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A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two [Mass Market Paperback]

George R.R. Martin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (533 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 5 2000 A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 2)

In this eagerly awaited sequel to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a work of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination. A Clash of Kings transports us to a world of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare unlike any you have ever experienced.


A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

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A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two + A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three + A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
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From Amazon

How does he do it? George R.R. Martin's high fantasy weaves a spell sufficient to seduce even those who vowed never to start a doorstopper fantasy series again (the first book--A Game of Thrones--runs over 700 pages). A Clash of Kings is longer and even more grim, but Martin continues to provide compelling characters in a vividly real world.

The Seven Kingdoms have come apart. Joffrey, Queen Cersei's sadistic son, ascends the Iron Throne following the death of Robert Baratheon, the Usurper, who won it in battle. Queen Cersei's family, the Lannisters, fight to hold it for him. Both the dour Stannis and the charismatic Renly Baratheon, Robert's brothers, also seek the throne. Robb Stark, declared King in the North, battles to avenge his father's execution and retrieve his sister from Joffrey's court. Daenerys, the exiled last heir of the former ruling family, nurtures three dragons and seeks a way home. Meanwhile the Night's Watch, sworn to protect the realm from dangers north of the Wall, dwindle in numbers, even as barbarian forces gather and beings out of legend stalk the Haunted Forest.

Sound complicated? It is, but fine writing makes this a thoroughly satisfying stew of dark magic, complex political intrigue, and horrific bloodshed. --Nona Vero --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The second novel of Martin's titanic Song of Ice and Fire saga (A Game of Thrones, 1996) begins with Princess Arya Stark fleeing her dead father's capital of King's Landing, disguised as a boy. It ends with the princess, now known as Weasel, having led the liberation of the accursed castle of Harrenhal. In between, her actions map the further course of a truly epic fantasy set in a world bedecked with 8000 years of history, beset by an imminent winter that will last 10 years and bedazzled by swords and spells wielded to devastating effect by the scrupulous and unscrupulous alike. Standout characters besides Arya include Queen Cersei, so lacking in morals that she becomes almost pitiable; the queen's brother, the relentlessly ingenious dwarf Tyrion Lannister; and Arya's brother, Prince Brandon, crippled except when he runs with the wolves in his dreams. The novel is notable particularly for the lived-in quality of its world, created through abundant detail that dramatically increases narrative length even as it aids suspension of disbelief; for the comparatively modest role of magic (although with one ambitious young woman raising a trio of dragons, that may change in future volumes); and for its magnificent action-filled climax, an amphibious assault on King's Landing, now ruled by the evil Queen Cersei. Martin may not rival Tolkien or Robert Jordan, but he ranks with such accomplished medievalists of fantasy as Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson. Here, he provides a banquet for fantasy lovers with large appetites?and this is only the second course of a repast with no end in sight. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convoluted, but amazing Feb. 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not sure how the author does it, but while other sprawling fantasy epics can have the characters and plotlines blend togther to the point where no one really cares anymore, this guy manages to make many different viewpoints and people distinct and three-dimensional. He juggles what seems to be an insane number of contenders for the throne to the Seven Kingdoms, and makes you realize what makes everyone different, and differently (or not) qualified to rule.
He is not afraid of killing his characters and what I also like is that everyone is believably shaded, morally. To often there are books like this with a hero that has one, single stock flaw, fighting villians that are plain crazy or evil without reason. These books have people that range all over the moral chart and it's refreshing.
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By Andres Consumer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Quick Review (TL;DR)
These books are great. Expansive well described settings and extremely complex and detailed characters. You'll find yourself loving character you hated in a previous books and feeling compassion for psychopathic torturers.
Nothing happens the way you think it'll happen and no one you want to live lives. Everyone dies except for the ones you expect to.
I would highly recommend reading this series as long as you don't mind waiting 1-2 decades as the following books are released.

Full-er Review:

--If you want to support a story you enjoy and get the entire series at the same time you should buy this. --

All my life I've been waiting for something like this story. Every time I watched a movie where the good guy had some kind of distress or trouble and the bad guy seemed ahead, I still always knew who would win. As I am sure you all did. (granted this applies more to shows/movies than to books)

Every time a fairy tale ending occurred with the action hero walking into the sunset with his girl, I got tired. Every. Single. Time.

Good guy wins, bad guy loses/gets away and everyone is happily ever after. Sure there are some exceptions, but not really. Either everyone dies at the end or some other trope occurs. But the bad guy never wins over. Not at the end. Like some horribly boring, predictable formula.

This is the show I've been waiting for. Everything you think will happen doesn't happen. Or it does and then does a complete 180. No predictability at all. I absolutely love it.
You hate the character who paralyzes kids and then you grow to like them and empathize with their flaws as they grow into their character.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin July 24 2014
I have to admit, I thought this book was long, and it took me a while before I could finish it. A month and an half, actually. But even though it took me so long to read it, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, I really really liked it ! Hence the three stars… but I guess I only needed to digest it slowly.

Just like in the first book, the story changes of point of view at every chapters. I think that really helped because it was making a change and if you got tired of a certain character, you knew that in a few pages it would maybe be one that you prefer. For myself, I really enjoyed Arya’s, Tyrion’s, and Jon’s chapters but really had a hard time going through Theon’s and Davos’ ones.

In conclusion, this second book of the series was really good ! But I think I am going to take a break and read other books for a while before starting the third one because otherwise I think it would become kind of heavy to read so many massive books in a row.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow up to Game of Thrones Jan. 18 2012
By J Reader TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Clash of Kings is a great follow up to The Game of Thrones. The story is heavy with political intrigue. Even more so than the first of the series. If you are looking forward to exciting battle scenes you will have to wait until the final 100 pages.

The characters' stories and back stories are what I love most about this series. A Clash of Kings follows the same main characters as The Game of Thrones, with some interesting new ones added to the mix. Everyone is written with great care and detail. There are no stereotypical heros or villians. All of the characters are complex with clear, identifiable motivations.

This book continues where the last left off, with twists and turns, many of which caught me by surprize. I have yet to encounter a predictable story line in either of the first two books in this series. I enjoy the type of story where no one is safe and the plot is unpredictable. Nothing comes easy for the people of this fantasy world and seldom do things turn out as you would expect.

If you are interested in delving into a world of King's, Queen's, magic and betrayal take up this series. It is not a light read and at around 1000 pages each the first two books are substantial. That said, there are no lulls in the story and it flows easily from one story line to another.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved the first book (maybe even an A+) but was disappointed in this one because of some of the things that pleased me in the first. Primarily the way that he lets awful things sometimes happen to good characters he's developed (like disability or death) - you really didn't know what was going to happen. He also was developing some very interesting deeper structures outside the basic warring noble families. The second novel keeps that going, but it seems like at times he's just casting dice to decide on plot lines. It may be he (rightly) feels his world and characters are robust enough to cope with such haphazard treatment, and that it reflects the context of the massive uncertainty of a civil war - but some sort of direction is enjoyable in a novel. The larger things are still there (the mysterious atrocities rising beyond the wall; the return of magic with Danerys and her dragons), but there's not much of a sense of a deadline with them.
In one way this may be good - you can just enjoy the interaction of substantial characters in a coherent fantasy world without it being forced into a typical exposition-rising tension-climax-dénouement structure. But I didn't enjoy it as much because the first did always seem to be more clearly going somewhere. Furthermore, while this is recounting the descent into treacherous conflict, the sheer volume and ubiquity of sickeningly brutal murder, molestation and mutilation of innocents is a bit overwhelming. George, are you just getting a little too much pleasure out of all this? I mean, it's your world and your narrative - you don't have to linger quite so long or often over these accounts. Or you could even pick things up a little!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As good as the first book
Published 12 days ago by William A. Bolduc
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
If you have watched the series and even if you've read the book, the audiobook brings it all together. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Donald Hind
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling
Full of twists and unexpected changes, one can never guess what is coming.

Very exciting. As with all big books, there are boring parts, few however. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Hesley tomazetti
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book. Nothing less, maybe even more!
As a physical product, this book is really a good one. Hard cover, sober black with the title engraved in metallic color on the side, really a good quality product. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Guillaume
5.0 out of 5 stars A great continuation of the saga
A great continuation of the saga that is George R. Martin has started, and further fuels the need to continue delving into the fantastic and treacherous world created by the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Tara Seehra
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
Martin's ability to weave together massive parallel storylines without causing a headache is understated. I read this book so fast, I can't remember the major plot points. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Johnny Ferguson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
I'm currently reading this novel. It gets a bit draggy in areas but all in all a great read !! There are so many characters and all with unique names that I find it helps me to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by nec442
5.0 out of 5 stars Character-driven fantasy, dark and sometimes demented, but a must read
My guilty secret--I read fantasy. And science fiction too. I just don't admit it often. Occasionally, an epic rises above great genre fiction and takes on a genuine life of its... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Derek Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I love these books. I love the character development that Martin provides. A must read, IMHO. Every bit as good as Tolkien
Published 13 months ago by decius01
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clash of Kings
I found this novel riveting! The detail, the wit, the humour and the depth of each character the author provided kept me turning the pages.
Published 14 months ago by Edward Spadafora
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