The war for Westeros claims more lives and kingdoms as the dragons returning has magical consequences throughout the lands.
BOOK REVIEW GEORGE R R MARTIN A CLASH OF KINGS 1998 Harper-Collins
The second volume in the epic high fantasy series known as The Song Of Ice And Fire. Some editions refer to the book as Game Of Thrones 2 due to it being the now televised sequel to the first novel in the saga.
The colossal war for Westeros and the iron throne is now a five-way conflict with several kings competing viscously for control of the kingdom. Central to the conflict are the Lannisters who now have control of the throne at King’s Landing. With enemies marching on their city, the Lannisters, led reluctantly by Tyrion, the devious Imp, struggle to shore up their defences.
The chief weapon in the Lannister defence is a Napalm like magical wildfire. This volatile substance has proved to be difficult to create in any sizable quantity until now, but suddenly, the alchemists are churning it out in vast quantities. One-alchemist suspects that this is a sign that dragons are at large again in the kingdom, and of course, they are, but that is not known to the Lannisters as yet.
Daenerys, the mother of the dragons, is as yet in a remote desert land, facing magical trials and conspiracies from those who would seize her three infant adopted dragons. Her story remains in isolation to the other events of the novel, but with a promise of a collision with the other events in book three.
The Starks are fighting well, but their home city at Winterfell falls unexpectedly to an ambitious tyrant, Theon, but he has no respect from his captives, his family or his mercenary forces at all and he is driven mad by terrifying visions.
North of the Wall of Ice, John Snow is part of an expeditionary force challenging the Wildlings 9barbarian forces) and finds himself ordered to infiltrate their forces himself with his direwolf in tow.
The Stark children, Anya, Bran and Sansa, witness great peril in their respective strands.
There are two kings the Starks expect to fight alongside them against the Lannisters, but one seems to kill the other by supernatural means and leaves Catelyn Stark to take the blame for it.
The magical elements are clearly increasing as the dragons grow. A blood red comet gives the story an increasingly ominous aura of impending tragedy. A cult arises that worships a single god rather than the pantheon worshipped by much of Westeros. Tyrion remains intensely sceptical regarding rumours of dragons and supernataral phenomena, ignoring rumours of dragons and an attempt to show him evidence of zombie activity in the North. Though normally rational and noble despite his ruthless nature, Tyrion’s arrogance towards the paranormal seems destined to have unpleasant consequences for him in the long run.
With so many incidents and new characters, some situations set up in one chapter are not resolved for some time to come. The dragons hatched as the first book’s cliffhanger, are not seen again until a quarter of the way into book two, but the complex weave of stories and points of view works extremely well.