What I’m Reading: A Clash of Kings (Update II)

My iPhone looks like this more often than it doesn't. I suppose Fridays have become my day to update everyone of my progress of getting through A Clash of Kings.

Admittedly, these 13 days have been better than the last. I read 234 pages, which is 53 pages more than the previous 13 days, which I’ll take it.

I haven’t read 47 pages every day, but I’ve been making more of an effort.

Even though I’ve watched the second season of Game of Thrones and thus know the big plot points, I’ve started reading faster now that the story is picking up. I will say that knowing how the book ends has made me appreciate George R. R. Martin’s writing, particularly his use of imagery, a lot more. I’m also understanding Martin’s pacing a little bit more, or at least trying to. Yes, some chapters are slow and I don’t always want to read Bran’s chapters (oops! sorry Bran, it’s nothing personal), but I know there needs to be quiet moments so there can be the “Oh My God. Did That Just Happen?” moments.

These books build slowly with mini-climatic events that happen throughout, and the multi-character POV paradoxically helps heighten and deflate the tension. For example, (note: MAJOR spoilers) when Renly is murdered by Stannis’ creepy Shadow baby, we see very little of the aftermath (albeit, it’s a short, very bloody aftermath). Renly’s death is told through Catelyn’s POV and we only get bits and pieces of her story at a time. When we shift to the next character, we are still holding onto what happened to Renly while simultaneously being forced to focus on the continuing story. The reader hasn’t forgotten Renly’s death, but they have to move on. Another character has demanded their attention.

Another reason I enjoy the books is because they are rife with dramatic irony. Most of this is due to when the books take place and the lack of quick, reliable modes of communication (I’m afraid crows aren’t really cutting it for the folks of Westeros). So many deaths and misfortunes could have been avoided in these books if there were cell phones and email (someone get the Stark family a telephone STAT). I love and hate that the characters make decisions without knowing the whole truth (or even a little bit of it). Nothing to get the blood pumping like knowing a character is about to make a huge, potentially fatal mistake because they haven’t gotten all the information (Ned! Ned! Ned!)

Also, I will add that some of my tricks to read more really did help. The one that worked the best so far is obviously listening to the audiobook! Between traveling to see my boyfriend and my work commute, I’ve gotten some serious reading (er, listening?) done. Honestly, I didn’t think I would enjoy a fantasy audiobook because it seemed like I would be overloaded with information, but I’ve genuinely looked forward to listening to A Clash of Kings. (I’m definitely going to write a whole post on my thoughts of audiobooks in the near future, so look out for that!)

Anyway, I have 17 days until the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones. The odds of finishing A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords before then are honestly slim-to-none, but I will not give up! I’m going to keep listening and reading up until the premiere then keep reading throughout the season. I just hope I can finish A Storm of Swords before the season 4 finale.

Needless to say, I’m not winning the Game of Thrones. Hopefully, my head doesn’t end up on a spike of spoilers

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