Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

It's been forever since I've been in a mood to read a book or even finish one. Most of this is attributed to work and the stress from family matters. However, once I saw my dad's eyes were actually white for the first time a long time and I discovered that he did not have cancer of the liver, I think my brain started to turn on again. Or at the very least I need a distraction to help me recover from my frustrations.  

It occurred to me that I have not reviewed a book in a long time, too. Well, here we go. I started this book a long time ago so a lot of the detail are kind of fuzzy, but the overall story is not forgotten. Basically, you need to read Game of Thrones before you read this book. This ain't one of those series you can read out of order. 

We follow Maester Cressen (for one time during the prologue), Bran, Catelyn, Tyrion, Daenerys, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Theon, and a man named Davos as they come to terms with a land that is essentially torn apart and at war and learn of the parts they must take in the struggle. Robb Stark is King in the North, Joffrey is King on the Iron Throne, Stannis is King in the Narrow Sea, and Renly is King of Highgarden. Let's not forget Daenerys because she is the Queen Across the Water. This book is just one giant can of whoop-ass and you have no idea who is going to bite the dust at any moment. 

As in the previous book, there are a lot of names and places and the description can get very tedious after a while. I guess it kind of balances out the action pretty well, though. We actually sort of feel like we are there and playing a role because everything from the food to the dresses of the characters are described in such detail. The characters are so fleshed out that the ones we are supposed to hate (Joffrey, Cersei, Tywin, Theon, etc.) we really do hate and the characters we are supposed to love (Jon, Arya, Bran, etc.) we really do love. A few characters could keep folks on the fence as well. I'm not sure if Tyrion or Daenerys are good guys in this story or not, but I do like them. Tyrion is such a hoot, but he is a Lannister and those Lannisters just can't trusted!

If politics and descriptiveness isn't your bag then you might not like this series. It's basically like Lord of the Rings meets The Godfather (in terms of the familial drama and intricate relationships and it seems like everyone is being betrayed or getting offed every ten seconds). Tywin Lannister is kind of like the prick Barzini while Eddard Stark is kind of like Vito Corleone who dies way too freaking early (hell, Eddard is only seen in visions and flashbacks in this book so I guess you can tell that he didn't survive the first book... but then I'm hoping you already knew that). 

Well, there you have it. Next I'll review Storm of Swords by Mr. Martin and then I'll probably review Genital Grinder by Ryan Harding, a book that was sort of inadvertently recommended to me by author Bryan Smith. 

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