After A Game of Thrones, I was feeling pretty burned out on all the violence and the crazy complexity of George R. R. Martin’s writing. Plus, 1000+ pages books don’t lend themselves to “52 books in 52 weeks” so it took me a few months to pick up A Clash of Kings. The impetus for finally doing it was watching the first season of Game of Thrones after hearing about it endlessly on Pajiba. I had to somehow amuse myself while waiting for the second season to come out on DVD.
Thus, I delved into A Clash of Kings. I actually liked this book better than the first, mostly because I had some connection with the characters and was invested in their fates. It took me a really long time to start caring about them in the first book. For those that haven’t finished A Game of Thrones, obviously there are spoilers ahead. The second book is basically about the chaos that insues as multiple men make claims on the throne. Robert’s brothers Renly and Stannis both believe they deserve it, Joffery is already in King’s Landing and people believe he is Robert’s real son, and Robb Stark decides that he will take the throne by force. Characters are murdered, double-crossed, killed in battle, fall in love, etc. etc.
My biggest complaint is that it’s as if Martin is actually TRYING to piss people off so much that they put down the books. There was one moment in the book where I actually did walk away and refused to pick it back up for a few days because I was so angry about who he had killed off (I don’t want to spoil anything but those who have read it probably know which part I’m talking about). I did eventually come back to it, and now I’m reading A Storm of Swords, but I honestly don’t think I would be continuing with the series if I weren’t enjoying the HBO show so much.