I finished A Clash of Kings a lot faster than I thought I would. I checked out the e-book from the library and was trying to figure out what to do after my two-week loan expired when I discovered I was almost through the book. Which means that I had a much easier time getting through this one than I did A Game of Thrones. And A Clash of Kings is longer. I also liked it more – maybe my prior involvement with the characters made me more invested this time around. It’s certainly not “good literature,” but I enjoyed it enough that I’ll catch up with the rest of them in short order.
I hadn’t intended to read A Clash of Kings so soon, but when the penultimate third-season episode came on, it was everywhere. There was a huge uproar. As I think I’ve said before, I have no interest in watching the TV show simply because I don’t like TV that I have to pay attention to, so reading the books are my best bet.
I’m not going to summarize this one. It continues where A Game of Thrones left off, and it’s too complicated and has too many characters. So that’s that.
From what I hear, the TV show follows the books, so there’s no reason to get into both. If you’ve read the first book, you’ve probably already read this one, and I’m the one who’s behind. If you’re a TV-watcher, I’m behind, too, because the third season just ended, which from what I assume covers the third book.
To which I will get shortly because I’m intrigued.
I’d also like to note that although A Song of Ice and Fire is not “good literature,” there is some good writing. Here’s Tyrion in the heat of battle:
The battle fever. He had never thought to experience it himself, though Jaime had told him of it often enough. How time seemed to blur and slow and even stop, how the past and the future vanished until there was nothing but the instant, how fear fled, and thought fled, and even your body. “You don’t feel your wounds then, or the ache in your back from the weight of the armor, or the sweat running down into your eyes. You stop feeling, you stop thinking, you stop being you, there is only the fight, the foe, this man and then the next and the next and the next, and you know they are afraid and tired but you’re not, you’re alive, and death is all around you but their swords move so slowly, you can dance through them laughing.” Battle fever. I am half a man and drunk with slaughter, let them kill me if they can!
And that’s not spoiling anything because by this point, I’m sure you know that these are novels about war, and there’s no way you can’t have heard about them by now. Believe me, I tried.