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A Clash of Kings (Song of Ice and Fire) Library Binding – 5 Sep 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,546 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Library Binding: 1009 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (5 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613832788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613832783
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 4.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,546 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

"Martin amply fuLfills the first volume's promise and continues what seems destined to be
one of the best fantasy series ever written."
-- "The Denver Post"
Don't miss any of the novels in George R. R. Martin's saga
A Song of Ice and Fire
A GAME OF THRONES
A CLASH OF KINGS
and coming soon
A STORM OF SWORDS

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Customer Reviews

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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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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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I have never been involved in delirious medieval battle, sword in hand, cutting down my nearest foes. My hands and arms have never felt warm blood spurting from inflicted wounds. I have never felt the impediment heavy armor brings to the natural movement of my body. I have not heard the cries of agony of those wounded and dying, yet within a few pages, George RR Martin envelops all my senses with the reality of ghastly battles of epic proportions.
"The battle fever. He had never thought to experience it himself, though Jaime had told him of it often enough. How time seemed to blur and slow and even stop, how the past and the future vanished until there was nothing but the instant, how fear fled, and thought fled, and even your body. "You don't feel your wounds then, or the ache in your back from the weight of the armor, or the sweat running down into your eyes. You stop feeling, you stop thinking, you stop being you, there is only the fight, the foe, this man and then the next and the next and the next, and you know they are afraid and tired but you're not, you're alive, and death is all around you but their swords move so slowly, you can dance through them laughing." Battle fever. I am half a man and drunk with slaughter, let them kill me if they can!"
Thus reads an excerpt from A CLASH OF KINGS, the mind-blowing sequel to A GAME OF THRONES. George RR Martin's seducing darkness of the bleak and torn Seven Kingdoms continues as we are presented with old and new characters in this startling but sinister tale of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Queen Cersei's son Joffrey ascends to the Iron Throne and continues with his sadistic reign of the King's Landing in the south following the death of King Robert.
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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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‘....the primrose path of dalliance....’ (Shakespeare: ‘Hamlet’ I:iii)
‘A Clash of Kings’ is the second in the series entitled –‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by G.R.R. Martin. I’ve kept away from the TV series and had thoroughly enjoyed ‘A Game of Thrones’ –much to my surprise. Initially ‘A Clash of Kings’ appeared disappointing but very quickly perhaps my two favourite characters, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister, brought me back into line. Even so they were not to prove enough.
Arya’s escape, disguised as a boy, was immediately riveting as danger came not only from the Lannisters but from also her companions. In her position she’s in the forefront of what are the nastier scenes in the book: ‘Arya saw burned bodies impaled on sharpened stakes atop the walls, their hands drawn up tight in front of their faces as if to fight off the flames that had consumed them.’ But then her adventures appeared into what Bunyan might have declared a ‘Slough of Despond’ with one miserable form of captivity following another.
Tyrion Lannister remains my favourite, being, in my opinion, twice as intelligent as anybody else – note his ruthless removal of Janos Slynt from power, his brutal open assessment of King Joffrey as a ‘spoiled witless little boy’, his control when despotism is shaken by the mob.. He often produces snappy epigrams (e.g. ‘power is a mummer’s trick’, ‘Sorcery is the sauce fools spoon over failure to hide the flavour of their own incompetence’) so no wonder ‘The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister’ has been published.
Theon Greyjoy appeared as a promising figure with an air of independent arrogance and an internal war between the practices of his birth-father (Dalon Greyjoy) and his foster-father (Eddard Stark), somehow entangled with naivety and immaturity.
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