then, obviously, I can’t advise you pick up here: this is not a series you can just jump into. If you are a fan of what you have seen, you owe it to yourself to continue the series, as A Clash of Kings is a worthy entry in a series that deserves attention.

Source: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer