Yes, yes, this is an older book, but *I* just jumped on this train, so here we go!
For all my complaining, I did end up liking this book in the end. The beginning was good, the middle was a little boring and confusing, and the end was “OHMYGOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING.” To be entirely fair, this series is hardly the kind I would ever pick up on my own, and for good reason. I’m easily bored, and I end up skimming a lot in these books. This is hardly new for me; I do that for Clive Cussler too, and I adore those books. However, in A Clash of Kings I found myself either repeatedly bit by this habit, or there were a few things that were just “…what.” For example, the entire character of Melisindre. Just…what. She seems to have no purpose or even any kind of a real root of believability in the story. Except for giving Stannis the ability to magically kill people, which makes my eye twitch. For all the things GRRM goes on and on with explaining and giving us back story for, there were plenty of examples in A Clash of Kings of things that just seemed thrown in there; things that were too easy and left me dubious of their plausibility. Also, with all that explaining that he does, his habit of skimming over some of the story’s most interesting and exciting points by having the POV character told them after you’re certain all is lost does NOT give the event a harder punch into my gut. It annoys me.
I had ugly feelings about the switching of POVs and storylines, but I have a confession to make. I honestly cannot tell you which storyline or POV character I’m more excited to read about anymore. Characters who I barely thought of after A Game of Thrones are suddenly worming their way into my heart. Jon, Daeny, Tryion and Arya were always favorites, and now I’ve added Bran to the mix along with Theon, just because I want to see Theon’s face smashed in and more of his sister. Also, give me more Robb gosh darn it, don’t give me all of my Robb through his mother. Catelyn Stark was a nice character in the beginning, but now she bores me.
Despite being bored by some of this book, it did still manage to surprise me. Like I said, for all my complaining … I’m hooked. Despite of the length of A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, there are still so many unanswered questions, unresolved issues AND GRRM managed to make up new ones. As if this world wasn’t convoluted enough. I already picked up my copy of A Storm of Swords, and plan to start reading shortly. Let’s start this most lovely form of torture all over again, shall we? 😀