Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Clash of Kings


It may have taken me a while, but I have finally completed the second novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, A Clash of Kings. It is about a thousand pages, so it's kind of a daunting read, but definitely worth it. And it shows that Martin has skill in writing because despite the length, I still want to read the next two books in the series. For that, I give him props. But for now, I think I'll take a break and get some other, shorter, reading done.

Now, I feel like the plot to these books is kind of hard to describe, because they are so intricate and complicated. There are so many different things going on, and it's told from the point of view of so many different characters (at least 4...I think there might have been 1 or 2 more, I don't quite remember) that explaining the whole thing would take ages. So I'll simplify it down to this. Basically, the Seven Kingdoms have fallen into chaos, with 4 people claiming to be the King, the one who sits on the Iron Throne, hence the name A Clash of Kings. Lots of fighting ensues, lots of people die, and by the end of the novel, not much is really resolved, even with all of those pages. Hence the need for two more lengthy books, which I will eventually read.

The thing that I like about this series is how intricate Martin makes the plot. In A Clash of Kings, there were definitely places where I was a bit confused as to what was going on, both because it was something that had happened way earlier in the book and because the characters are kind of hard to keep track of at times, but I soon caught on to what was happening and why it was important to the story. Despite everything that is going on in the book, Martin writes with a style that makes it easy for the reader to pretty much pick up where the character left off before. For example, one of the characters, Jon Snow, was, at one point in the novel, up in the mountains, searching for wildings (or those who don't live within the Seven Kingdoms). When his section ended, and the next character started, I became engrossed in the following character's story. But later, when the book when back to Jon, I was able to quickly remember what happened the previous time he had been telling the story. In this way, the reader gets many different views of the story and is able to see what is going on across the whole realm, as opposed to just seeing one side of the story. I find that I like that a lot, and even though the writing might be a bit dense at times, I still enjoy reading to find out what is going to happen to the Seven Kingdoms. Who will end up ruling in the end?

Since I will be taking a break from this series and catching up on some other reading, the next book I'm working on is The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan, the third book in the Kane Chronicles. This should go by pretty quickly, but until then, happy reading! :)

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