My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read A Game of Thrones way back in 2007 when I was just getting into fantasy. At the time, I found it to be a bit dark for my taste. The characters were interesting, but I didn’t love them, not really. When HBO began producing the novels as a television series, I was intrigued, and, then, when the show began receiving rave reviews across the board, I snagged it from Netflix and witnessed the splendor for myself.
I wasn’t too surprised that A Game of Thrones would make a good television series, but I was a little surprised just how much I would enjoy it after my response to the novel. But five years have passed and I’ve read a good deal of gritty fantasy (most likely inspired by Martin’s works) and I think I was more prepared for it this time.
So after loving the first season of the HBO series, I decided that I had to read A Clash of Kings before watching the second season. I’m so glad that I did. Upon reading the second novel in the series, I had absolutely no room for complaint. A Clash of Kings was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I actually listened to the novel, grabbing it from Audible.com. At 2 credits, it was still a good deal, considering that the novel took 37+ hours for Roy Dotrice to narrate. Dotrice was an excellent narrator. I was very impressed with his voice work. There are so many characters in the novel, but Dotrice had a unique voice for each and managed to use the voices consistently, even for the most minor of characters. It was really an excellent listening experience.
In this novel, I particularly enjoyed the stories following Arya, Bran, Jon Snow, Tyrion, and Davos. Sansa and Daenerys’ stories were probably my least favorite, but were still interesting.
Martin does such an amazing job with the characters in this novel. They are so down-to-earth and realistic, if a little pessimistic on the whole. I found it very easy to relate to them and was rarely ready to switch to the next point of view when the time came.
If you enjoyed A Game of Thrones, you’ll definitely love A Clash of Kings as well. If you’ve read A Game of Thrones, but are unsure if you want to continue the series like I was, I say give it a shot. With the second novel, I had an easier time connecting to the characters and enjoyed it more on the whole.