A red comet appeared in the sky of Westeros. The way this comet shines – making the comet visible even on daytime – and its color – crimson red like blood – make it a bad omen for the people. Combine this with the fact that the Winter is ante portas, the things darken even more.
Let us turn our eyes from skies to earth, to see what our heroes do. Heroes we have met on the first book, but also new heroes introduced here. And, of course, the comet will continue its course regardless if this is a bad omen or a good one for human race.
First of all (we do have our favorites) comes Arya. The youngest daughter of – the demised now – Ned Stark. As you remember, Yoren, member of the Night Guard, pulled her away from the crowd and the curious eyes, when they beheaded her father at King’s Landing. His first concern is to send her out-of-town, to save her from the hands of Lanister. For this reason he cuts her hair to make her look like a boy, and instructs her to mix with the mob that he will lead to the Wall as fresh recruits for the Night Guard. He plans to stop at Winterfell and deliver Arya to her family. Exiting the city proved to be an easy task. But the road is something completely different… long and with bad company. Or as they say… anything is possible.
While Arya began her trip to the north, Sansa, her scatterbrained sister, stays – rather unwillingly – in the Red Castle, in the capital of the kingdom. Joffrey, now a King, has revealed his true colors that are reflected in the sad eyes and the bruised body of Sansa. She still is King’s new fiancée and she must be wherever he orders and play her decorative part as good as she can.
Tyrion, Queen’s brother, arrives in Red Castle. His task is – as ordered by his father, who drives all threads – to put some order in the administration. Joffrey is not the only one claiming the Iron Throne, his uncles are interested too. Renly has already proclaimed himself King and Stannis is preparing to lay siege on King’s Landing. But there are more! Do not forget Rob Stark, who was crowned King of the North by the Lords loyal to his father. The times are dark and King Joffrey is not good enough to be jester of a king! It will not be easy for Tyrion, or should we say that this will be an impossible mission?
Up north, Bran spends his days in solitary in Winterfell because his mother, brothers and sisters are away. The fact that he is a Prince – as an heir to his brother – gives him no consolation at all. Bran is a real Stark and Starks do not care about titles and honors. The only thing that brings him joy is his dreams. In nighttime he sees he is a wolf, and to be more specific he sees the world throught the eyes of his direwolf… but are these dreams or not?
Even further north, at the Wall, Jon Snow will finally live the adventure he was always been seeking. Lord Commander, along with two hundred men including Jon and his friend Sam, will march north of the Wall. There, among the areas of the wildlings (Free Folk), they will try to locate Benjen Stark and to find answers about what is happening in far north. Right now, that the winter is coming, these information will be invaluable for the survival of the kingdom and its people.
Returning to the south and more specifically in Riverran – the birthplace of Katlyn – we will meet Katlyn and her son Rob. The firstborn of Ned Stark who – in short time – became a teenager, Lord of Winterfell and immediately then King of North. Can a man so young tackle the problems and cope with the requirements of his position? His mother will help him and how much? And what will be the fate of Jamie Lannister, who is still held in prison?
To the east of Westeros, in Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon prepares to grab the Iron Throne from the hands of his nephew Joffrey. To achieve this he will use all the power of swords and ships under his commands, and any other means, fair or unfair. At his side is a scary red woman who gives him counsel. Her advices drag him to an unfair, evil path. An evilness out of this world!
On the other side, in the West, Theon Greyjoy, ward of Stark, arrives in the Iron Islands. Sent from Rob as an emissary to his father Lord Balon Greyjoy, the Lord of the islands. Theon, a dishonest and cunning man, is seeking for allies for the upcoming battles. The Rocky islands are just producing ore from the mines. What role will play the Lord of the islands, and his equally wicked son?
Going again east, passing the Narrow Sea, we will meet Daenerys with the three newborn dragons. Few Dothraki stayed loyal to her – mainly old men, helpless women and children – and Sir Jorah. Their small group has taken the safer path that leads to the East. Her true destination is the West, but they must avoid the pitfalls until she can build an army of well-trained men and the dragons grow up. To the East!
What about Renly? With a hundred thousand men he marches slowly but steadily from the south to King’s Landing and to the much desired throne. The Iron Throne where he wants to lay his blue-blooded noble arse.
In brief these are the pawns, the major players and their positions at the beginning of this turn in the “game of power” that started in “Games of Thrones” and continues in “Clash of Kings”. And in this second book of the series, the much talented author continues with the same great recipe. Continuous action, plot twists and perfectly drawn characters.
While you read this book the agony never stops and the flowing language along with the smart plot do not let you put the book down. The medieval looking images are vibrant and exciting! Like in the first book, the heroes and the places are many but you will not be confused, not even for a moment. This is one more aspect of George R R Martin’s talent: leading the reader so masterfully into fiction, leaving him speechless with the general picture he gains for the world of Westeros.
Well, this book does not need encouragement. Look for it at your local bookstore or at an eshop bookstore, immerse yourself in this magical realm and enjoy each and every one of the 900 and more pages! The song of fire and ice is… happening! Enjoy reading this book 🙂
The synopsis at the back of the book:
In this eagerly awaited sequel to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a work of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination. A Clash of Kings transports us to a world of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare unlike any you have ever experienced.
A CLASH OF KINGS
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.