A Clash of Kings

Oh, to be sure, there is much we do not understand. The years pass in their hundreds and their thousands, and what does any man see of life but a few summers, a few winters? We look at mountains and call them eternal, and so they seem … but in the course of time, mountains rise and fall, rivers change their courses, stars fall from the sky, and great cities sink beneath the sea. Even gods die, we think. Everything changes.

Maester Luwin

Cover of ‘A Storm of Swords’ by George R.R. Martin

I’ve somehow gotten way behind on my book reviews in the last couple of months. The plan was to review each book I’ve read this year. Life, gardening, and other projects have taken over my free time.

I finished reading A Clash of Kings back in early March. I picked it up immediately after finishing A Game of Thrones. I was so enthralled with the story, despite having watched most of the TV series, that I couldn’t get enough of this world that George R.R. Martin had created.

I just wrapped up A Storm of Swords while in the midst of this review. I read a few other books in between the two. I’m having to go back and read a plot summary to remind me what happened in the second book. A Song of Ice and Fire is like one gargantuan story that flows smoothly from one book to the next, and it’s been quite a ride thus far.

A Clash of Kings picks right up where A Game of Thrones leaves off. The Seven Kingdoms are at civil war. Daenerys Targaryen has lost everything but gained three baby dragons. And, there’s this dark looming feeling hanging over everything that something big is about to go down.

The first book felt like a limited view of this world that Martin had created. We saw events unfold from a handful of characters’ viewpoints. The follow-up book expands this world.

We get viewpoints from Cressen (maester at Dragonstone) in the prologue. New character-based chapters follow Theon Greyjoy (ward of Eddard Stark and heir to the Iron Islands) and Ser Davos Seaworth (former smuggler, the Onion Knight). Theon serves to bring us into the world of the Iron Islands, and Davos primarily follows the rightful king Stannis Baratheon.

I’m going to leave this at a short review. It’s a great continuation of the overall story, and I look forward to continuing it. It’s hard to top what Martin does if you enjoy his sort of gritty realism that doesn’t play into traditional fantasy tropes.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars.