Keep your allies close.
Game of Thrones told a story of political intrigue, where characters feared to act openly. In Clash of Kings the war has begun. Nine characters share their perspectives on the story, but this time the characters are spread out across seven locations, and in the case of three characters their locations change frequently. Fortunately most of the chapters either revolve around King’s Landing and the political sibling rivalry between Tyrion and Cersei, or the Starks, and their efforts to forge alliances and rally others to their cause.
True to form the author lingers on the harsh realities of war; how many must fight and die for the sake of 4 men, how cold and cruel the allies of each army can be, and how quickly the tide can turn. With so many powers in play a plan can work perfectly one day only to founder on the next, triggering waves of desertion and defection. Chapters frequently end on a cliffhanger, but I would suggest treating each chapter as its own short story. At times it can be a bit much to keep all the stories straight, some only have 5-6 chapters out of 70. For those that like a challenge, or a complex network of political plots and relationships, this will be a good dense read. If you want something to read before bed, this may not be for you.
Storm of Swords-I&F 03