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Mswas’ CBR-III Review #17 – Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

04/26/2011

[Beware, spoilers!]

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin is the second in the Song of Ice and Fire saga.  At this point in the series, the kingdom is at war, and kings abound: Joffrey Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, and Robb Stark. Balon Greyjoy has declared himself King of the Iron Islands, and Stannis Baratheon also throws his hat into the ring.  Favorite character, Tyrion Lannister, is appointed Hand of the King, and heads to King’s Landing to try to rein in his sister, Cersei, and defend the city from Stannis.

Martin introduces many new point of view characters, something he continues to do throughout the series. Davos Seaworth, a former smuggler now made lord by Stannis, is one. Davos is a sympathetic character, and we will hear a lot from him.  His reluctance to follow Stannis’s sorceress, Melisandre, gives us insight into her character that of course Stannis does not see.  In Clash, Martin uses Ser Davos just a little bit too much for me, and it only gets more extreme later in the series with this, and other characters.

Martin in fine form with the Battle of Blackwater. Tyrion’s experimentation and preparation of the dragonfire throughout the novel intensify, and the results are entirely satisfying.

Of course I would recommend this along with the series, though the next volume,  Storm of Swords is my favorite.

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