Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin

I Know Nothing

This is the second instalment of Martin’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ fantasy sequence of books, better known as Game of Thrones. I unashamedly confess that I started tor read these books after becoming hooked on the TV show.

The first thing that struck me, after the reading the first volume, unreviewed here so far, was the publication date way back in the 1990’s. How did I miss them? Were they best sellers then? If they weren’t why not? It would seem sad, nigh on tragic, to think the books are selling well because of a cult TV series. and it beggars the question how much else of worth is out there but languishing. The other side of the coin is how good that a TV drama should bring this writer to peoples’ attention.

I have found the two volumes I have read to be exciting, well written, well structured and ultimately exploring cerebral depths that a TV series can’t given its visual constraints. 

Of course having watched all the series of the TV show I am familiar with all the characters, I know them well. So detailed are the descriptions and the development of said characters that they have translated beautifully to the small screen. Is it a testament to Martin’s writing or a loving interpretation by the makers of the show?

The books have a wide appeal because they cover so many genres. Fantasy obviously.  Westeros is so finely and cleverly constructed you have to remind yourself it is imaginary. History also. As something of a history buff and lover of historic fiction there is much here to push that button. The Roman Empire, the Hundred Years War, the Wars of the Roses,  the parallels are all there. Adventure? Yes. Thriller? Yes. Romance? Pushing it a bit!! Mystery? Spiritual? 

I have five more volumes to read which I won’t probably won’t finish before the eighth is finally published! But no matter. My only fear is that I expire before I get to read them all! None of them are slim volumes.

I have referred to the lack of my reviews for Book One and I did hesitate about offering my opinions on this one. And the reason is that in many ways the whole cycle is one, single book and maybe should be viewed and reviewed as such. It would be amusing to see the whole lot published as one HUGE volume!! I wouldn’t relish carrying that around with me. :-)

But I’ve reviewed this one in case I don’t last long enough to read them all. Pessimistic? Moi?

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