Monday, April 23, 2012

A Clash of Kings

A Song of Ice and Fire, #2
by George R.R. Martin
761 pages

WARNING:  If you have not finished reading A Game of Thrones, and you plan to, do not read this summary.  It's impossible to summarize this book without giving away large parts of what happened in the first book.

There are now four kings who each claim the throne of Westeros.  Joffrey Baratheon is thought to be King Robert's son and the heir apparent.  However, he is really the result of incest between his mother and her twin brother, and he really has no claim to the throne, though he is still unaware of this.  Joffrey's mother's family, the Lannisters, have lots of money and a large army to support Joffrey's claim and hold the western lands.  King Robert's real heir should be Stannis, his brother, and Stannis makes a claim to the throne based on this, but few lords support his claim.  Robert's youngest brother Renly also makes a claim on the throne as King Robert's appointed heir to their family's lands and titles.  Renly is largely supported by those in the south.  The final claimant to the throne is Robb Stark, King of the North, who has been proclaimed king by many supporters in the central and northern regions of Westeros.  Stark did not seek to become king, but many would rather have him as king over the corrupt Lannisters.  Obviously, there cannot be four kings, so there are some battles going on to settle the matter.

Of course we cannot forget our favorite characters.  Tyrion Lannister is Acting Hand and works to keep the throne in Lannister hands, even if it means opposing Queen Regent Cersei and King Joffrey.  The Stark family is still scattered throughout the entire realm, each with his or her own struggles.  The Starks and Winterfell are also in danger as others seek to take the northern lands for their own.  Jon Snow is fighting beyond the Wall, and Daenerys Targaryen is still wandering around with her dragons in the lands east of Westeros.

Overall, an enjoyable read.  I've got to say that I think Tyrion Lannister is one of my favorite characters, even though he is fighting on the "wrong" side.  The only complaint I have is that Martin spends too much time following the story of Daenerys Targaryen.  I don't like her, and I don't want her to take over the realm.  So help me, if this is how this whole series ends, I am going to be mad.  However, I definitely have to read the next book because I desperately need to know what's going to happen to the Starks.

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