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A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) Hardcover – 29 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Slipcase edition edition (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007456344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007456345
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 6.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,348 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 365,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George R.R. Martin is the author of six titles in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords Part One: Steel and Snow, A Storm of Swords Part Two: Blood and Gold, A Feast for Crows and the long-awaited A Dance with Dragons. A Game of Thrones is now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

He has also written Fevre Dream, the ultimate science fiction horror novel, several collections of short stories and numerous scripts for television drama. He was also the co-author of SF adventure tale Hunter's Run. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Product Description

Amazon Review

George R.R. Martin writes sword-and-sorcery which concentrates on the swords. A Clash of Kings is the second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, the sequence which began with A Game of Thrones and will take another four volumes to complete. The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud; beyond their Northern borders, the men of the Night Watch fight the coming of a great cold and the walking corpses that travel with it; on the other side of the ocean, the last of the Kingdom's deposed ruling house mourns her horseclan husband and rears the dragonlets she hatched from his funeral pyre. This is character-driven fantasy--we see most events through the eyes of the sons and daughters of the Stark family, the once and future Kings of the North, whose father's judicial murder started the war. Martin avoids the cosy Californian cheeriness of many epic fantasies in favour of a sense of the squalor and grandeur of high medieval life; there is passion here, and misery and charm--and a profound sense of moral ambiguity as we learn to like the Richard III figure in this epic as much as the more virtuous Starks. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘A Game of Thrones grabs hold and won’t let go. It’s brilliant’
Robert Jordan

‘Colossal, staggering… Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world… one of the greats of fantasy literature.’
SFX

‘An extraordinarily rich novel… The book stands out from similar work by virtue of its superbly developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness.’
Publishers Weekly

‘I read my eyes out. I couldn’t stop until I’d finished and it was dawn.’
Anne McCaffrey

‘Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads… Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias.’
Guardian

‘One of the all-time classic fantasy series, right up there with The Belgariad and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and, yes, with The Lord of the Rings.’
The Alien Has Landed


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard Wright on 24 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Where the first book belongs to Ned Stark, this second is owned by Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf lord who rises to the challenge of curbing his psychotic nephew's worst excesses (said psychotic nephew being King of the realm). Westeros is now at war, with kings lining up to stake a claim to the Iron Throne of the realm, and accordingly this is a war novel, packed with politics and intrigue to break up the battles. It is in watching the charismatic Tyrion discovering, at last, how he can best find a place in the game of thrones at which he excels. As the book builds towards the battle of King's Landing, he thrives on the chaos and preparation despite himself, and you can't help rooting for him despite his unfortunate ancestry. As ever with this series though, singling out this strand of the massive plot necessarily does disservice to others, and the way that they weave together to deliver an epic, captivating story.
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Steven Baker on 12 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
"A Clash of Kings" continues the epic saga begun in "A Game of Thrones". After the death of the previous king, there emerge 4 or 5 other characters who believe they have a valid claim to the throne.

Martin uses the same writing style pioneered in the first book where each chapter is written from the viewpoint of a key character. However, whereas in the first book, it really drove the story on, here it tends to be used as a cheap plot tool to make each chapter appear exciting, even when the only exciting part is the last paragraph. To be fair, this is only the case in the first half of the book, where very little seems to happen except a long list of lords and knights. After the midway point (the book is around 700 pages), it improves immeasurably, with every character's chapters becoming more and more exciting.

I am pleased to report that there is an increase in magical occurrences and even though it is still quite subtle, it definitely seems that it will play an increasingly important role. Balancing this however, is that this book as a whole has a distinctly depressing flavour to it, with the "good" characters never really succeeding. Even at times when they appear to be on the up, something will happen to snatch it away. I am all for unhappy endings, but because it seems so endless, it does drag the pace down somewhat.

As I'm sure everyone would say, there are characters that are more enjoyable than others. Tyrion's chapters are consistently the most exciting and varied, although I also enjoyed the Jon, Bran and Catelyn sections. However, moreso than in the first book, there are character stories that never really rise above average, namely Davos, Theon and Sansa.
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73 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
If you want clean cut heroes, buy another book. Every character is more venomous than the last. You find yourself unwillingly fascinated by the depths of brutality and depravity that even the most amiable can reach. And for all that, I couldn't put the evil thing down. For every horror you suffer you're rewarded with a stroke of humanity that seems all the more poignant against the dark backdrop.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
I will readily admit that I am not a great reader of fantasy novels but this series by George R R Martin is something slightly different. Although there are fantasy elements here this does read quite a lot like historical fiction, and so you feel like you are reading more of a saga from ancient days than a modern piece of fantasy writing. This is probably why these books and the TV series have proved so popular with many people.

Picking up from where the last novel finished we follow the characters still alive from there, and with some new ones the story continues. One great thing is that Martin will quite happily bring a character down or kill them off without a second thought, if it means that the story can progress more logically and realistically, which is always a boon. In the last novel the Kingdom had been thrown into chaos with threats of the breaking up of different areas into how they were in the past, and with different nobles wanting to take up kingships and grasp more power and lands. As this book progresses we see that there are even more wanting power and glory, but who will be able to grasp a foothold strong enough to be able to keep others at bay?

With the troubles going on, full of treachery and double dealing there is also definite movement beyond The Wall, and of course there is always the threat of Daenerys with her dragons from across the sea. Full of action and Machiavellian plotting this book like the first will draw you in and in many ways will make you think of the power struggles throughout Medieval Europe, including those of religion. I must admit that I loved this book as much as the first and I still have the others to get through as I have become slightly addicted to these.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Iset TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The problem with such a consistently amazing author is that it's hard to find new things to say when reviewing them, at least as far as talking about the writing goes. George R R Martin still uses a winning formula in A Clash of Kings as he does in A Game of Thrones. Thorough world-building + epic scope + complex characters + linguistic mastery = fantastic writing.

I'd talk about the plot, which of course changes from book to book, but Martin's stories are always so chock full of twists and turns that every reader should discover for themselves, and I definitely do not want to be responsible for giving any spoilers. What I can say about the plot is that I love how thick and complicated it is - and again, this holds true for any of the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. There's always so much going on at once, and actions have knock on consequences that then prompt other characters to take other measures... all interlinked and connected. Again, this just adds to the realism and authenticity that this series feels imbued with. Something that really disappoints me about some books is that authors dumb down the complexity of events and talk down to the reader - for example, omitting or simplifying events, conflating characters, or repeatedly spoon-feeding the reader information that the characters themselves already know full well. Personally I want to read a plot as thick as ASOIAF. I shouldn't have to praise George R R Martin for trusting his readers to understand and enjoy a sophisticated plot - we should expect this high standard from every novel.

If I start raving about detailed and immersive Martin's world is I'll start repeating myself from my A Game of Thrones review. Needless to say I loved it.
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