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A Song of Politics

I may not have read all of A Song of Ice and Fire yet, but it’s quite clear that Joffrey Baratheon and Cersei Lannister are pure evil. Full stop.

Reality, however, isn’t so simple. It’s impossible to identify someone as a Stark or a Lannister – to divide the world into groups of “good guys” and “bad guys”.

After watching the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention last month, something became clear to me. While the current presidential administration may have had some successes, they have been overshadowed by things including but not limited to Twitter, the Russia investigation, and impeachment.

These last four years have up-ended everything I’ve come to expect from politics in my 26 years of life. Kind of like how life changes for House Stark in A Clash of Kings. Robb declares himself King in the North and heads off to war, leaving Bran in charge of Winterfell. Arya is taken from King’s Landing by the Night’s Watch. And Sansa is trapped at King’s Landing by the Lannisters.

That is to say, everything in American politics is different now, but we don’t have the luxury of turning the page or moving on to the next book to see what happens. All we can do is vote and see how things play out in November.

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A Clash of Kings

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy, a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress, and wild men descend from the Mountain of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel … and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

The sequel to A Game of Thrones picks up right where it left off, and continues what it started. That is to say, there’s a lot more fighting.

And there’s a few new vignettes. Theon, the ward of Winterfell, emerges with his own story. The other new vignette is that of Davos Seaworth, the “Onion Knight” of Stannis Baratheon. Through Davos, we learn more about Robert Baratheon’s older brother, who is also one of the men vying for the throne. Mainly, the fact that instead of Multiple gods, Stannis worships the one god his wife believes in, referred to as the Lord of Light.

Plot can be thought of in terms of a bell curve. The left side of it is usually the rising action – the events that lead to the climax, or the highest point of dramatic tension. The right side of the bell curve is usually the falling action, or the resolution to the dramatic tension.

A Clash of Kings, however, has a plateau. The action continues to build, and then it hits the ground running, keeping the same pace of events until the very last pages.

And even the end of the book isn’t really a resolution to any of the action – it only signals more to come.

This sequel definitely doesn’t disappoint!