Friday, January 3, 2014

A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin

At 873 pages this second book in the series was a door stopper par excellence! Continuing on from Game of Thrones this book melds seamlessly into the next part of the saga reuniting you with characters you both loved and hated in the first book, introducing some new characters and developing the plot line in greater detail, back lighting with finesse and providing once again the reader with an all round rewarding reading experience.
As five factions battle for control of a very divided land, blood flows, heads fly, hearts break and lives change irrevocably on the turn of a dime or the blackness that descends over a castle. The detail that Martin colours his stories with is massive, both the historical and the fantasy, character development is rich and wise and his ability to paint a child for example with the emotions that we would recognise as being appropriate is a strength of this author as is his ability to have you emphasize with the characters so as you want to find out what happens to them as the move along through the story, in books these size there are literally hundreds of characters, the majors and the minors, yet I didn`t find it difficult to keep track of them and alternating character narration of chapters by members of each faction worked very well and helped the reader to both develop a relationship with the character and better understand their viewpoint while allowing the story to be told from a variety of viewpoints often contradictory and giving lie to the moral of Loyalty theme that runs through the books.
As a non reader of Fantasy these books have been a Revelation to me and though I don`t think I will take up that particular genre, I have thoroughly enjoyed Martin`s rendering of it, brilliant!

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