Tag Archives: A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin

Harper Voyager: Paperback published 1998: 873 pages

The price of glory.

From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims. As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky – a comet the colour of blood and flame – five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory is measured in blood.


I will warn you now – there is no escaping how awesome this series is. If you’re a fantasy writer, just avoid writing whilst you read these as you will inevitably feel inadequate. If you’re a socialite, just accept you will become a hermit for the entire series. Whatever you’re doing, stop right now. Go and read this series. Immediately. In fact, I will not even write a review for it because that means you might find an excuse not to read it. Just go and read it. Go, go, go!

Rating: 10/10

Next book: I can only express the sorrow I have at not owning the next book in this series. Instead, I am indulging in some lighthearted Neil Gaiman – Stardust. After the intensity of A Clash of Kings, I think I need a break!

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A Clash of Kings: A Pre-review Review

I still have a crush on Jon Snow. There, I said it. The TV series ruined my image of him to make him a tall and hot man, not a 14-year-old boy as is mentioned in the books. I also adore Tyron Lannister and Arya Stark because they seem to get all the best lines.

So welcome back to the world of blood, betrayal and a big old ice wall.

And how I have missed it!

You get to meet new characters, and visit old friends. There are new battles to be won, and more frenemies than you can shake a stick at. Be warned if you haven’t read the first book/seen the TV series (what kind of mad are you!) – there be spoilers ahead.

Ned Stark is dead. His eldest son, Robb, is named King of the North, and one of the younger Starks is crippled after seeing brother-and-sister Lannisters in an act that shouldn’t be shared by siblings. Joffrey is on the throne (technically), and his sport is beating up animals that get in his way and poor little Sansa Stark… who I didn’t feel too sorry for, by the way, because she really is stupid. Jon Snow is off finding his uncle the other side of the Wall with his albino direwolf, who is also amazing, and Theon Greyjoy has decided he wants to be king too and so has nicked a few ships from his dad to do it. It’s not many chapters before you lose count of kings and claimants to the throne.

Meanwhile, another favourite character of mine, Daenerys, is trekking across a massive desert with her dragons – because, if you hadn’t already guessed it, she wants to be queen.

Cersei (regent until Joffrey is “of age”) and the Imp (woo! Go Tyrion!) are having a battle of wills over the control and salvage of a starving King’s Landing, leaving the late king’s elder brother to sail across and whoops! insult his younger brother, who also wants to be king. Catelyn Stark is rushing about like a headless thing (no pun intended, and all respect to the late Ned) trying to get all the kings to talk and not hack at each other with armies, while Arya’s desperately trying to escape home, posing as a boy recruited into the Night’s Watch. Oh yeah, and if you’re not confused enough? Winter is coming… not just because the Starks keep saying it, it really is, everyone says so now; which means things are really only going to get worse.

These books are epic – not just for their huge 800+ pages, but because Martin covers an ENTIRE WORLD in one fell swoop. You’ve got different armies, families, religions, countries… the list could go on. The magic of it all? There isn’t a single weak link. Everything is so carefully thought out and it all fits together brilliantly. I don’t kid myself that I could ever be this good a writer, but I really wish I could be! I’m now leaving you to go back to my book – I have another 300 or so pages to go and not even a pack of direwolves will take me from it (though Jon Snow might).

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The All-Consuming Book

So I’m reading A Clash of Kings. I’d forgotten how much I LOVE THIS SERIES. To the point I’m literally ignoring people (not on purpose, I’m just so engrossed). I also remember that these are ridiculous books to try and do anything else whilst reading. The thing barely fits in my bag (and my bag is HUGE). It’s also a great hindrance to tea-drinking. A huge tome of a book, you really need to use two hands to read it. Therefore doing anything else whilst trying to read at the same time (eat porridge, drink tea, sit on the bus) is basically impossible. It’s an all-or-nothing book, a curl-up-in-bed book, it consumes your time and attention. And you know what? George R.R Martin is definitely worth giving up a 5-cups-of-tea a day habit. Worth giving up sleep for even…

Who am I kidding. I need my 8 hours to look this good and even the Starks can’t keep me away from my bed.

But it’s definitely an amazing read. I love this series so much – even if you’re not a fantasy fan, you should read it. If you like historical novels in particular – it’s certainly got a Tudors stab-you-in-the-back feel about it!

Anyway, enough blogging for me… after all, at 873 pages, this book requires all my attention.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Cbosky

Pocket Books: paperback published 2009: 231 pages.

‘I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day… or wondering who did the breaking and wondering why.’

Charlie is a freshman, and while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes at time to see what it looks like from the dancefloor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

_ _ _

This is a stream-of-consciousness type writing, often likened to The Catcher in the Rye. But, I’ve never liked Catcher and I loved this. I often struggle with SOC novels, but this one is quite a simple concept, which makes it very easy to read and much more enjoyable. You fall in love with Charlie, because he has such a simple outlook in life, but seems to understand much more than he lets on. The ending is sort of bittersweet, which I like from books – I like reading something that seems to be just a snapshot of life, that there was something before you started reading, and the story continues even when you stop, and that’s what happens with Perks. Apparently this is now being made into a film, which I’ve got mixed feelings about; I’m not sure this can be made as a film, mainly because it’s a series of letters, but also it’s far too complex. But then again, Chbosky is writing the screenplay, so maybe he knows what he’s doing. I also heard a rumour that Emma Watson is going for the lead female role – NOT GOOD. Emma Watson is definitely not the main female character. Anyhoo – this could be a love or hate book for most people; I think you have to be in the right mood for this book. It’s quite a melancholy story in the end, which is what makes it good, and I guess what also makes it sound like Catcher.

Rating: 8/10

Next book: I can’t help it… It’s going to have to be A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin… I miss the Starks!


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Winter is Coming…

Have you tried Googling “winter is coming”. It’s freaking hilarious!

Anyway. Winter is definitely on its way. I’m sleeping in a hoodie and slippers because the radiators are on the blink even when turned up full blast. My tea drinking has doubled (shocking, I know) and I’m slightly tempted to write with fingerless gloves on.

Still no snow though. Just ridiculously freezing rain and wind, and miserable weather all around. What I need right now is a roaring fire and a blanket. And I’m not even middle-aged.

I’m keeping myself occupied by watching episodes of The Wire (new addiction, which is annoying seeing as there’s five whole seasons to work through), reading Perks and LOTR, and downing tea like I have moments to live… which, by the way, sometimes it feels like because it’s so COLD. Remember I mentioned writing a snow-scene for my novel which is primarily set in summer? I think it might be to do with the weather. Now, how does it sound when I say I’m going write my novel backwards?

Bear with me. WINTER IS COMING. The start of my novel is in summer, yes? So why not have the ending in winter? After all, there needs to be some kind of timeline. And I’m always useless at getting endings right, so why not begin with the end and work backwards? Can’t go wrong then, right?

Yes, my friends, winter is coming… and I’m going to write about it.

It’s also convinced me that A Clash of Kings is the next book on the list. I miss the Starks!

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