A Clash of Kings: Book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
Bantam, $8.99; 1010pp
Release Date: March 6, 2012
This is the second volume in the Game of Thrones. King Robert and his Hand Eddard Stark have been removed and now the crown is with King Joffrey, the son of Cersei and her twin Ser Jamie, presented as Robert’s son and heir.
However there is dissent and with the arrival of a comet being seen as a sign by each of them that they are rightly the King. Robb Stark, and Robert’s brothers, Renly and Stannis all gather troops and declare their rights to the crown. Of course one mustn’t forget the daughter of the previous King, Daenerys; she is gathering the Dothraki on Essos.
The tag line “Winter is Coming” is of course true, the “Others” are stirring, and the dead are walking. With the civil war over the four claimants to the throne (the continent is largely unaware of Daenerys across the narrow sea), factions are forming and alliances are ever changing. I needed to keep a notepad to know all of the new characters and who they allied with.
The details are typical of Martin’s masterful descriptions but also complex and difficult to follow at times. Having it follow characters chapter by chapter makes it easier to follow but it is so densely packed with information, you need a score card to follow the action.