Friday, May 4, 2012

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


After that heart-treanding ride at Westeros and the free cities that the Game of Thrones have given me, I have continued on to reading the second in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series: A Clash of Kings. And as per a habit of recording my thoughts about the book I've read, this post shall contain a review-of-sorts of this wonderfully written masterpiece. And so here goes:

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Plot:
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. (via Goodreads)
Before I moved on to everything that I have to say - let me just tell you that this post may not be as spoiler-free as I want it to be. Hehe. Because when I am triggered, I just can't stop typing and blabbing about the things that I love. And this book, I seriously cherish.

I must say, reading this book spoiler-free (unlike what I did to book one) was really a different sort of ride. The story line's twist and turns prove to be effective enough that they have my heart pounding in excitement, and my eyes wide with revelations. As with book one, this was also impeccably written though the words were a little flowery at times - but what would you expect, we are dealing with highborns here. This plot is seriously whacked out that my mind is unconsciously formulating several theories to ease my worries. Hehe.

Though the book proved to be really long, I say 856 pages (?), reading this proved to be a breeze with each chapters being gritty and absolutely not suspense-free. With many kings (and a queen) who contend for the glorious crown of Westeros, a string of story lines were opened and a more elaborate web has been created.

As customary in the series, the story was written in to several point of views - in this case, eight. Tyrion Lannister, Catelyn Stark, Davos Seaworth, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, and Daenarys Targaryen. Nine all in all if you would add Maester Cressen whose point of view was used during the prologue. Each character was intricately written, and some characters, whom I though I won't like at first turned out to be as enjoyable as the ones I've grown to love in the first book.

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Readers of this blog might be familiar to the growing fondness I have for one character of this series: Tyrion Lannister. And in this book, my love is heightened. He, not being a soldier, was fit to be a leader - a tactician who plays games of the mind to take down his enemies. Surprisingly enough, Sansa, a character that I don't really dig during the first book has become one of my favorites during the second. Apparently, the sympathy that she has gained from me during the last parts of the book has been carried over in the second book. Especially the part when her flowering first happened, and she cried so hard - I almost teared too. And just when I though that things could actually go smooth for her, one character tells that worse is yet to come.

And then there's Theon. I honestly was shocked when I read his name beside the chapter number. I never really expected him to be a POV character, but he did provide good material. His was hilarious at times, but when it came to the part where he was coming to terms with what he feels and how his father has treated him despite the fact that they had never seen each other for a long time - I kinda felt bad for him. That part also when he was talking to Maester Luwin, when everything seems to fall apart and he was presented with an opportunity to turn things around and at least lead an honorable life and then things happened. Crap that part.

Jon's story line too, presented so many good material and the twist and turns of his part were pretty mind-whacking, especially that last part. As with Daenerys, her part were pretty boring for me, until she entered the House of the Undying and many revelations were exposed to her -- and automatically, my mind formulated so many theories I couldn't even count them now. Haha. but seriously, watch out for those revelations, for they were really intriguing as they are cryptic. Arya and Bran as well were really interesting characters. I especially love the Arya x Gendry story line, hehe, they had me chuckling at times, it's crazy. And though Cersei Lannister isn't exactly a POV character yet, it was interesting to note that much of her was revealed through Tyrion, his little brother. It's really interesting how she revealed his true feelings when he was with him, no holding back a bit. Since book one, I've really wanted to know what's going on in that head of hers. Shame I have to wait until A Feast For Crows (Book 4) for my dream to be realized.

Martin was really cruel with his characters, I can tell. Haha, that's why he creates good stories. He does not really care if people have grown attached to a character, he either kills him or her off, or creates a plot that'll only lead to greater despair. I was really emotional in the last pages of the book, for he ended it tragically. The book ended with Bran's point-of-view. I was getting really emotional with that last Maester Luwin scenes, together with Rickon and Bran. I was really glad Osha is there to support them. Aaaaand I was already half-crying as I read his last lines ~ "It was not dead, just broken, Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either." to Winterfell. ;(

The HBO adaptation of A Clash of Kings is currently on air in the channel every Sunday, and has been proving to be a success because of various trending Twitter topics (take note, worldwide) and unbelievable high ratings. 5 episodes were already aired, and they are proving to be as good as the first season, though now that I've read the book before seeing them, they seem to be fast tracking the story (imagine squeezing 800+ pages to just 10 1-hour episode every week.) But it is still stunning, nonetheless.

Overall, this was a very interesting and exciting read.No matter how hard I have to deny it because of how he treated my beloved characters, I LOVE G.R.R. MARTIN! And this book series. And everything in it. As I've predicted, I'm gonna be spending a whole lot of time finishing this series, since each book proves to be exceptionally long. But what the hell, I'm gonna have to bear with it. Highly recommended! So grab it in the book store shelf and read it. :)

I haven't expected this post to be this long, and congratulations to anyone who have read through everything and have gone this far, hehe, what I'm just trying to say, and what should be obvious by now, is: I LOVED IT! :))

Fast Facts:

  • It has been awarded the 1999 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. The best indeed! >.<
Quotable Quotes:
"There's no shame in fear, what matters is how we face it." ~ Jon Snow

"Love is poison. A sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same." ~ Cersei Lannister

"People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it's served up." ~ Jaime Lannister

And then THIS.

xxx
Included in the A Song of Ice and Fire Reading challenge hosted by The Lit Bitch. Goal: 5 books. Read: 2 books. Also included in the 2012 Reading Challenge. I've moved on to BOOK 3 (A STORM OF SWORDS), and enjoying it. This is an awfully long post, I'm sorry for the inconvenience. 'Till next time, ja! :)

3 comments:

  1. I really cried when Maester Luwin was dying in their midst.. And how Bran reassured himself that Winterfell is not dead, just broken.. ;_; epic.

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    1. Me too! Me too! That scene just broke my heart. That scene in the tv series was a tearjerker too, but not quite like in the book.

      Thanks for commenting. :))

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    2. I have not yet seen the second season of the series, yet I know I'll cry manly tears again. (T_T) Hahaha. I was just actually finding quotes from the book since I always did that whenever I finish a good section of chapters, though I stopped doing that when I couldn't find a decent internet cafe sometime in the summer. Then when I got the chance again, I accidentally stumbled upon your blog and read your review of the book, and was amazed by your enthusiasm of making a review. :))) I too was stupefied that it had 9 POVs-- the current book I read which had multiple POVs was Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, and that had only 3!! It was really a very good read, trying to fit the pieces altogether.

      Gomenasai. Ore no komento ga chotto nagai desu. m(_ _)m

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Thanks for dropping by! I'd love to hear from you -- so don't think twice, just comment below and let's talk! If you're feeling like it, you could also link up and I'll make sure to visit your site if you have one. Much love, ~ R. :)

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