I’ve been so busy recently with uni work that I haven’t been reading as much per day as I would like to but somehow I still managed to finish A Clash of Kings. It was no easy feat considering the book is pretty chunky – 900 pages long! Reading the novels is helping tide me over till season 7 though so I can’t complain too much! It roughly follows the second season of the show so if you watched the show first then it will add more depth and insight into the characters during those events.
As an avid fan I enjoyed seeing the plots unfold even though I knew what was coming, it was still refreshing to read through the different POV’s of characters and see what they were thinking in iconic moments. I particularly enjoyed reading / seeing through the eyes of Tyrion as he is one of my favourite characters and you can really appreciate how intelligent and masterful he is. He gives Varys and Littlefinger a run for their money in this installment for sure. His relationship with Cersei, is also particularly interesting to read, there is a part where he tries to comfort her when she is crying over losing her daughter Myrcella but is rejected:
“Don’t touch me” she said, wrenching away. It should not have hurt, but it did, more than any slap”. (p. 291)
I found this part really sad and touching in a sense as we see him actually trying to reach out but he is rebuffed, despite his and Cersei’s dysfunctional relationship- HUGE understatement here. Cersei is even more cold and callous than in the tv series, if possible, I love to hate her for sure. We don’t see much of Jaime Lannister aka the Kingslayer in this novel as he is largely held captive by the Starks which was a shame but I loved seeing Brienne introduced as she is another of my favourite characters. Catelyns reaction when she first see’s Brienne, is representative sadly of the kind of world Westeros is, where a womans beauty is regarded first and foremost rather than her personality or other skills.
Pity filled Catelyn’s heart. Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman? (p.312)
Another POV I found interesting was that of Theon Greyjoy. We see his thoughts behind the invasion of Winterfell and why he decides to betray the Starks – the only family he has ever really known. This part really got to me, especially since Theon and Robb were best friends, more like brothers in fact and this betrayal has so many repercussions, both for Theon personally…as we’ll come to find out as well as the Starks.
Overall I would say that although Kings moves slightly slower than the first novel it’s just as immersive and interesting, it just takes more time setting up stories and expanding on characters. Something which is of course necessary but can be tedious for a reader at times. If you’re looking for a fast paced story, this particular installment isn’t for you, this one is all about characterisation and development of what book 1 set up.
I am looking forward to reading the next in the series even though I am fully prepared to throw my book across the room at a certain wedding. If you know, you know. Or if you’re like Jon Snow you know nothing. If you’ve never read or seen Game of Thrones, then I would really recommend it. It can be quite crude, violent and really complex but don’t let that put you off because the payoff is definitely worth it.
Until next time,