The second book in the Song of Fire and Ice series took some time to get into. At around page 200, I put the novel aside and read other things for several weeks. After the climatic ending to A Game of Thrones, the rather slow-paced opening to ACoK was a bit off-putting. That being said, once I picked the book back up, read another 100 pages or so, Martin delivered with some of the biggest shocks of the series thus far. Some of them so jarring and unbelievable that I almost stopped reading AGAIN. Martin had managed to break my heart and fear turning the next page because he will kill anyone and writes some truly heinous characters that are hard to swallow (Theon – you poor, pathetic bastard!).
What can I continue to say about this series? The characters are wonderful, especially the women. I loved Arya’s story so much. She is just a little spitfire and perhaps the best part of the books for me. Sansa’s character development over this second novel was amazing, thrilling, and often hard to read. Meeting Brienne and Ygritte for the first time and getting to know them was satisfying and left me excited for all the other amazing women Martin promises to write in future novels. The only female character I found lacking this time around was Dany. She wasn’t around much and I missed her.
The men were also well-written. Jon Snow is just a bundle of literary joy – is he not? And my big character crush of the moment. Tyrion outdid himself and has come so far since A Game of Thrones. Like Dany, I missed seeing Robb and even Jaime Lannister. Hopefully, they will factor more into the third book.
In A Clash of King the mysticism and magic was also amped up. The shadow baby? A huge WTF moment for me, but kind of awesome. The army gathering beyond the wall – Can. Not. Wait.
For me, Martin’s second installment in this series feels mostly like a set-up for A Storm of Swords which I’ve heard is Epic. I’ve started watching the second season of the HBO series and I’m enjoying it immensely. I promised myself to put off reading the third book until next year, but I ordered the book a couple of days ago and will probably start it immediately. I have a weakness. I don’t know how people waited the 2-6 years between the original publication of the novels. They must be very strong people.
Don’t forget that I’m giving away one copy of Emily Jeanne Miller’s Brand New Human Being! Check the post before this one for the giveaway!
Also, I just started reading The Book Thief – about 100 pages in – and I’m not entirely sure I’m enjoying it. Is this normal? I know so many people rave about it that I’m feeling a bit weird. Let me know!