Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin

When you are dragged into the world of a book, you want to keep reading it no matter what.  And sometimes you'll only stop when you actually fall asleep, which means doing a lot of reading when you're tired.  Some books shouldn't be read when you're too tired, particularly those that are difficult enough to keep track of when wide awake.  Re-enter A Song of Ice and Fire...

A Clash of Kings is the second installment in the now-very-famous fantasy series by George RR Martin.  As you'd therefore expect, it continues storylines set out in A Game of Thrones, as well as introducing more characters and threads into the mix.  Because clearly there weren't enough already.  This is a kingdom at war (or should that be kingdoms?) with more sides and 'rightful' rulers than you can shake a stick at.  Or keep track of.

It has to be said that my reading of this book was quite on and off.  The timing coincided with the end of my maternity leave, and lots of visitors as I returned to work.  And when you try to dip in and out of a book that needs commitment you stop enjoying it.  But once I gave it another chance, after a short break, I re-found my enthusiasm and hit the magic point of no return that makes being immersed in a book so much fun.

Seriously though, do not read this book while over-tired.  I was pretty much falling asleep for a couple of chapters and woke up the next day unable to remember what had happened, other than a vague recollection of some ships.  Thankfully I flicked back through before continuing, as I'd half-read a hugely important battle.  Even now I may need to re-read parts before continuing with the next book.

The characters are the sort that you appreciate rather than love.  The realities that they live in would make being too friendly rather impractical.  But you do start to overlook aggressive habits, to become rather fond of people that will happily kill others.  Not too fond though.  You never know who will be next on the chopping block.

As any book in a series should do, the acceleration at the end leaves you wanting to read on.  And read on I shall.  I just hope that I can get the balance right so that it's not another 3 months before I finish my next book.

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