Book Review: A Clash of Kings

So after the extraordinary start to the song of ice and fire series by George R.R Martin we start his next masterpiece with a variety of men claiming to be king. This can only mean one thing. War.

One persons story who does have a valid claim to the throne is greatly reduced in this book, Daenerys. After going from little girl to woman in Game of Thrones she comes off in Clash of Kings as a sulky child who thinks she has it all when really she has nothing to barter with. The birthing of her three dragons should have transformed her but instead it stunts her. I had high hopes for and I hope in the next novel she pulls herself together.

Arya goes on an extremely varied journey in Clash of Kings. After having witnessed her father’s death she is rescued by a member of the Night’s Watch who cuts her hair and informs her she is now a boy and is to travel with the other new recruits of the Watch and she will be able to get to Winterfell. This doesn’t quite go according to plan. I felt that Arya and Daenerys somewhat changed places in this novel as it was Arya in Game of Thrones acting up but she really does show her wolf blood by saving the three chained Watch recruits who in turn thank her by granting her three deaths of men who make her life misery at parental.

Robb Stark is mentioned a bit as he is off fighting and winning battles. It would have been nice to have had a few chapters from his POV now his father is gone and he is King of the North.

One thing I never expected was to feel sympathy towards Tyrion. Although it was never proven he sent the man to kill disabled Bran with the valkyian blade that injured Catelyn’s fingers. His actions still made my skin crawl so when he is badly injured on the bridge of boats I genuinely hoped he would recover and build a sort of life with Shae. For all his faults there is one thing he did out of love. He transformed Shae from whore to woman. Something she isn’t fully aware of.

Some of my feelings of others characters remained the same such as my detest of Joffrey for killing Eddard. Joffrey is such a horrible character and the way he treated Sansa who is so good and pure really made my blood boil especially as he has no right to the throne, being born out of incest of Cersei and Jaime.

So onto the war. The main war was fought out between Joffrey’s and Stannis’ armies. There is for a while Renly in the war but he is dispatched by the Red Priestess used by Stannis. So Stannis takes to the seas and has a long bloody battle but eventually they have to yield as Joffrey is joined by Tywin Lannister and the two forces annihilate Stannis’ who we are not sure if he is alive or dead.

We know from Game of Thrones that Theon Greyjoy is a ward of the Stark’s which is, in his case, a nice way of saying hostage. He returns to his father after ten years of being away and finds he is no longer welcome. Theon to regain his rightful place as heir of the Iron Islands decides to take Winterfell. He is advised against this as his host is too small but carries on regardless.

One action of Theon’s shocked me so much I had to choke back tears. I was so horrified at reading about the deaths of Rickon and Bran. I could not believe that George R R Martin would do that to two beloved innocent characters trying to survive the repercussions of events happening miles away from them. The final chapter made me cheer knowing that Theon hadn’t done it but I still hoped he hadn’t survived the attack of Winterfell.

Jon Snow spends the novel travelling to find wildling which him and his brother’s from the Watch find. Although yielding in the end is his only chance of survival I was disappointed in him. Mainly because I hoped there would be a bigger battle between the Watch and the Wildlings.

I give Clash of Kings 4/5


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