Clash of Kings  - George R.R. Martin
So, as it turns out, this book, and just about every single damn one in the series, is never going to remain in the Half-Price store near where I live for longer than an hour, with the caveat that if one copy does overstay its welcome, a black hole will appear where in its place to eat everything in reality. This, for obvious reasons, dashed my dream of this series ending up in the discount section at any time in the next five years.

Anyway, I somehow found myself in the den of dead tooths (some people call it Wal-Mart), and while cruisin' around, I found the boxed set of 1 - 4 at a little over $20. Well, having bought it, I thought that it would only be fitting for me to get back into reading series.

Moreso than the first book, the mechanisms of this book churn and they do churn loudly. Far from being a turn off, it is nice to see the characters really taking to the roles that they adopt in this book that we could only really see the seeds of in the first.

Martin is a great at fleshing out characters with little more than twigs and shoestrings, in such a way that you get a pretty damn good idea of just who is who, even in a case as large as this one.

Although the book does stray every once in a while, and in hindsight some of it just seems to exist for little to no reason, a large amount of the book's size can be justified - war, trickery and daring heroism in the face of such a corrupt backdrop as the seven kingdoms as well as beyond never seem to be far from what s going on on the page at any given time.

Can anybody possibly find contentment, amidst so much boiling, writhing discontent? Could it be possible that while the seven kingdoms look on anxiously for a sign of just who their future leader will be, there is not one, but two major threats to the continent and all of its people?