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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 (530 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 5 2000 Song of Ice and Fire (Book 2)
THE BOOK BEHIND THE SECOND SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, AN ORIGINAL SERIES NOW ON HBO.

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 CLASH OF KINGS

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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, epic fantasy done right June 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
By now, most fantasy fans have heard of this popular series. The hallmarks of George R.R. Martin's series have been political intrigue, swift and deadly violence (even main characters are killed without a second thought), and gritty, "realistic" fantasy. If this sounds like your cup of tea, dig in. If not - maybe you like a little more magic, a little more flash - tread carefully.
Here in volume 2, Martin picks up where he left off on A Game Of Thrones (quite literally) and further expands his epic masterpiece. In this second volume, A Clash Of Kings, Martin again pits lords and ladies, armies and rogues, and warring factions against one another in a sprawling, massive tale.
Featuring a huge page count and a tremendous cast of characters, this tome is dense, even moreso than A Game Of Thrones. More subplots are thrown into the mix than before, and more storylines are twisted together into ever tighter knots, expending the scope of the already lengthy tale. Like the first volume, Martin pulls this off by using fairly short, punchy chapters, each focusing on a different character and each serving to move the plot forward and keep this otherwise hefty book moving along at a rapid pace.
That's not to say Martin doesn't stumble slightly here and there. Unlike A Game Of Thrones, which was the leanest 900-page book you'll ever read, not every page in A Clash Of Kings is vital. A few of the subplots are given too much time, developing over a longer period than they need to; they serve only to slow the narrative. Also, several chapters appear to fill time rather than push the plot forward or offer an important revelation.
But these criticisms are minor.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get to the point already! June 26 2000
By BH
Format:Hardcover
Oh for the love of all that is good and holy! This book illustrates perfectly why there are no fantasy novels written about stable hands or cooks or characters that die off in a couple chapters. It seems as though we have regressed to the Dickensian era when writers were paid by the word because 40%+ of this novel was pure unadulterated filler. A variety of perspectives help the plot progress but too many create an immobile plot. We all knew that Jon Snow was going to end up beyond the wall but Lord above did Mr. Martin pull teeth in getting us there. And honestly, does anyone care to read about a demon crawling from the loins of a woman(*shudder*). It appears as though the author has caught a mutated strain of the Jordan/Goodkind virus. He's not writing a horrendous monstrosity like Mr. Goodkind but it's taken him only 2 books to get to the same level of gibberish it took Mr. Jordan 5 books to get to. Please...please...PLEASE! Get to the point already! The word trilogy exists for a reason...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
martin is a very entertaining writer but i was disappointed at the vulgarity that was totally unneccesary. any reference to sex has to have the 'f' word. i hear enough garbage each day and find it refreshing when a writer can communicate without swearing. many books contain a lot more bad language than this book but it turned me off. george you lost a reader for what it is worth. so long for this book and any you write.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 1 month 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 2 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 2 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 5 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 9 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 11 months ago by Edward Spadafora
4.0 out of 5 stars The body count rises
A great sequel following the characters, established in Book 1, as they make their way around this vast and dangerous world. Read more
Published 12 months ago by John Richardson
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