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Die Handlung des zweiten Buches der Serie 'A Song of Ice and Fire' schließt nahtlos an die Ereignisse des ersten Teils an. Die Charaktere, die der Leser begleitet, sind inzwischen über den ganzen Kontinent verstreut. Wie der Name des Buches verspricht, werden verschiedenste Könige aufeinandertreffen und um die alleinige Herrschaft des Königreiches streiten ' doch wo Gewinner sind, gibt es immer auch Verlierer, und nicht jeder König kämpft mit fairen Mitteln'
Wie auch der erste Teil ist 'A Clash of Kings' vom unverwechselbaren Schreibstil Martins geprägt. Geschickt verknüpft er die Schicksale einzelner Charaktere miteinander. Dank anschaulicher Beschreibungen taucht der Leser tief in die Welt der Sieben Königreiche ein. Oft erhält der Leser nur Andeutungen bezüglich der Pläne einiger Charaktere, und wird so schließlich umso mehr überrascht, wenn sich diese offenbaren.
Die Geschichte wird in diesem Buch aus den Perspektiven von insgesamt zehn Charakteren geschildert, die nur selten aufeinandertreffen. Dies führt dazu, dass die Geschichte komplex und vielschichtig ist. Martin gelingt es bravourös, die einzelnen Erzählstränge aufeinander abzustimmen. Dies führt jedoch auch dazu, dass Cliffhanger oft erst nach vielen Kapiteln aufgelöst werden. Das dauerte mir jedoch oft etwas zu lange, und ich habe mich gefragt, ob man die Ereignisse einiger Charaktere nicht etwas kürzer hätte fassen können.
Die Hauptcharaktere selbst sind facettenreich gestaltet. Die meisten von ihnen habe ich daher gerne auf ihrem Weg durch die Sieben Königreiche begleitet und mitgefiebert, ob ihnen ihre Pläne gelingen. Martin gelingt es, ihre Sorgen und Hoffnungen lebendig zu beschreiben, sodass ich mich als Leser gut in diese hineinversetzen konnte. Die Nebencharaktere sind oft nicht minder interessant, hier habe ich oft aber nur dank des Personenverzeichnisses im Anhang den Überblick bewahren können.
Mit 'A Clash of Kings' führt George R.R. Martin seine Meisterserie 'A Song of Ice and Fire' stark weiter. Die zahlreichen Charaktere konnten mich dabei gut unterhalten. Die Handlung wies einige Längen auf, konnte jedoch mit ihrer Vielschichtigkeit und Spannung Eindruck bei mir hinterlassen. Wer schon vom ersten Teil begeistert war, sollte unbedingt mit 'A Clash of Kings' fortfahren!
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am 29. Oktober 2013
Meine Befürchtung, dass der 2. Teil der Games of Thrones-Saga abflacht, hat sich nicht bestätigt. Nach wie vor fesselt mich die Geschichte, und die Bücher können nicht dick genug sein.
Eigentlich könnte ich meine Rezension zum 1. Teil kopieren und hier einfügen, denn meine Begeisterung ist ungebrochen. Georg R.R. Martin spinnt immer noch jede Menge Intrigen, lässt seine Helden lügen, leiden, lieben, kämpfen, fliehen und Fehler machen - bereitet mir eine Überraschung nach der anderen, versetzt mich in Schockzustände und lässt mich die Luft anhalten, lullt mich in Sicherheit ein, bevor er die Handlung wieder einmal kippen lässt. Diese Gefühlsachterbahn ist unbeschreiblich und ein größeres Lob für einen Roman kann es aus meinem Mund fast gar nicht geben. Allerdings muss ich zugeben, dass ich ständig in der Angst schwebe, dass die Geschichte doch einmal langweilig, vorhersehbar und kitschig werden könnte. Denn 5 Bände wollen erst einmal mit Worten gefüllt werden. Solange jedoch nichts dergleichen zu spüren ist, genieße ich die Lektüre und nutze jede freie Minute zum Lesen. Vielleicht sollte ich nicht "genieße" schreiben, denn letztendlich geht die Geschichte mit ihren Protagonisten nicht gerade zimperlich um. Aber ich weiß keine bessere Beschreibung, so dass ich das Wort einmal so stehen lasse.
Besonders hervorheben möchte ich noch die Idee, jedes Kapitel einer anderen Person zu widmen, so dass man die Handlung aus verschiedenen Blickwinkeln betrachten kann - Cliffhanger inbegriffen. Dabei gibt es selbstverständlich Passagen, die mir nicht so liegen, weil ich den Charakter des entsprechenden Heldens nicht ausstehen kann. Überlesen kann ich diese aber auch nicht, da mir sonst wichtige Details entgehen würden. Schnell habe ich meine Sympathieträger ausgemacht. Es sind vor allem Thyrion, Jon, Daenerys und Arya. Ich sollte besser sagen, dass sie es bis jetzt sind. Wer kann schon sagen, was alles im Weiteren noch passiert? Ich kann es nicht und das ist auch gut so.
Jetzt habe ich so geschwärmt, dass ich mich einfach gezwungen sehe, auch etwas Negatives zu erwähnen. Die vielen, vielen, vielen Namen. Sie brachten mich teilweise zum Verzweifeln. Hier hat es der Autor ein wenig zu gut gemeint. Mich interessieren diese ganzen Lords mit ihren Ländereien ja nur am Rande. Gut, einige sind oder werden noch wichtig für die Handlung, aber eben nicht alle und die hätte man ja auch weglassen können. Aber das ist Jammern auf hohem Niveau und um meinen Lesefluss nicht gar zu sehr einzudämmen, hat der Verlag im Anhang eine Zusammenstellung der Personen abgedruckt. Dafür bin ich sehr dankbar
- und auch dafür, dass noch weitere 3 schön dicke Bücher auf mich wartend bereitstehen.
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am 3. Oktober 2015
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This brick of a book (969 pages of fairly closely-set type) is the second volume in George R. R. Martin's fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire". The series currently stands at four volumes and three more are projected. the first volume began the series only pretty well. This volume continues it rather better.
The story lives up to its title. A character in the novel remarks that all sorts of people are calling themselves kings these days, and there sure are a lot of them. At the end of the first volume, young Robb Stark was proclaimed King in the North since the young Joffrey Baratheon who is ruling in the south isn't properly the heir of the previous king, Robert, whose death was engineered by Joffrey's mother's family. Dead King Robert's brother Stannis should properly be king and he intends to fight for the crown. But his younger brother Renly also calls himself king and intends to fight Stannis for the chance to fight Joffrey. And King Robert had himself unseated Mad King Aerys. His son died in the first book, but his daughter, lately the widow of a nomad chieftain, has come into possession of three baby dragons and intends to use them to put her family back in power. King Joffrey is quite young and the actual ruling is done by his mother Cersei (as regent) and his maternal uncle Tyrion (as the King's Hand). The two mistrust one another. You'll gather that the conflict is many-sided.
And then there's the fact that, instead of squabbling among themselves, these people should be preparing to defend against an attack coming from the far north, across the woefully poorly-defended Wall.
The first thing that Mr Martin does well is to tell the story in a way that lets the reader keep all that straight. Partly he does that by giving each chapter a title that's the name of one the nine characters whose point of view the narrator follows. And partly he does that by means of sharp, clear narration and memorable characters.
Another thing that Mr Martin does well here is build up to the action. This is a long book and it's early in a long series of books. So the pace is not going to be rushed and little is going to be resolved. Still, a lot happens and there is one large and important battle.
A third thing that Mr Martin does well here is to keep some of the more interesting characters on stage more than he did in the first volume. Tyrion Lannister, the clever and ironic dwarf, and Arya Stark, Robb's intelligent and tomboyish sister, are rather more interesting than those characters whose actions are determined solely by a desire for power or a notion of honour.
This is a fine book that drags not at all and I'm looking forward to reading the third volume.
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am 7. Dezember 1998
Yes, it's even darker and grimmer than the first installment. Martin takes a big chance in keeping the overall tone so naturalistic, but it pays off. Emotional and physical consequences of violence and feudal system are spelled out in no uncertain terms.
A small problem is the way lighter elements are not balanced as well with the darker stuff as in the previous book. The most emotionally rewarding relationship here is between a narcistissic dwarf and a whore. Most main characters are dealing with massive traume from earlier events and it's sometimes tough going for the reader. Especially Dany is in danger of becoming a stereotypical teen queen; a kind of grief-stricken Debbie Gibson stranded in Saudi Arabia in leather bikinis. I hope Martin gets her to the smae continent with the rest of the characters in the next book and lets her resumer her growth as a character, so vividly portrayed in GoT.
Sansa and Arya are also stranded in almost impossible situations; very down-beat, but also compulsively readable stuff. Catelyn and most of the other characters are trying to put together pieces of their former lives - all that is very realistic considering what happened previously, but Martin better move them beyond this phase in the next book to avoid the claustrophobic feel sometimes evident in CoK.
But all in all, it's an excellent, daring follow-up. It's obvious that major events are stored for the third book, and for a bridge between first and third novel, this is great stuff. As a concept, it's great that for once people in a fantasy novel actually have to deal with the consequences of death and mayhem. It makes it possible for adults to read the Martin books without guilt.
Of course, the whole thing *is* spinning out of control. There are 8-10 major religions or belief systems, for example. Martin better do some consolidation in the next novel, and kill off 5-15 main characters as well, just to keep it together. Martin makes Jordan look like Enid Blyton! And that's good.
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am 1. Mai 2006
I have never been involved in delirious medieval battle, sword in hand, cutting down my nearest foes. My hands and arms have never felt warm blood spurting from inflicted wounds. I have never felt the impediment heavy armor brings to the natural movement of my body. I have not heard the cries of agony of those wounded and dying, yet within a few pages, George RR Martin envelops all my senses with the reality of ghastly battles of epic proportions.
"The battle fever. He had never thought to experience it himself, though Jaime had told him of it often enough. How time seemed to blur and slow and even stop, how the past and the future vanished until there was nothing but the instant, how fear fled, and thought fled, and even your body. "You don't feel your wounds then, or the ache in your back from the weight of the armor, or the sweat running down into your eyes. You stop feeling, you stop thinking, you stop being you, there is only the fight, the foe, this man and then the next and the next and the next, and you know they are afraid and tired but you're not, you're alive, and death is all around you but their swords move so slowly, you can dance through them laughing." Battle fever. I am half a man and drunk with slaughter, let them kill me if they can!"
Thus reads an excerpt from A CLASH OF KINGS, the mind-blowing sequel to A GAME OF THRONES. George RR Martin's seducing darkness of the bleak and torn Seven Kingdoms continues as we are presented with old and new characters in this startling but sinister tale of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Queen Cersei's son Joffrey ascends to the Iron Throne and continues with his sadistic reign of the King's Landing in the south following the death of King Robert. The grim Stannis and Renly Baratheon (brothers to Robert) believe themselves to be the legitimate heirs to the throne. This is the prequel and culminates to the final epic battle against Joffrey and the Lannisters. Stannis relies on the powers of his new faith in the God of Light and Lady Melissandre, yet not everything is what it seems, and darker powers seem to be at work in Stannis. Renly, in turn, relies solely on his charisma to draw and lead a vast army.
Rob Stark still battles to avenge his father's execution. Daenerys, the exiled heir of the former ruling family, continues the nurture of her three dragons. Jon, now part of the Nightwatch, travels further north to destroy the Wildlings and its leader, and hopes to destroy the evil threatens the Kingdom, now that the dead seem to walk.
My favourite character is Tyrion Lannister, an evil but likeable character, who tries to tame his nephew, King Joffrey, and protect himself from the evil schemes of his sister, Queen Cersei.
Martin captures the horror of medieval battles, where survival was not only based on skill, but also on luck. There is nothing sweet, nothing heroic, but Martin leaves you tasting the blood and witnessing the gore of the battle between steel and flesh. The reader is not untouched by this, but is seduced by the pain and terror of these characters. The story is definitely graphic and aimed at the adult reader. Martin is a superb storyteller (the best I have come across) and he infuses his characters with life, purpose and a sense of chaotic morality. The characters move between shades of grey, and are not strictly saints or sinners, but each is fallible in his or her beliefs. This is what makes the story so gripping and interesting. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride gone out of control. You never know what happens next, and it is hard to guess where Martin is going with this tale.
In A CLASH OF KINGS evil outwits good, if goodness can be found. Martin succeeds in disguising darkness as light, as it slays those who are deceived by it. The introduction of magic in this book is very subtle, but utterly believable.
The only complaint I have about this book, is that Martin is slow to reveal the grandness of the story, and I guess we will have to wait for A Feast Of Crows.
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am 28. Januar 1999
I have to admit, I wasn't sure if Martin could top his award-winning "A Game of Thrones". But he has. "A Clash of Kings" not only equals the first book in terms of action, complexity, characterization, and plotting; it surpasses it. "A Clash of Kings" is darker, grittier, and more complex than the original, and is filled with surprises, cliffhangers, and hair-raising scenes of action and intrigue. The climactic battle that ends the book is worth the price of the entire novel. The only down side is that you'll go crazy waiting for the next book in the series. Martin's saga is definitely the best epic fantasy series of the decade, and when all is said and done, may even surpass Tolkien. Martin has proven that he is not merely interested in writing a carbon copy of "Lord of the Rings". He is trying to re-invent the genre and take it in new and exciting directions. He is not afraid to kill off "good guys", even main characters. Martin writes good literature. The fantasy setting adds spice to the tale, but it is the story of these characters and their wounded world that makes it one for the ages.
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am 8. Juni 2013
Tragic and depressing as the tale may be, this is the vibe that Martin seeks to convey. As the characters scatter about the continent, each exhibits a sense of forlornness. Every spark of hope for a happy ending is extinguished in time and soon the reader realizes that things will only get worse. The great variety of story arcs creates a feeling of complexity and continuity that one looks for in a solid fantasy novel.
Sadly Martin's eloquence cannot keep up with the epic premise of his books. Whenever he decides to spell out the thoughts and emotions of his characters, what comes out is unbelievable and clichéd and pulls the reader out of his otherwise beautifully crafted world.
Individual chapters can be languid, but the book is highly diverting and comes alive as unpredictable connections between the different narratives are revealed. Martin's inclination toward cliffhangers and story twists seems a little sensationalist at times but makes me embrace the tragic fates all the more.
If you can look past stylistic weaknesses, give it a read!
am 22. August 2012
I was in desperate need of some time off for this novel when I was about halfway through. I cannot explain it, but it was the same with A Game of Thrones. I'm guessing it's the complexity of it, all of the plotlines that sometimes collide, or work together and it's just so busy, you want to take a breath at some point and read something less cruel, less breathtaking, less dramatic and less fantastic.
I feel like everyone you love dies. It's not strictly true and I feel the people staring at me who have already read the following books. But it sure feels like it. Even after finishing the book, it left me with this forboding feeling in my gut, that tingleling that just tells you something bad is going to happen.
I think something bad happened to every one of my favorite characters. Every. Single. One. Except for Daenerys, as she didn't get a lot of action in this book I think. In fact, she didn't do much at all. Considering the sheer amount of characters, though, it's not surprising that not a lot happens if you only take one character's timeline into account.
But for the reader, it sure doesn't feel that way. To me, it felt a little as if a giant family was on fire and you had one bucket of water and had to decide which fire to quench, knowing that everyone else was going to suffer for your decision.
However, I was completely bored with Jon Snow's chapters. The danger he has found beyond the wall doesn't seem as pressing to me and I'm not interested in dozens of chapters where he rides around in the wilderness because that's what it felt like and that's why this book got only 4 stars. There were lots of Jon chapters in comparison to, say, Sansa who I was much more interested in. So yeah. I liked it a lot. But there were these little quirks that just ... put me off a little and hindered my reading speed.
am 23. März 2012
The second book of Martin's famous saga begins where the first novel ended - with the continent Westeros in war, the remaining houses struggling for power and individuals spinning political intrigues. When I started reading CoK, i had the impression that the story of the book had some difficulties to get started and to gain momentum. For me, there was not much tension in the first 200 pages. Now after finishing the book, I can say that I enjoyed Martin's work and that I am looking forward to the sequel - although I will pause a little bit, as 1000 pages keep myself quite busy. If you liked the first book, you will also like CoK. The different points of view are quite interesting and you will find at least one or two characters to identify yourself with. Additionally, many chapters end with little cliff hangers, so once started, the book can be a real page-turner (after the first 200 pages).
Unfortunately there are also some minor flaws: Still, I don't like that Martin spends a lot of time precisely describing the clothing of every protagonist. Altogether, Martin loves name dropping, in every aspect: The sea battle at Kings Landing is most confusing as the author enumerates at least 30 different names of ships. After that passage, I thought that Martin's skill in describing battle scenes dropped below zero. But some pages later, the fight of Tyrion is portrayed in a very compelling way. So never judge too early! What I didn't like also is the non-progression of the story around Daenerys - there is no real development and most of the chapters about the young Targaryan woman are simply boring. I hope there will be more advancement in the third book. But overall, I recommend also the second book of 'A Song of Ice and Fire'. Besides, it is certainly a good preparation for the next season of the HBO-series.
am 23. Januar 2000
I think what needs to be said of the second book is that it does forward the plot of the first.
It definitely fleshes out the characters of the first book more!
Tyrion - must keep the delicate juggling act he has started going smoothly. He not only has to deal with who he KNOWS the enemy is, but must wade through the deception at the Rock to see who he can trust and who he can't. When you think you know, you're dead wrong, and there IS a price to be paid.
Dany - not enough of her in this book, but what is there is jam packed. Now with her sun and stars dead, she must take the few that follow her and build them into an army that can reclaim her throne. Along the way, however, are the curious and the deadly - people who want to see the Mother of the Dragons, but also want to take those dragons from her! Just when you think this poor kid can not catch a break, she gets one in the end.
Jon - Jon FINALLY gets a plot, and it centers around his missing Uncle. He and the Watch must take on the deadly mission of going into the woods and beyond the wall to find where their Black Brothers went. What they find frightens them, and staying alive becomes a daily struggle in the harsh weather.
Arya- This little girl is learning some hard, fast lessons about life. Through out the book, she buils a piece of mental armor for herself, and at the end, you can almost hear the last piece click into place as this little child leaves the days of youth behind her and becomes a young adult who will do anything to get back to what little family she has left.
The Lannisters - Ah, how fickle is youth! Just when Cercei thinks she has the control she wants, she finds out that she can not control her young son as she thought she would be able too. Her father is not pleased with the way Joffrey rules his land, and the neither is the town in which they live. They find out that lesson hard. Slowly, oh VERY slowly, the wheel of justice starts to turn back towards them. Not quickly enough, but it does. Two brothers go to war over the crown, one aided by a scary new ally/enemy.
The Starks - Catelyn continues her hard road of justice and revenge. She has few allies, and is in constant worry of her remaining family as Robb marches into war. Bran finds an unexpected new side effect of his fall, some new friends to help him with it, and remembers the truth.
Towns burn, people die and stronghold's crumble in this book. Innocence is lost, brutality becomes common and hearts are broken. But the game continues on, because if you play the game, you win or you die.