Review: A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back in 2005 I was on a panel with George R.R. Martin at Conestoga 9 in Tulsa, Okla. I had never read the man’s work. If I had, well … there would have been a very embarrassing fanboy thing happening right there.

I just finished A Clash of Kings. My first thought was, “Dammit man, there are other books I want to read, too!” But no, I will be diving into the next book of this series later this evening. You’d think after 964 pages there would be a resolution, but instead there is just a shift in this massive story arc as Martin drags us along for the next stage of his adventure.

As it happens, I’m listening to the audio of The Lord of the Rings at the same time I’m reading Martin’s series. I have to admit, I’d be hard pressed to say which is the better fantasy series. Martin is grittier than Tolkien and his characters are much more nuanced. I suppose it isn’t fair to make a judgment until the series is finished.

It’s the complexity of Martin’s characters that maybe drives me nuts the most. I don’t know who to cheer on. Tyrion Lannister is the most interesting character for me. But he’s a freakin’ Lannister! As bad as the Lannisters are, though, I’d have to say Theon Greyjoy becomes one of the most hated characters in all of fiction in this volume. I’m hoping the next book will focus more on Robb Stark. Why so few chapters featuring the new King in the North?

Enough of this. I still have thousands of pages to read in The Song of Ice and Fire.

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