A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Clash of Kings bares the unfortunate distinction of not being as good as the first book. The main problem is the fact that so little genuinely happens in this massive title. Sure, there's a war, and plenty of plot progression, but as a whole, it doesn't feel as complete or as enthralling as the first book. And I think that's because some of the characters are less interesting to follow than others in this book. There's Arya's story for one, which,as a whole, was not that appealing to me. I much preferred when she was learning water-dancing with her instructor in the first book. On her own, though, her chapters kind of dragged. Bran's story wasn't that appealing to me, either. And while I looked forward to seeing the lives of each character in the first book, I kind of dreaded when I'd flip a few pages to see a Sansa or an Arya chapter next. This book didn't grip me like the first one, and that's not okay.
That said, George R.R. Martin is such a great writer that it was fairly hard to put the book down as I still wanted to see where the story was going. Even so, the problem of reading this book AFTER the HBO series (Even though I didn't watch the second season at all), is that I know that certain characters still hold the iron throne, which kind of hampered the story for me since I knew certain events would likely not happen. But that's more my fault for not reading these books before the show than anybody else. Overall, if you read the first book, then you have to read this one. I'm told that book 3 is really good, so maybe it's just even-number syndrome (I hear that book 4 is painful to get through, and that 5 is wonderful). We shall see, though. We shall see.
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