This is the second book in George R R Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, first published in 1998.
Again, this is a great book. Just as gripping as the previous one.
It is also way past pg-13, even more than the previous book.
This book can be read without reading the previous book, you can get a general idea of what is happening, but it’s best if you read the books in order.
In this book the civil war that started in the previous book really takes off, engulfing the whole of the Seven Kingdoms (They are roughly the size of South America). The book shows us the struggle through multiple storylines, four in particular. In the capital city of King’s Landing, Tyrion struggles to hold the city together and prepare for the upcoming battles. In the Riverlands young Robb proves himself something of a military genius, winning battle after battle. At the wall, Jon finds his first mission turning into a hair raising infiltration. Meanwhile in a far away continent, Daenerys fights to protect her newborn dragons. Martin manages to juggle all these individual stories and mesh them together into a single plot near perfectly.
Martin also introduces us to new characters, fleshes out existing characters, and writes awesome battle scenes. Once again he tells the story, even the battle scenes, through the view point of the characters. This is what made the story such a fun read.
The plot of this book moves at a much faster pace than in the previous one. And it has plenty of plot twists. This is not the kind of story where the harebrained scheme of the hero always succeeds because he is the hero, plenty of plans fail, the characters make plenty of mistakes and pay for them dearly. As I said before, no one in this story has plot armor, anyone can (And do) die, so don’t get too attached to any one character.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the first book, or to anyone who wants to read a good fantasy story.