I watched the HBO series that captures the events in this book prior to reading the novel, so my perception of A Clash of Kings is in many ways guided by having watched the show first. It’s hard not to make comparisons between the two. The first thing that stands out when reading any of the novels in this series is how well and professional the writing is. As a fellow author, I really appreciate Martin’s craftsmanship and attention to detail. He is a writer I truly admire.
As far as this novel goes, there are so many memorable scenes that Martin has created. The ones that are most memorable are the ones that center around John Snow and Arya Stark. In general, the characters in the series are amazing, multi-dimensional characters from the major ones to the very small characters. Martin creates better characters than any writer I’ve ever read. There’s great action, great drama, and excellent tension. On the down side, it was hard not to compare the book to the television show, and there were certain things that I liked much better how the show handled it. One is the climactic battle at King’s Landing. The novel mostly just glossed over it. Another is how Bran escapes from the clutches of Theon at Winterfell. The show also goes far more in depth into some of the characters such as the Tyrells. That is not to say this isn’t a great novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it was a notch below the first novel in the series as well as the television show.
Carl Alves – author of Two For Eternity