A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin, is a fantastic second instalment to the Game of Thrones series. It begins with Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark dead; the crown resting with King Joffery. However, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon and Renly Baratheon all lay claim. The comet in the sky is seen as a sign of war and incest, fratricide and murder discolour the landscape. Winter is coming and the undead and Others are beginning to stir. Into this, from across the sea, comes the daughter of the Dungeon Kind to add her name to the list of pretenders to the Throne. With the disastrous and literally heart breaking conclusion to its predecessor, this book only continues the strife raging across Westeros, providing a total lack of end in sight.
The Seven Kingdoms have been plunged heavily into civil war. Five are vying for contention and naming themselves King, with none abiding the others. Stories and alliances are fracturing alike, and the reader is helpless before the onslaught of new characters, new plot lines, and revelations. As well as cliff-hangers that leave the mind reeling with the desire for more. The characters allotted chapters is increased to 9, promoting only one supporting character from book one to a fully-fledged lead, and introducing an entirely new character to introduce us to the inner workings of an entirely new plot thread.
Tyrion Lannister is once again one of the books highlights of the book providing a much needed breath of humour, as well as an intelligence that is not hindered by personal greed, ambition or idiocy. This in no way means that any of the other characters are a chore to read, but rather act in ways that leave the reader entirely certain they deserve to be smacked upside the head with a shovel! The sheer bastardry of some of the characters both introduced and returning is horrific at points. The loss encountered by some of the characters rends the heart stricken. Danerys Targaryen, who figured so powerfully in the first novel (especially in its astounding finale)gets little play in the book, occupying not much more than 100 pages of its nearly 1000. But her brief moments are crucial and point toward much more to come in future volumes.
This has to be one of the best written pieces I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. George R. R. Martin is an author of note and promise of creative journeys ahead. I give the clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin a 10/10 rating.