Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Clash of Kings Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/a-clash-of-kings-review-2b6bc4c735ad#.i3t64ztm1

As the sequel to A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings had big shoes to fill, and I believe it more than accomplished that goal. Due partially to certain gaps forming in the cast and partially to significant events now happening away from any of the previous main characters, Martin had to introduce a couple of new characters whose perspective we would see the world through. One was a new character who had a down-to-earth attitude I really liked, and the other was a character we had already seen in the first book who I thought I liked, but he turned out to be a terrible person.

A Clash of Kings had a strong start, with the political situation in Westeros quickly deteriorating and war breaking out on several fronts. It was exciting! Things were happening! My team was winning! Then the book hit a big lull and my attention started waning. Martin tried to keep my attention by slowly teasing more magical powers that were becoming stronger in the world, but it wasn't enough for me. I started thinking that after I was done with the book I would read something else for a while before picking up A Storm of Swords.

Luckily the book picked up again just in time for me to go on several long flights. I got a bunch of reading done, and was quite engaged. War happened! Unexpected attacks! Characters started dying again! Magic started to make a difference in the direction things were going! I am happy to say that I am once again on board for continuing the series without interruptions.

Looking back, I think that the majority of A Game of Thrones was as slow as the middle of A Clash of Kings, so I believe Clash was the better of the two. Here's hoping Martin can continue improving with the next book!