The 2nd book in the Song of Fire and Ice series (otherwise known as the Game of Thrones thanks to the TV show). Jofferey is on the Iron Throne but Robb Stark has declared himself King of the North, Balon Greyjoy father has declared himself the King of the Iron Islands, and both Renly and Stannis Baratheon are declaring themselves the true heirs to the Iron Throne on the grounds that they are Robert's brothers and Jofferey is actually the son of Jamie Lannister and not Robert. Sansa Stark is still in the clutches of the Lannisters at King's Landing and Arya is in hiding. Tyrion tho, steals the show in this book with all his scheming and plotting in such a masterful way. It's hard not to admire him (and after watching season 1 I would go so far as to say it's impossible). Catelyn Stark continues to be the most tragic figure through all of this but manages to maintain her dignity and do what she feels must be done. With all these factions fighting to gain control or at least get out from under control of someone, it makes for a very chaotic time in the land of Westeros. I really wanted to see more of Daenerys and what was going on with her and the dragons but she definitely seemed to be a bit more of a side story in this one. With all that GRRM was trying to pack into this I know it's impossible to give everyone equal attention.
Ok, I like crazy stories that are all over the place like this with all the different threads going through them so long as the continuity is good and threads don't get dropped. So far GRRM seems to be holding it together well but there were definitely a few times when I wanted to throw the book across the room and I'm glad I held off a little bit as usually things became more clear later on and I was able to get back under control again. I have to say that I get why the "good" characters have to die so quickly but oh man, all I have to say about that is that some of these horrid ones better get theirs in some spectacular ways.
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