Monday, March 9, 2015

That Old Familiar Gauntlet...

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If the first book, A Game of Thrones felt to me a little like stepping into an iron maiden, its sequel A Clash of Kings felt like slipping on a well-smithied gauntlet. Ooooh yeah...feel it.

The problem with the first book was that I felt poked and prodded with a 101 different characters, all new to me and all with their own disparate agendas. It took me half the book just to get the names straight and it's a huge honkin' book! But with A Clash of Kings there aren't nearly as many new characters and new story lines to contend with, so I was able to relax and enjoy the read, rather than feel as if I was back in school cramming for a test.

Okay, and now for the twist!

I don't think A Clash of Kings is as good a book as the first. It's perfectly fine. The story is linear, the narrative flow makes sense, there's plenty of action, but there's also a lack of enchantment that the first book had in spades. Technically there is just as much and maybe more magic in the second book - it definitely leans more on fantasy elements - but the MAGICALNESS is missing. To put it another way: The first book swept me away like a pretty pretty princess! The second book bought me lunch at Mickey D's and dumped me on the curb.

In the end, I think I'll give them both the same 4 star rating, but for different reasons. A Game of Thrones evoked, entertained, confused, but enthralled. A Clash of Kings carried on the story smooth and steady.

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