A Clash of Kings: A Song Of Ice And Fire: Book Two by George R. R. MartinA Clash of Kings: A Song Of Ice And Fire: Book Two by George R. R. Martin

A Clash of Kings: A Song Of Ice And Fire: Book Two

byGeorge R. R. Martin

Hardcover | March 26, 1999

Pricing and Purchase Info

$34.23 online 
$38.00 list price save 9%
Earn 171 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores



George R. R. Martin, a writer of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination, has created a landmark of fantasy fiction. In his widely acclaimed A Game of Thrones, he introduced us to an extraordinary world of wonder, intrigue, and adventure. Now, in the eagerly awaited second volume in this epic saga, he once again proves himself a master myth-maker, setting a standard against which all other fantasy novels will be measured for years to come.

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead . . . victims of royal treachery. Now, 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 through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel . . . and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment—a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.
George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tutt...
Title:A Clash of Kings: A Song Of Ice And Fire: Book TwoFormat:HardcoverDimensions:768 pages, 9.51 × 6.49 × 1.82 inPublished:March 26, 1999Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553108034

ISBN - 13:9780553108033

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from So caught up in this world The second book of this series does not disappoint!
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Team Jon If you watched the show then the book is the cream du la cream which will insert you in to the Game of Thornes world. I loved the book
Date published: 2017-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing set of books These are great books, highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it Just as good or better than book 1!
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great sequel This book falls nothing short of amazing. A great continuation to AGOT. Cant wait for part 3!
Date published: 2017-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still good Not as good as AGOT and the Theon and Bran chapters are a bit boring, but still a great book with good dialogue especially in the Tyrion chapters
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from POWERFUL One of the most powerful and gripping series of books I've ever read! The characters, royal intrigue and plot twists have me hook, line and sinker. 100% recommended!
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Continuation Great continuation to previous book! Loved the Tyrion and Sansa chapters, great characters!
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Continuation The A Song of Ice and Fire series never disappoints. I was able to put down this book for a school year and then jump right back into it afterwards and be entirely engrossed. The book is jarring, provides further character development and has wonderful twists (I only wish I had not watched the tv show first) #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Sequels don't usually live up to their predecessors, but this story just seems to get more and more interesting.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a clash of kings wow. another hit. there is so much going on. this writer is amazing.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great installment! This novel is the second of the series and it adds to A Game of Thrones perfectly. Picking up after the plot twist in the first book, A Clash of Kings adds to the drama and suspense with further action. Just when I thought the action would slow down, it adds more. Awesome read!
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome Great book, I found it very exciting
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic sequel It's impossible to put down, a real page turner
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great series Fantastic stories and awesome characters.
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Great story, the books are just as awesome as the TV series.
Date published: 2017-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So much depth! Infinitely re-readable. A series that is famous for being shocking, but it's the gritty human characters and the depth of the creation that really make this series great.
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Great story, the books are just as awesome as the TV series.
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Great story, the books are just as awesome as the TV series.|
Date published: 2017-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great My favorite out of the books currently out for the series.
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Expanding on a great start Continuing where the first one left off, the second book in the series explores already introduced characters more thoroughly and expands the intrigue, leading us further into a large tapestry of plots and subplots.
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read even better than the first book.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better Than the First? I think I actually enjoyed this one more than the previous novel. Most of the characters I didn't care for in the first book have taken on new depth, like Sansa and Bran, and there are a ton of great new characters introduced in this volume as well - Margaery Tyrell, Brienne of Tarth, Davos Seaworth, Meera Reed, and Asha Greyjoy, to name just a few. I don't care what anyone says, though: warg-ing is stupid.
Date published: 2017-05-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Very well written, although a tad long at times.
Date published: 2017-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome I'm not a fan of every POV character, but overall this book is amazing
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from astonishing! amazing second instalment for the GoT series.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The magic continues This book just becomes even more thrilling and haunting than the last.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful! George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the best and most detailed worlds I have ever had the pleasure of reading since being immersed in the world of Harry Potter. Everyone says the book is better than the series/movie, but boy is it ever true here! So much thought went into creating this deep universe with a rich and intense history. Every character thought out wonderfully. There's so much information inside one book, it's amazing! Luckily he does give you a map and an annex for the family trees of the major houses in the books, cause you really need them! This book looks into all the proclaimed new kings and their causes as to why they believe they should be. It's an interesting power struggle that foreshadows doom.
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! A great second book to the series. The characters POVs are very interesting and builds the story slowly.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Amazing second book in the series
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Sequel Was worried the series would not be able to keep up with the epic first book but I was wrong! Excellent series and cannot wait to keep reading
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great sequel Amazing follow up to A Game of Thrones. Great read, engrossing characters, well developed world, and a more human approach to the genre. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book 5 stars that is all that needs to be said.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO GOOD Better than the last! More characters, more action, more world building. What more can you ask for! These books are big and dense but you get sooo much more out of the story because of that! I always have so much fun when i read this series
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! And wow. George R. R. Martin's world is so grand and detailed, I can't help but be amazed. There are characters I love, and characters I loath, and the story is just so rich. Fantasy always blows my mind as the world building is beyond comprehension. These books are no different. They may be intimidating due to their size, but they're worth it!
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best Saga of all time Another awesome book by GRRM. If I had to rank this in the series I would say it is second best behind A Storm of Swords
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good! great book but not as good as the first book
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Little Slow This one was much harder to get through than the first one. I loved the ending and Tyrion's story was interesting, but over all it was very slow and I struggled to get through it.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Loved it so much and i didnt mind that this specific volume on the séries lacked action as it was mostly centered around court ploting
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Another great read by Geroge RR Martin.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love This I honestly was having a hard time finding a book that I would find interesting. This series and its stories are so intricate that you have to pay attention to fully appreciate the book. My family has read the books and I am so glad that I have finally started to read them as well. If you are looking for a book that isn't a "let down" or a story that has been done before, try this series! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from compelling the continuation drips us to this fantasy/reality world as the characters grows in depth and dimension. long book but nevertheless, fun and suspenseful to read!
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! This book and series are amazing! A must read; even if it is a long read.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read second book had so much going on really good read
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Good continuation of the exciting fantasy series. Picks up where the other lefts of and throws new characters at you, such as Davos Seaworth. Arya's character was amazing. I need the WoW!
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So intense Probably the most dramatic book so far. I'm not sure if I've ever devoured a book so quickly.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent sequel I really enjoyed this book. Martin makes it so easy to immerse yourself in the world of Westeros.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! Not as great as the first book but still a good read
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read series First book was amazing and the second did not disappoint! Always on the edge of your seat with lots of unsuspecting turns.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid fantasy book This is the book that kept me reading fantasy. While I have not enjoyed many books in the fantasy genre, this is the followup book to a solid series that made me like fantasy again.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great sequel If you read GoT and enjoyed it, this is a must-read. A great read!
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from strong sequel to the series have to admit, I thought this book was long, and it took me a while before I could finish it. A month and an half, actually. But even though it took me so long to read it, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, I really really liked it ! Hence the three stars… but I guess I only needed to digest it slowly. Just like in the first book, the story changes of point of view at every chapters. I think that really helped because it was making a change and if you got tired of a certain character, you knew that in a few pages it would maybe be one that you prefer. For myself, I really enjoyed Arya’s, Tyrion’s, and Jon’s chapters but really had a hard time going through Theon’s and Davos’ ones. In conclusion, this second book of the series was really good ! But I think I am going to take a break and read other books for a while before starting the third one because otherwise I think it would become kind of heavy to read so many massive books in a row.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Better than GoT I enjoyed this book more than a game of thrones, however I still don't think its as great as people make it seem
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible The second installment to the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and every bit as good as the first one!
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible The second installment to the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and every bit as good as the first one!
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Absolutely loved this series!
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MASTERPIECE GRRM does not fail... another hit
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I liked it! I liked this book. A lot of cool things happened! A good continuation from the first one!
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extensive I found A Clash of Kings a bit wanting, but loved returning the world of ASOIAF. It's so easy to immerse yourself with the wealth of material.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever! This is the best fantasy series since Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Rowling's Harry Potter!!
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Clash of Kings I enjoyed this one better than the first. It was still a long book and took a while to get through, but still a good read.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More intriguing than the first novel Story continues to build and remains great.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Love the attention to detail and amazing characters/plot lines!
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from epic Not much twists and surprises in this one but a great follow up to the first to see where the characters are.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even better than the first The sequel to A Game of Thrones is just an amazing read. I cannot recommend these books enough. The show is also very well done. If you liked The Lord of the Rings, you cannot go wrong with this.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it :-) This book is wonderful. I love the way that it is written. Love reading things from the point of view of the characters. It is also interesting to see what made it into the show and what was changed for the show. Can't wait to read the next book.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I was still late to the party... And enjoyed this one as well.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed I enjoyed this much more than the first one! The story is finally beginning to make more sense with greater detail.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story.. only been reading less than 50 pages but I already enjoy the book... very imaginative description and very impressed with the way the story is told.... i'm sure that I will finish this book even with 700+ pages...
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great entry This novel continues building from the first one. There are more characters and the stakes are raised, but the quality of plotting and writing continue to be great.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deserves the hype! Amazing sequel to an amazing first book. Just finished reading this for the second time and I have also seen the show multiple times but there is so much attention to detail in the books that you can never get bored.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The series continues.... The second book continues the Ice and Fire series. It takes a few different twists and turns, and introduces some new characters and plot elements. Great continuation of the first.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Keeps getting better and better!!! Couldn't wait to start this once I finished the last page of book one. Couldn't believe how it started off but it definitely did not disappoint. An amazing adventure with no idea what the end game will bring!
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Loved it even more than the others in the series
Date published: 2015-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just brilliant. George R. R. Martin is a legend all together. Just brilliant. His imagination is like no other. All i can say is thank you for your books.
Date published: 2015-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good book I really loved this book
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Clash of Kings I am loving this series!! Already itching to read the next!!
Date published: 2014-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Amazing book, great story continuation.
Date published: 2014-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ACOK Just as good as the first never thought I would be reading this genre but I'm digging it!
Date published: 2014-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Book 2 I did enjoy this book quite a bit. The start was a little slow, but once you get into it, it's very fast paced. There were some character's point of views that I like more than others though. Also mid way through the book you seem to get bombarded with names and house, and it can get a little tricky to remember who is on whose side (then houses start switching loyalties.....). It is for sure a long read, but a good one. I especially enjoyed the ending.
Date published: 2014-05-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from .tol ql p .mm mw all aboutmlpl.lol
Date published: 2014-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from .tol ql p An excellent sequel...well written, entertaining page-turner that manages to expand and develop the many storylines initiated in the first book as well as adding some new ones. A masterpiece of literarature.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great follow up to Game of Thrones Although in my opinion not as exciting as the first book in the series, it does lay the ground work, and back story, for all of the action in Storm of Swords.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clash of King's Amazing!!! I CANNOT PUT THIS SERIES DOWN! !!
Date published: 2014-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Clash of Kings All I can say is WOW! Excellent read.
Date published: 2013-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read You know the book is good when you cant help but read one more chapter every time you limit yourself. I love the characters and the twists and turns of the novel, it feels so realistic and yet magical. Im buying the third right away.
Date published: 2013-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Martin is a Genius..... This entire series is amazing. Best series I've read since Tolkien - it really is that good. People used to cheer "Frodo" well get ready to hear cheers for "Jon Snow"!! Excellent characters with "catch you by surprise" twists. This will be a series you will keep and read again & again.
Date published: 2013-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Martin at his finest A perfect sequel to AGOT. Martin develops his secondary characters and ensemble cast. Details in earlier parts of the book will pay off down the road in multiple re reads of the book and the series. A new discovery is always found upon a re read. Martin's prose has never been stronger, characters get where they're gimping with little travelogue and the plot moves forward at a good pace. Why are you still reading this? Go buy it!
Date published: 2013-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unreal! How do I even begin to review this novel? What a world GRRM has created, and what a pleasure it is to escape into! This book is on the same level as the first in the series, perhaps a bit slower in the beginning as we were already introduced to many of the central characters, but it picked up its pace around 100 or so pages in. When you find out how long it takes GRRM to write one of these novels, you truly appreciate the hard work he puts into them, because it really goes to show that this is no easy project, but a journey. Let me start off by saying that I LOVED the introduction of the character Davos. While he only has a few chapters within this novel, the chapters that he does tell in his perspective, really give the reader an insight into the life of Stannis Baratheon, and the war he is planning against his brother, Renly and the Lannisters. Other new characters including Ygritte (Jon's future lover), and Melisandre (Stannis' accomplice), really add a twist to the already interesting story line, and show us how the decisions made by the primary characters can change so drastically with the power of charm and lies. Another thing I enjoy so much about this series, is how GRRM describes even the littlest things in such an exaggerated and detailed manner, making for the reader to truly appreciate the world and make it that much more believable. The in-depth story lines of the relationships between the characters (ex. Tyrion and Shae), is a refreshing way to keep the novel interesting and not all about war and fighting. It adds an emotional complexity to the story, making it even more real and desirable. Where many novels' sequels solve a good deal of the first novels’ problems, the predicaments just keep getting bigger, which provides the next book with an intriguing premise. Having watched Season 2 of GOT (which this novel is based on), made reading this book that much more enjoyable and easier to understand. While the tv series is not a carbon copy of the novel (like the first season is to the first novel), it is remains almost completely faithful, with only a few small changes. Overall, this sequel lives up to the hype, and what I love so much about this world that GRRM has created, is the time period, and being able to really know what it was like to live in an era where kings and queens still ruled. It makes today's world seem so...boring! Ha! Amazing! Cannot wait to read the third installment in this wonderful series! :-)
Date published: 2013-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All about the politics. You can find this review and others on my book review blog Blood Rose Books (http://j9books.blogspot.com). I think that everyone who is considering to read this series knows that you need to start with the first book A Game of Thrones in order to understand anything that occurs within this book. The first book sets up everything that is to come and needs to be read first. In the second novel in his his series George R.R. Martin shows the reader what happens when multiple people are all vying for the crown. Now that the two great leaders are dead (Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon), there is struggle and unrest within the seven kingdoms as more that one individual believes that they should rule. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming by not only his mother and uncle but by other forces as well. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.It remains to be seen who will rule the kingdom, but one thing is for sure, there will be blood, betrayal, heartache and death before there can be a ruler. This book was an amazing followup to the first, I was glad that Martin was able to keep the momentum going, with everything that happened within the first novel. I love all the political intrigue and movements that are made in this book. I love how the most subtle things are the most important and you actually need to pay attention to what is going on in order to figure things out. This is not a book or series for someone who just wants an easy or light read, you need to have the ability to pay attention and remember even the slightest things to try to figure out what will happen next. If you found that the first novel had too many points of view and it was hard to follow, I think that this novel had less point of views when compared to the first novel and that you get to know the core characters even better. At the beginning once again there are quite a few characters, but due to circumstance and well death(s) there are less towards the second half of the novel. I believe that by the end of the second novel we mainly get points of view from about six characters with another one character thrown in every once in awhile. It was interesting that there was less of Catherine Stark within this book as now it seems to be more of a "Man Game" (as each "King" attempts to out maneuver the other) and you can tell that she feels put out and really just want to get the girls and go home. However, on a different note there seemed to be more sections based around Ariea which I personally liked because she was one of my favorite characters within the first and I am interested to see what overall role she will play in the books to come. The demon aspect within this book is downright creepy, when birth is given to the demon, I could not help but cringe.On that note, this book does have a bit more fantasy aspect that many might have found was missing within the first series. There are the dragons, a woman with mysterious powers, the development of Bran's powers and well the demon mentioned above. However, once again the fantasy aspect did not take front and center to the overall plot of things (although they were used in some major occurrences) as the political aspect and literally the clash of kings is what this book is about. Martin knows how to keep the reader guessing, you never really know who is going to survive from novel to novel and I will say that I enjoy this unpredictable aspect. While the amount of political basted moves may be boring to some, I personally love that part of the book and attempting to figure out what minute detail will matter later and possible determine a characters life or death. I believe that Martin's novel are for anyone who wants an interesting read whether you like to read in the fantasy genre or not, I personally think (so far) that the series is that good. Enjoy!!!!
Date published: 2013-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Clash of Kings It took a while to get into the book but pick up real fast when the battle took place and a twist at the end. Can't wait to read "Storm of Swords"
Date published: 2013-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Game of thrones #2 Rereading for fun...
Date published: 2013-06-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A song of ice and fire Fast paced and fun. Nothing like the tv series really.
Date published: 2013-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book! I can't believe how exciting this book was!
Date published: 2013-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good story Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon, King of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms are dead. There is now turmoil and several men declaring themselves to be king. Robert's son Joffery, young, cruel and arrogant is the obvious king but is controlled by the Lannisters. His mother Cersai and his uncle Tyrion each try to put forth their own agendas. Robb Stark has declared himself the King of the North. Robert's brothers, Renly and Stannis have also declared themselves kings. At the same time, the Wildings , north of the wall are amassing and might move south just as summer turns into winter. Political intrigue, brotherly rivalry and people masquerading as servants while the country dissolves into war are all part of the story. I found the story was sluggish in parts. About halfway through, the story did pick up and proceeded at a quicker pace. My two favourite characters are Arya and Bran. Both of them are so courageous.
Date published: 2013-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Addictive..... It's a series of stories intertwined, with few rules of who gets spared, full of brutality, with strong characters and so many plot lines you have no hope of working out what will happen. Like a literary labyrinth, and I'm completely stuck in it. I truly have never read anything like it. It's still your basic fantasy-thriller, but it's genius. More is more.
Date published: 2013-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This book was awesome, addictive, captivating.....a great read, just like the first one.
Date published: 2013-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent A book of war. I really enjoyed all the different perspectives. However, at times the story did lag a bit and some of the fighting ran a bit long. Overall, not my cup of tea. Check out my blog for my full review: http://tubchairtimes.blogspot.ca/2012/08/a-clash-of-kings-george-rr-martin.html
Date published: 2012-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Long-winded but worth the wait It took a few months of reading to get through this long story but that was mostly due to my habit of reading this at night, before I sleep, so I wasn't exactly burning through the pages. That said, it was nonetheless a long climb through the first half (roughly 600 pages) where there isn't a whole lot going on with the plot. A lot of that time is spent with characters figuring out what to do about the events that occurred in the first volume of this series. I am patient though and I stuck with it. Happily I was rewarded in the second half because it is here that the book finally takes off. We see the main characters attempt their individual plans and plots to further their own ends. The only real issue I have with the novel, aside from the slow start, is the way the author continues to move from one plot to the other with each chapter - just as you are getting into one storyline, the author stops and moves you somewhere else. Some might view this as a clever cliffhanger device but I just find it annoying. I would rather spend a few chapters with one group, end on a cliffhanger and then move on. Every chapter seems excessive. In addition, for the slower parts of the book (of which there is an appreciable quantity), it would help move things along quite dramatically if Martin didn't switch so often - the story would not be so choppy and disconnected. Despite the criticisms, the story remains very entertaining and I ended up reading the last quarter of the book in less than a week. Just remember that this ride will require you to climb a hill first. I find this series very reminsicent of T. H. White's Once and Future King - I really can't put my finger on it but if you have read both, I think you will agree. This book is well recommended for fantasy readers who are not in a hurry to finish a book.
Date published: 2012-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The sequel to an epic tale. Firstly, if you have not read the first novel in the series of A Song if Ice and Fire I suggest reading A Game of Thrones, the first novel in this epic fantasy. This review will contain SPOILERS from the first novel. --- SPOILERS (from the first book) BELOW --- In A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin shows the aftermath of the death of King Robert and Eddard. Most importantly, he shows the consequences of the secrets that Eddard reveals before his death. This leads to several different individuals claiming ownership of the Kingdom and the start of a very long war. A Clash of Kings follows the same system previously shown in A Game of Thrones by focusing each chapter on a different main character. This also means it suffers from similar problems, there are certain chapters and characters I would rather read about then others, which is especially painful when they first introduce a new perspective. Although the character is interesting, there is less of an emotional attachment then to a character I have already read about in the first novel. Aside from a few boring spots spread throughout various parts in the novel, I found that A Clash of Kings was definitely knit together more tightly. The character perspectives connected well throughout the novel and the plot was relevant in almost all of the different perspectives. A Clash of Kings is slightly longer then A Game of Thrones, but if you have already read the first book and loved it I don't see why you wouldn't pick this up.
Date published: 2012-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not quite as good as Book #1, but great ending I wanted to read this just before the second season of the HBO series started and thought it best to wait until late March. However, I was hearing bits of what was going to happen, and didn't want to ruin anything about the book, so I read it as soon as possible. Basically, Joffrey's actions at the end of the first book throws Westeros into chaos as four kings emerge to claim the Iron Throne: Joffrey, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon & his brother Renly Baratheon. Now while it seems Joffrey has made enmeies of the three other claimants, none of them are willing to bend knee to any of the others, and what ensues is a tale of backstabbing and changing loyalty. The major battle at the end is very well written and seems to settle the claims of who is king (for the time being). In the meantime, young Arya Stark is trying desperately to get home, her youngest brothers, Bran & Rickon, must try to defend Winterfell in the absece of their family, and Jon Snow, Eddard Stark's illegitimate son, travels into the wild North to face a growing threat to all that has been fought for in the South as the Wildlings gather their forces into one huge army. I already want to continue with book three, but will wait, at least, until the HBO series comes to its season finale in June.
Date published: 2012-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loving the Games! A wonderful follow up to Game of Thrones. Loved it! The development of the multitude of characters is fascinating ~ the ones I once cheered for, I now cheer against and vice versa. I was shocked by some events, and all the while left wanting more. Am on to book 3 now and still can't get enough. I don't know how people have waited years between volumes. A highly recommended series!
Date published: 2012-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even better Martin delivers in his fashion a fantastic tale fit for many readers. I was drawn to this series from the HBO show and was so impressed with the first book and how the TV show actually did do it justice. Unable to wait for the second season I picked up this book and I'm so glad I did. The book changes to different perspectives for every chapter just like the first book and this is one of the strong tools Martin uses to keep you engaged. Falling upon the various murderous plots before the characters know what's in store for them is akin to watching a scary movie and yelling at the character not to go down that dark alleyway! You know what's waiting for them but you are powerless to stop it. The character development is so amazing and new characters are introduced. You'll come to love characters you hate and question the characters you loved. We learn more about the Night Watch and the histories of many of the families. These books are so readable even if you're not someone typically drawn to the genre. And as usual he ends with so many twists you simply don't see coming that make you rabid for the next book. Suitable for teens as well!
Date published: 2011-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Continues to be great!! Martin does it again! Here, he continues his 'Ice and Fire' series with book 2. It has a bit of a different 'feel' than Game of Thrones did. We are introduced to a few new regions, and characters. Also, some of the characters that were minor in book 1, are now main characters in book 2, so they got shuffled around a bit. i look forward to what book 3 (Storm of Swords) brings...
Date published: 2011-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Clash of Kings A Clash of Kings was a very enjoyable read. When I finished reading The Game of Thrones I immediately felt the need to continue on with the series. While reading The Game of Thrones I could not put it down. I was hoping for the same feeling from this book. It was very very good, but it took me a bit longer to get into the story. I hope the next one is just a little bit better.
Date published: 2011-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yes, Better than Tolkien. Words cannot express how much I love these books. I never thought I'd feel this way about a fantasy series like this. It is even better than Tolkien's books. it has a lot of detail but it doesn't kill you in the detail like Tolkien does. The characters are so lovable and infuriating. I was hooked from the first chapter in the first book.
Date published: 2011-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So the battle begins I didn't think it was possible, but this second installment of "A Song of Ice and Fire" series has topped the first! More politics and the betrayals that come with it, religion and the fanaticism, emerging truths and deeper secrets, growing up to added responsibilities, fights and bloody deaths, and magic and dragons too. New characters' point-of-views have been introduced and so has a long list of characters. I know I shouldn't be leaving gaps between reading each book since I always lose track of what has happened or who has died, but what would I do if I read them all before the fifth one is published?!
Date published: 2010-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb The author of this book is a magician he winds throught the the kingdoms and creats storys within stories that has you wanting to read more. He is not afraid to kill charecters and he creates a master piece.
Date published: 2008-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from George R R Martin you are a curse and a king At 1009 pages this book supplies a depth and breadth of world that is so involving that though I race toward the end in eagerness, it's still enough to carry me through a couple weeks of real time reading. Enough time for it to live in me. To stew in my thoughts on the bus, at the gym, in the shower. I find myself thinking about the characters as if they were real people. Trying to prise out their motivations and guess at their plans. Wishing I could converse with them, see with their eyes, travel with them, train by their sides, know them, more.....
Date published: 2007-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful A Clash of Kings is a great follow up to the first book in this series. We're introduced to new insightful characters and some of the seconddary ones from the first book now take center stage. It's full of delightful and terrifying twists for all the survivors and makes you eager for more. True to form, Martin delivers some more devastating plot revelations, worth every word.
Date published: 2006-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An exciting sequel that doesn't let you down! What an exciting read, I couldn't put it down. And after I was finished reading it, I wished I could go back and read it again for the first time. Martin picks up right where he left off, and makes you love and hate the characters more and more, even adding a few new ones. Whether you enjoy a great fantasy novel or just enjoy a great read, you have to get this book.
Date published: 2006-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Clash of Kings Not equal to the volumes the preceed and follow it, yet ACOK is still better the your average RJ-filled fantasy shelves
Date published: 2005-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Regicide & More... This book is the second following up A Game of Thrones in the series A Song of Ice & Fire. If you are a fan of epic fantasy, Frank Herbert's Dune, J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, then this series is for you. This second book continues the tale of the first. The Kingdom now has 5 different Kings all claiming to be the one true King. Regicide, Dark Magic, Evil Plotting, love, evil, plots with in plots, this book has everything. It is a must have for anyone who wishes to keep up with what High Epic Fantasy Fiction has become. Our parents had LOTR, we have Martin.
Date published: 2003-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Twisted George R.R. Martin brings an incredibly moving account of the political intruiges seen in our now oh so common lives. His character complexity, devilish 180 degree switch's and development of people who are constantly changing and growing make these books absolutely incredible. Martin shows how the events of greed and power shatter bonds of friendship and family, and how compassion brings the morality out of the even the most evil of enemies. A book that will make you want to read it again!!
Date published: 2002-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Joy THis book will stay high on my library as a book of pure delight. The story is well written, the character are very real. There is not only black and white, you can also see some taint of grey.
Date published: 2001-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Astonishing Reading A Clash of Kings was engrossing. If you start this book you won't be able to put it down. I have read many Fantasy and Sci-Fi Novels and this series of books is by far my favourite.
Date published: 2001-09-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A never-ending soap opera? If you like mean and nasty soap-opera-type people this is your book. Though plots and intrigues are rampant, they seem to lead absolutely nowhere. Arch villans abound, millions of other characters mill about, but heros cannot be found. Ditto for book 1 although it was slightly more interesting. I stopped reading at page 200.
Date published: 2001-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!!! You won't be disappoined if you decide to pick this one up. Lot's action and intrigue. Can't wait for the next book.
Date published: 2001-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 100% beauty The kings and peasants burn alike in a war of 3 kings. The contender holds his place, waiting for a break in the war. Across the sea a woman and her childborn dragons grow in power. You'll never be able to put this book down and once it's done you'll read it again, waiting for the next epic story to continue. Pray to the Godswood it comes soon. For the sake of the dragons, direwolves and you.
Date published: 2001-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Non-Formula Fantasy I think this is the best series that I have ever read. The second book takes the series to a higher level and now I am haunting chapters while I impatiently await the third in the series. Unlike most good fantasy - Goodkind, Jordan, Brooks - this series does not appear to have a protagonist. There is a myriad of characters to rival War and Peace. None of the characters have world-shattering powers that mysteriously appear when they are in dire need. It makes the suspense scenes truly suspenseful when you realize that the author could actually kill any of the characters off. The writing is magnificently well thought out and we are made to understand the perspectives of different rival factions of the war. It is clear that the author painstakingly thought out the actions of each of the marvelous characters. Don't miss this series.
Date published: 2000-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Don't Miss Book!!! This is a great book, very much in depth. I would recommend it to any who likes midevil time books. The book has a lot of good fighting scense and a good story line. the story line is not based on just one caracter either but on many. There are even some new ones that are not spoken of in the first book. Thanks for reading this and I hope you like the book as much as I did.
Date published: 2000-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beyond excellence This series is incredible! It has great depth and complexity. The character are all interesting and very real, you sometimes might get so far into the book that you're yelling at the characters for their actions or praising their awe inspiring intelligence. I can not wait for a storm of swords.
Date published: 2000-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good you can't resest. This book was a fantastic display of Goerge R. R. Martins work. I can't help but ponder what he might come up with next. This book was filled with so many odd plot twistes I just couldn't put it down. You should read this book what ever the cost and feel the heart pumping action only Martin can supply.
Date published: 2000-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Saga Continues This is one case in which the sequel is just as good as the original. Clash of Kings is great, with more character development, plot twists, and an excellent storyline. Even if you're not a big fan of the Sci-Fi genre, Martin is an excellent author, and his writing style - each chapter is narrated from one characters point of view - is original and gripping.
Date published: 2000-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantasy For Non Fantasy Lovers Do you hate the fantasy genre? Even if you do i am quite certain that this novel will overcome any misgivings you may have. While it does contain fantasy elements the readability of the book comes from the political intrigue, doublecrosses, and the excellent character development. i read this book virtually non-stop only pausing to sleep and eat. Though not quite the same book as "A Game Of Thrones" it is still an excellent addition to the series.
Date published: 2000-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engrossing This is a terrific series. I particularly enjoy the development of characters (especially the women) as "real people". It is good to see women displaying the contrast of both "good" and "bad" rather than cartoons of either one. I'm just starting the second installment and am looking forward to revisiting Daenerys,Catelyn and Arya (will she re-connect with her Direwolf?)in particular. As for the male characters, Jon Snow is the most intriguing, although Tyrion is not without merit. Read these books if you are looking for an intelligent fantasy.
Date published: 2000-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding I thought the first book was amazing. The second installation of Martin's series is even better. The characters unfold in a way few authors are able to achieve. I can't wait for the next one.
Date published: 2000-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Clash of Kings Sequel to A Game of Thrones, it was slower moving than Game of Thrones, focusing more on the political situations and manuevering and less on the developement of the characters. Although still interesting to read, it did suffer somewhat from what I call "middle novel syndrome". This is where a lot of events take place that create situations to be resolved in the next novel, leaving this one feeling like an incomplete story. Most of the characters ended the novel in pretty much the same situation that they started it in. Still, it was a good story, even learned something new, you can scour chain-mail clean by rolling it around in a barrel with sand. This book had more sex and violence than the first, definitely not recommended for younger readers, even though the descriptions don't get too graphic. Again, quite good and leaves me looking forward to the next installment.
Date published: 1999-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Clash of Kings I liked this one better than the second. There is more a focus on the characters and the plot focuses around them. The intrigue, manipulation and battles are just as prevalent in this book as they were in the first, giving it a feel like a sort of middle ages/ 17th century European history feel. The aspects of magic and fantasy are more prevalent in this book though still not in the forefront ... yet. It will be interesting to see how the series progresses. An A book.
Date published: 1999-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite fantasy series I read A Game of Thrones on the strength of Martin's wonderful novella from the same universe published in Legends. Almost immediately I tracked down a copy of A Game of Thrones and then bought A Clash of Kings immediately. Only two other series have captivated, moved, intrigued and transported me the way the Martin's series has - The Lord of the Rings and Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Martin's series is the most literate fantasy series in a generation and will be remembered. If you love either or both of the Lord of the Rings or the Dark Tower, run - don't walk - to your nearest Chapters and buy these books. You will not be disappointed.
Date published: 1999-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good book I think that this book is one of the best I have ever read but not as good as the first book in this trilogy.
Date published: 1999-05-02

Read from the Book

TyrionIn the chilly white raiment of the Kingsguard, Ser Mandon Moore looked like a corpse in a shroud. "Her Grace left orders, the council in session is not to be disturbed.""I would be only a small disturbance, ser." Tyrion slid the parchment from his sleeve. "I bear a letter from my father, Lord Tywin Lannister, the Hand of the King. There is his seal.""Her Grace does not wish to be disturbed," Ser Mandon repeated slowly, as if Tyrion were a dullard who had not heard him the first time.Jaime had once told him that Moore was the most dangerous of the Kingsguard--excepting himself, always--because his face gave no hint as what he might do next. Tyrion would have welcomed a hint. Bronn and Timett could likely kill the knight if it came to swords, but it would scarcely bode well if he began by slaying one of Joffrey's protectors. Yet if he let the man turn him away, where was his authority? He made himself smile. "Ser Mandon, you have not met my companions. This is Timett son of Timett, a red hand of the Burned Men. And this is Bronn. Perchance you recall Ser Vardis Egen, who was captain of Lord Arryn's household guard?""I know the man." Ser Mandon's eyes were pale grey, oddly flat and lifeless."Knew," Bronn corrected with a thin smile.Ser Mandon did not deign to show that he had heard that."Be that as it may," Tyrion said lightly, "I truly must see my sister and present my letter, ser. If you would be so kind as to open the door for us?"The white knight did not respond. Tyrion was almost at the point of trying to force his way past when Ser Mandon abruptly stood aside. "You may enter. They may not."A small victory, he thought, but sweet. He had passed his first test. Tyrion Lannister shouldered through the door, feeling almost tall. Five members of the king's small council broke off their discussion suddenly. "You," his sister Cersei said in a tone that was equal parts disbelief and distaste."I can see where Joffrey learned his courtesies." Tyrion paused to admire the pair of Valyrian sphinxes that guarded the door, affecting an air of casual confidence. Cersei could smell weakness the way a dog smells fear."What are you doing here?" His sister's lovely green eyes studied him without the least hint of affection."Delivering a letter from our lord father." He sauntered to the table and placed the tightly rolled parchment between them.The eunuch Varys took the letter and turned it in his delicate powdered hands. "How kind of Lord Tywin. And his sealing wax is such a lovely shade of gold." Varys gave the seal a close inspection. "It gives every appearance of being genuine.""Of course it's genuine." Cersei snatched it out of his hands. She broke the wax and unrolled the parchment.Tyrion watched her read. His sister had taken the king's seat for herself--he gathered Joffrey did not often trouble to attend council meetings, no more than Robert had--so Tyrion climbed up into the Hand's chair. It seemed only appropriate."This is absurd," the queen said at last. "My lord father has sent my brother to sit in his place in this council. He bids us accept Tyrion as the Hand of the King, until such time as he himself can join us."Grand Maester Pycelle stroked his flowing white beard and nodded ponderously. "It would seem that a welcome is in order.""Indeed." Jowly, balding Janos Slynt looked rather like a frog, a smug frog who had gotten rather above himself. "We have sore need of you, my lord. Rebellion everywhere, this grim omen in the sky, rioting in the city streets . . .""And whose fault is that, Lord Janos?" Cersei lashed out. "Your gold cloaks are charged with keeping order. As to you, Tyrion, you could better serve us on the field of battle."He laughed. "No, I'm done with fields of battle, thank you. I sit a chair better than a horse, and I'd sooner hold a wine goblet than a battle-axe. All that about the thunder of the drums, sunlight flashing on armor, magnificent destriers snorting and prancing? Well, the drums gave me headaches, the sunlight flashing on my armor cooked me up like a harvest day goose, and those magnificent destriers shit everywhere. Not that I am complaining. Compared to the hospitality I enjoyed in the Vale of Arryn, drums, horseshit, and fly bites are my favorite things."Littlefinger laughed. "Well said, Lannister. A man after my own heart."Tyrion smiled at him, remembering a certain dagger with a dragonbone hilt and a Valyrian steel blade. We must have a talk about that, and soon. He wondered if Lord Petyr would find that subject amusing as well. "Please," he told them, "do let me be of service, in whatever small way I can."Cersei read the letter again. "How many men have you brought with you?""A few hundred. My own men, chiefly. Father was loath to part with any of his. He is fighting a war, after all.""What use will your few hundred men be if Renly marches on the city, or Stannis sails from Dragonstone? I ask for an army and my father sends me a dwarf. The king names the Hand, with the consent of council. Joffrey named our lord father.""And our lord father named me.""He cannot do that. Not without Joff's consent.""Lord Tywin is at Harrenhal with his host, if you'd care to take it up with him," Tyrion said politely. "My lords, perchance you would permit me a private word with my sister?"Varys slithered to his feet, smiling in that unctuous way he had. "How you must have yearned for the sound of your sweet sister's voice. My lords, please, let us give them a few moments together. The woes of our troubled realm shall keep."Janos Slynt rose hesitantly and Grand Maester Pycelle ponderously, yet they rose. Littlefinger was the last. "Shall I tell the steward to prepare chambers in Maegor's Holdfast?""My thanks, Lord Petyr, but I will be taking Lord Stark's former quarters in the Tower of the Hand."Littlefinger laughed. "You're a braver man than me, Lannister. You do know the fate of our last two Hands?""Two? If you mean to frighten me, why not say four?""Four?" Littlefinger raised an eyebrow. "Did the Hands before Lord Arryn meet some dire end in the Tower? I'm afraid I was too young to pay them much mind.""Aerys Targaryen's last Hand was killed during the Sack of King's Landing, though I doubt he'd had time to settle into the Tower. He was only Hand for a fortnight. The one before him was burned to death. And before them came two others who died landless and penniless in exile, and counted themselves lucky. I believe my lord father was the last Hand to depart King's Landing with his name, properties, and parts all intact.""Fascinating," said Littlefinger. "And all the more reason I'd sooner bed down in the dungeon."Perhaps you'll get that wish, Tyrion thought, but he said, "Courage and folly are cousins, or so I've heard. Whatever curse may linger over the Tower of the Hand, I pray I'm small enough to escape its notice."Janos Slynt laughed, Littlefinger smiled, and Grand Maester Pycelle followed them both out, bowing gravely."I hope Father did not send you all this way to plague us with history lessons," his sister said when they were alone."How I have yearned for the sound of your sweet voice," Tyrion sighed to her."How I have yearned to have that eunuch's tongue pulled out with hot pincers," Cersei replied. "Has father lost his senses? Or did you forge this letter?" She read it once more, with mounting annoyance. "Why would he inflict you on me? I wanted him to come himself." She crushed Lord Tywin's letter in her fingers. "I am Joffrey's regent, and I sent him a royal command!""And he ignored you," Tyrion pointed out. "He has quite a large army, he can do that. Nor is he the first. Is he?"Cersei's mouth tightened. He could see her color rising. "If I name this letter a forgery and tell them to throw you in a dungeon, no one will ignore that, I promise you."He was walking on rotten ice now, Tyrion knew. One false step and he would plunge through. "No one," he agreed amiably, "least of all our father. The one with the army. But why should you want to throw me into a dungeon, sweet sister, when I've come all this long way to help you?""I do not require your help. It was our father's presence that I commanded.""Yes," he said quietly, "but it's Jaime you want."His sister fancied herself subtle, but he had grown up with her. He could read her face like one of his favorite books, and what he read now was rage, and fear, and despair. "Jaime--""--is my brother no less than yours," Tyrion interrupted. "Give me your support and I promise you, we will have Jaime freed and returned to us unharmed.""How?" Cersei demanded. "The Stark boy and his mother are not like to forget that we beheaded Lord Eddard.""True," Tyrion agreed, "yet you still hold his daughters, don't you? I saw the older girl out in the yard with Joffrey.""Sansa," the queen said. "I've given it out that I have the younger brat as well, but it's a lie. I sent Meryn Trant to take her in hand when Robert died, but her wretched dancing master interfered and the girl fled. No one has seen her since. Likely she's dead. A great many people died that day."Tyrion had hoped for both Stark girls, but he supposed one would have to do. "Tell me about our friends on the council."His sister glanced at the door. "What of them?""Father seems to have taken a dislike to them. When I left him, he was wondering how their heads might look on the wall beside Lord Stark's." He leaned forward across the table. "Are you certain of their loyalty? Do you trust them?""I trust no one," Cersei snapped. "I need them. Does Father believe they are playing us false?""Suspects, rather.""Why? What does he know?"Tyrion shrugged. "He knows that your son's short reign has been a long parade of follies and disasters. That suggests that someone is giving Joffrey some very bad counsel."Cersei gave him a searching look. "Joff has had no lack of good counsel. He's always been strong-willed. Now that he's king, he believes he should do as he pleases, not as he's bid.""Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them," Tyrion agreed. "This business with Eddard Stark . . . Joffrey's work?"The queen grimaced. "He was instructed to pardon Stark, to allow him to take the black. The man would have been out of our way forever, and we might have made peace with that son of his, but Joff took it upon himself to give the mob a better show. What was I to do? He called for Lord Eddard's head in front of half the city. And Janos Slynt and Ser Ilyn went ahead blithely and shortened the man without a word from me!" Her hand tightened into a fist. "The High Septon claims we profaned Baelor's Sept with blood, after lying to him about our intent.""It would seem he has a point," said Tyrion. "So this Lord Slynt, he was part of it, was he? Tell me, whose fine notion was it to grant him Harrenhal and name him to the council?""Littlefinger made the arrangements. We needed Slynt's gold cloaks. Eddard Stark was plotting with Renly and he'd written to Lord Stannis, offering him the throne. We might have lost all. Even so, it was a close thing. If Sansa hadn't come to me and told me all her father's plans..."Tyrion was surprised. "Truly? His own daughter?" Sansa had always seemed such a sweet child, tender and courteous."The girl was wet with love. She would have done anything for Joffrey, until he cut off her father's head and called it mercy. That put an end to that.""His Grace has a unique way of winning the hearts of his subjects," Tyrion said with a crooked smile. "Was it Joffrey's wish to dismiss Ser Barristan Selmy from his Kingsguard too?"Cersei sighed. "Joff wanted someone to blame for Robert's death. Varys suggested Ser Barristan. Why not? It gave Jaime command of the Kingsguard and a seat on the small council, and allowed Joff to throw a bone to his dog. He is very fond of Sandor Clegane. We were prepared to offer Selmy some land and a towerhouse, more than the useless old fool deserved.""I hear that useless old fool slew two of Slynt's gold cloaks when they tried to seize him at the Mud Gate."His sister looked very unhappy. "Janos should have sent more men. He is not as competent as might be wished." "Ser Barristan was the Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard," Tyrion reminded her pointedly. "He and Jaime are the only survivors of Aerys Targaryen's seven. The smallfolk talk of him in the same way they talk of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. What do you imagine they'll think when they see Barristan the Bold riding beside Robb Stark or Stannis Baratheon?" Cersei glanced away. "I had not considered that.""Father did," said Tyrion. "That is why he sent me. To put an end to these follies and bring your son to heel.""Joff will be no more tractable for you than for me.""He might.""Why should he?""He knows you would never hurt him."Cersei's eyes narrowed. "If you believe I'd ever allow you to harm my son, you're sick with fever."Tyrion sighed. She'd missed the point, as she did so often. "Joffrey is as safe with me as he is with you," he assured her, "but so long as the boy feels threatened, he'll be more inclined to listen." He took her hand. "I am your brother, you know. You need me, whether you care to admit it or no. Your son needs me, if he's to have a hope of retaining that ugly iron chair."His sister seemed shocked that he would touch her. "You have always been cunning.""In my own small way." He grinned.

From Our Editors

Critically acclaimed author George R.R. Martin brings us a tale of political turmoil in a land of magic in Clash of Kings. The king’s death threatens the unity of the world. A succession of forces are determined to seize the throne following his death. Amidst the political chaos, an ancient magic is returning to the land, and an eternal winter threatens its survival. Can opposing forces find room to accommodate their differences before the world breathes its last gasp?

Editorial Reviews

"The second novel of Martin's titanic Ice and Fire Saga [is]...a truly epic fantasy set in a world bedecked with 8000 years of history, beset by an imminent winter that will last ten years and bedazzled by swords and spells wielded to devastating effect....Here, he provides a banquet for fantasy lovers with large appetites."—Publishers Weekly, starred review