[hey! a book review! remember when I was reading books? that was a good time.]
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin (audio)
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Rating: 8 out of 10
Publisher: Random House Audio
Length: 37 hours, 12 minutes
Pages: 1009 (print version)
Challenges: 2012 Audio Book Challenge, 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Synopsis (from the book description): A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel . . . and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
Overall Impression: This book was about wars! And…wars! And sometimes Arya. But mostly wars!
But I still found it entertaining, despite the fact I’m not usually one that gets all excited about wars. I think I just enjoy the craziness that is George RR Martin’s world. So many multi-faced characters, so many interwoven plot lines, so many interesting interactions. One of the things I love about Martin is despite his over-populated world, I can find something to love, or at least something to find interesting, for each of the stories for each of the characters. I like that none of the characters is 100% good or bad. Even snotty little Sansa Lanister had my sympathies, which I thought might be impossible in the first book.
I take that back. Joffrey Baratheon is 100% BAD NEWS. I want to smack him SO BAD. Smack smack smack.
Anywho, Martin doesn’t follow the rules, for which I give him mad fantasy props. It keeps me guessing, and I really enjoy that in a book, especially one so long. No one wants predictability in a book that’s more than a thousand pages!
Positives: Kept me interested throughout the entire book — a pretty difficult feat, given its length.
Negatives: I wish the women were stronger/less evil. There are some good women, but not really any great women. Probably because most women are like, “Bah! Wars.”
Narration: Again, Roy Dautrice did a wonderful job. I highly recommend these on audio.
Other books I’ve read by George RR Martin: A Game of Thrones (review)
Other books I’ve listened to narrated by Roy Dotrice: A Game of Thrones (review)
Other blogger opinions:
S. Krishna’s Books: “Martin’s strength, though, is making each person in his novel distinct, even the minor characters. These seem like real people, leaping off the page.”
The Literary Omnivore: “ It’s a well-built story—an assault on the capital forms the solid climax—but it’s so complex (although never too complex) and there’s so much of it that I’d advise readers to pace yourself.”
As Usual, I Need More Books: “I would love to tell everyone I know to read this series, but I suspect that unless you are a fan of the genre this won’t be for you.”