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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the story I've been waiting for my entire life.
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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...
Published 12 months ago by Andres Consumer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Empire Strikes Back . . .
What is it about the second story in a series? Why is it so difficult to keep anything but the prominent aspects of a series alive through the second feature into the third? Beautiful story elements and characters and relationships get lost in the fray of an author's attempt to get the story to some distant destination. Martin's second book is far from filler or fluff,...
Published on Jan. 2 2002 by AnalogKid


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the story I've been waiting for my entire life., July 18 2014
By 
Andres Consumer (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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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.
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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.

Your [favourite] characters die and others live, but you never know which or how they'll do it. Your most hated character become your most loved characters and then they also die. Or maybe not. Maybe they become hated again.

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This is the story after the happily ever after. The story of the brave warrior who becomes king but is unable to rule, he doesn't know how. Of course he doesn't, he's a boy who knows how to fight, why would he be equipped to rule a kingdom?
This is the story after the king marries a famous beauty.
They're not happy 20 years later, they resent each other and each grows to hate the other more and more. The king drinks and has his way with whore while the queen does the same with her brother.

They are human. They do not live happily ever after. The nice honourable man dies, children die, the scheming betrayer lives. In fact he thrives.
This is the story for those who want to know what happens after the "... and they lived happily ever after". Love, loss, anger, hatred, life and death. No linear storyline with predictable outcomes. No more of that.

If any of that sounds appealing to you then read the books, watch the show, immerse yourself in this world and watch what happens when people have to go through life with real problems and real consequences.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin delivers again!, Oct. 27 2004
By 
Curio (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two (Mass Market Paperback)
If you thought #1, A Game of Thrones, was good, get prepared for a Clash of Kings!
In an incredible feat of storytelling, Martin has upped the standard yet again, something I thought could not be done after the monumental achievement of A Game of Thrones. The intrigue continues, more hell breaks loose, and power never seems to stay in one place for long.
For those that read Martin's first book in the series, he delivers again--the plot is just as unpredictable, the characters are developed some more, and new POVs are added to the roster (Theon and Davos). For those thinking they can start from here--I wouldn't try it. There is a huge cast of characters in very intricate situations layered in shady motives, loyalties, and betrayals--starting here would be very difficult. That is not to say that this book is confusing, however; all the characters are realistic and memorable, so fans will find they know House leaders, retainers, and knights without really making an effort to learn them in the first place.
A lot happens in this book, and by the end, you'll be shocked. Martin is peerless when it comes to holding an audience; more is always revealed, but newer, more urgent questions always arise. I think you will not be able to keep yourself from reading #3, A Storm of Swords, immediately afterwards! ;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The epic fantasy continues! Fascinating characters and plots abound., March 8 2015
This review is from: A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two (Mass Market Paperback)
A Clash of Kings is the second book in George R. R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. It is a seamless continuation of the story, and all the things that made the first book such a good read are present here as well.

One remarkable feature of this book was the immense development that all characters go through. Tyrion Lannister is of course established as quite the puppet master! He arrives at King’s Landing to serve as Hand of the King, and then slowly becomes a force to reckon with as he makes small changes to strengthen the security of his city, creates double spies out of unsuspecting relatives and completes major negotiations with warring lords. Arya’s growth from Arya Stark to Arry to Weasel to Nan; Sansa’s growth from a spoilt girl to a woman with the makings of a queen; Robb’s growth to cope with leadership; Jon Snow’s growth to cope with a role that was in direct conflict with his basic nature… everyone adapts to rapidly changing circumstances. Heroes are revealed to have dubious motives, and villains are shown to harbour another side to their stories.

The other remarkable quality in this book is the very dark atmosphere that envelops the entire story. On the one hand of course is the tangible dread of an ultimate power play. It is brutal. It is harsh. Villages are plundered, babies are killed and women are gang raped. This is the age of people like Gregor Clegane and the Bastard of Bolton. On the other hand, the story takes quite a turn toward horror. From the far-reaching effects of Dany’s dragons, to Jaqen H’ghar and his mantra of ‘valar morghulis’, to Melisandre and her deadly shadow assassins … this story is woven with magic, mystery and terror.

The time for games is over. This is war. This is what happens when kings clash.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Character-driven fantasy, dark and sometimes demented, but a must read, Aug. 22 2013
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 own. The world of GRR Martin aligns with all our archetypes -- so easily we recognize the knights and plotting kings and queens and assassinations and even dragons -- yet transcends all of that and becomes a living, breathing world of characters that lifts it on to a literary pedestal. Perhaps Tolkien achieved it in Fantasy. Martin certainly has.

I tried not to like this epic. It's too long for my too intense (I'm used to fantasies with heroes, magicians and happy endings). There are no real wizards and monsters, except the kind who give you genuine chills--incestuous queens and murdering brothers and horrendous rapes. Oh, and the occasional "walking dead" and a few baby dragons. A Clash of Kings is aptly named. Five kings and a queen duke it out (pun intended) for a little piece of metal to wrap uncomfortably around their twisted little heads.

This is Dynasty (the soap opera) meets The Lord of the Rings. And it's not to be missed by anyone who has the ambition to read several hundred pages of wonderful prose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars captivating characters, Jan. 16 2013
By 
As in the first book the style remains the same. You don't read chapters of a saga but rather chapters of what is happening to various characters in the book. And the number of characters continue to grow! But isn't real life made of lots of people interacting and creating situations that affect others? My impression is that the books are written in a "TV Soap" style. We see things happening to various characters in their day to day challenges. Like in real life, the good don't necessarily succeed. Some characters you get really wrapped up in. My favorites are Tyrion, Jon, Daenerys and Arya. When I hit one of those chapters it is hard to put the book down. If you are looking for a more focused plot, you will be disappointed. You do get a sense that the plot will evenutally revole around the conflict between the enemy north of the wall, Daenerys and her dragons and the people we are currently reading about south of the wall. But for now it is a story about different individuals and how they are coping with the various pressures created by the triangle of conflict. This is not a bad thing. You sympathize for the characters in their decisions to try to deal with their situations not knowing all the details. It reads like real life situations. As the first the book is very long, almost three times a regular book. What is great, the author does not repeat or re-explain details to fill the book. It also means you really need to keep track of the characters. The book is well worth the money. Looking forward to start book 3 !
2012-12-04 review transfered from amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Awesome!, Sept. 22 2011
By 
Jason (London, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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A Song Of Ice & Fire is by far the best book series I have ever read (I don't read a whole lot tho), there are so many surprising and quite sad twists & turns, I bought multiple copies as gifts to friends and relatives and they all love this series. I am sure the Game Of Thrones TV adaptation on HBO really helped to make this more popular cause I would have never heard of it otherwise. I am on the 5th book that was recently released (2 more novels planned to end the series) and I love them all but one, A Feast Of Crows is a bit of a snore fe(a)st I guess the 4th book was to long and George decided to split it in two, in doing so it seemed the 4th book was to short so he added A TON of filler that made it quite boring, it was focused on less popular (except for about 2) and new characters which made it less interesting as well. A Feast Of Crows is still good but doesn't stand to well against the other amazing books tho it is still a must read cause you will be lost otherwise. If you like medieval, fantasy, suspense and adventure then this is a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic follow-up to a great start, Aug. 23 2011
I was really doubtful A Clash of Kings could match the excellence that was A Game of Thrones, but boy was I wrong. A Clash of Kings is every bit as intelligent, witty and shocking as its predecessor. It's without a doubt a modern masterpiece that you shouldn't miss out on.

Davos, one of the two new point-of-view characters gives great insight into the actions of King Stannis, while Theon Greyjoy sheds a little light on the Ironmen. As per usual Tyrion and Arya are my favourite characters in the book because of all the constant twists and turns their characters take. Tyrion in particular will leave you shocked more often than not. If there's one character whom I was slightly disappointed with it has to be Daenerys. It's not that her tale is wasted, more like she still has a lot of growing to do. Whatever slowness befalls her character in ACOK it is more than made up for in A Storm of Swords, but a little warning is due just the same. That said, there is one chapter where all Daenerys fans will scream for joy.

The way in which all the characters slowly gravitate to each other and how one point-of-view chapter flows into the next is a wonderment to behold. Just when you think you know where the tale is going, GRRM throws something new in and completely changes everything. It's for that reason above all else that ACOK is so addictive.

I said it the last time around and I'll say it again, A Song of Ice and Fire is currently without equal in modern fantasy. This second book in the series only solidifies that fact. It acts as a shocking sequel to a perfect start. By the time you finish this book you'll be dying to find out what happens next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Continued Greatness, Aug. 13 2011
By 
Peter Cantelon (Morden, Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two (Mass Market Paperback)
It has been said that to survive in this day when it seems as though virtually everything that can be written, sung or said has been written, sung and said that one must bring something new to the creative table. George R.R. Martin has brought something new to the fantasy table for certain and it is very, very good.

Martin's book A Game of Thrones is fantasy come of age. Ever since fantasy was conceived the reality of these new worlds has been lost or shrouded in whispers and hints. We all knew what the Orcs and Goblins did in the dark of their caves but it was never spoken. Stephen R. Donaldson sent us Thomas Covenant to hint at a more real fantasy world with a protagonist/antagonist who started his journey with the rape of an innocent in his The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant trilogy but conventions at the time held him back as well.

Book Two in the series continues the development of significant main characters while slowly adding a few more. Martin writes in an episodic kind of way which means that virtually every chapter ends in a cliffhanger and all of the chapters build to a massive book ending cliffhanger. It is no surprise HBO optioned this series of books for television because it works very well in that medium.

Martin's world of Westeros and beyond seemed more like historical fiction with hints of fantasy in the first novel. Book two draws us deeper into a fantasy realm as long dead magic seems to be slowly awakening in the world. The pace of the novel is very good but Martin does not rush to his conclusions and this means that a Martin reader needs to be a patient reader...especially since his books range from 800 to over 1,000 pages each.

All in all a terribly addictive read and refreshingly new for a genre that has felt very similar for a very long time.

A note of warning ' the very plausibility and realness of the book means the reader will be confronted by some pretty explicit language and sexuality
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5.0 out of 5 stars At least as good as the first one, May 9 2004
By 
Daniel Roy "triseult" (Shanghai, China) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two (Mass Market Paperback)
This book doesn't need a lengthy review: if you liked the first book, then buy this one, you'll like it exactly as much. The follow-up to the first book is so well-crafted and exactly in the tone of the first, that the two could well be two halves of one book.
The story progresses somewhat slowly in the first half, but at this point, the reader has come to know and care so much for the characters that this is not a problem; anyway, the finale more than makes up for it. The shining star of this book is definitely Tyrion, the ultimate anti-hero if I ever saw one, who manages to totally defeat the classification between hero and villain. I found myself wishing the next Tyrion chapter would come along, although all characters, in their own way, made me yearn for their next chapter.
Two new characters are given their own chapters in this novel, Theo and Davos. I found this somewhat irritating at first because I felt they did not contribute to the story, but both have a role to play in the story that makes it more than worthwhile to read their chapters through.
I look forward immensely to 'A Storm of Swords', after two such incredible novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another thrilling tome, April 25 2004
By 
R. Seehausen "aeroblaster2" (Cypress, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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To say "the plot thickens" doesn't do justice to this second volume of George R.R. Martin's massive fantasy epic. Everything explodes around the characters we were introduced to in "A Game of Thrones", and the whole landscape of the Seven Kingdoms (the fantasy land this series is set in) is thrust into chaos.
Where "A Game of Thrones" set the roots for the enormous and interwoven conflict that takes place in "A Clash of Kings", this volume takes that conflict and drives it through so many twists and turns that, by the end, you can't imagine how the protagonists of the story are going to make it through. Every part of the plot is believable, as are the characters involved in them. And almost every part excites.
Nevertheless, the flaws present in "A Game of Thrones" remain in "A Clash of Kings", albeit to a less exaggerated extent. Martin shifts to a completely different viewpoint with each and every chapter, and the shifts are jarring enough that it often makes you want to put down the book and take a break. And the pacing is, as before, slow. This makes reading the book a impressive undertaking in its own right, though the well-written prose and dialogue and the usually self-enclosed chapters help to ease this difficulty.
And through all of this, the plot makes sense. It isn't hard to keep track of where everything stands. And in a work of this complexity, that shows remarkable skill on the part of the author.
The world of "A Song of Ice and Fire" is compelling. Its characters are compelling. And even more so than in the first volume, "A Clash of Kings" has driving, powerful plot. It's a shame that this plot has to take place over six volumes of a thousand pages each, but it's well worth the reader's time and effort. Fantasy readers owe it to themselves to give "A Song of Ice and Fire" a look.
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A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two
A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two by George R. R. Martin (Mass Market Paperback - Sept. 5 2000)
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