Excerpt from A Clash of Kings by George R R. Martin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Clash of Kings

by George R R. Martin

A Clash of Kings by George R R. Martin X
A Clash of Kings by George R R. Martin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 1999, 761 pages
    Sep 2000, 1056 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


In the chilly white raiment of the Kingsguard, Ser Mandon Moore looked like a corpse in a shroud. "Her Grace left orders, the council in session is not to be disturbed."

"I would be only a small disturbance, ser." Tyrion slid the parchment from his sleeve. "I bear a letter from my father, Lord Tywin Lannister, the Hand of the King. There is his seal."

"Her Grace does not wish to be disturbed," Ser Mandon repeated slowly, as if Tyrion were a dullard who had not heard him the first time.

Jaime had once told him that Moore was the most dangerous of the Kingsguard--excepting himself, always--because his face gave no hint as what he might do next. Tyrion would have welcomed a hint. Bronn and Timett could likely kill the knight if it came to swords, but it would scarcely bode well if he began by slaying one of Joffrey's protectors. Yet if he let the man turn him away, where was his authority? He made himself smile. "Ser Mandon, you have not met my companions. This is Timett son of Timett, a red hand of the Burned Men. And this is Bronn. Perchance you recall Ser Vardis Egen, who was captain of Lord Arryn's household guard?"

"I know the man." Ser Mandon's eyes were pale grey, oddly flat and lifeless.

"Knew," Bronn corrected with a thin smile.

Ser Mandon did not deign to show that he had heard that.

"Be that as it may," Tyrion said lightly, "I truly must see my sister and present my letter, ser. If you would be so kind as to open the door for us?"

The white knight did not respond. Tyrion was almost at the point of trying to force his way past when Ser Mandon abruptly stood aside. "You may enter. They may not."

A small victory, he thought, but sweet. He had passed his first test. Tyrion Lannister shouldered through the door, feeling almost tall. Five members of the king's small council broke off their discussion suddenly. "You," his sister Cersei said in a tone that was equal parts disbelief and distaste.

"I can see where Joffrey learned his courtesies." Tyrion paused to admire the pair of Valyrian sphinxes that guarded the door, affecting an air of casual confidence. Cersei could smell weakness the way a dog smells fear.

"What are you doing here?" His sister's lovely green eyes studied him without the least hint of affection.

"Delivering a letter from our lord father." He sauntered to the table and placed the tightly rolled parchment between them.

The eunuch Varys took the letter and turned it in his delicate powdered hands. "How kind of Lord Tywin. And his sealing wax is such a lovely shade of gold." Varys gave the seal a close inspection. "It gives every appearance of being genuine."

"Of course it's genuine." Cersei snatched it out of his hands. She broke the wax and unrolled the parchment.

Tyrion watched her read. His sister had taken the king's seat for herself--he gathered Joffrey did not often trouble to attend council meetings, no more than Robert had--so Tyrion climbed up into the Hand's chair. It seemed only appropriate.

"This is absurd," the queen said at last. "My lord father has sent my brother to sit in his place in this council. He bids us accept Tyrion as the Hand of the King, until such time as he himself can join us."

Grand Maester Pycelle stroked his flowing white beard and nodded ponderously. "It would seem that a welcome is in order."

"Indeed." Jowly, balding Janos Slynt looked rather like a frog, a smug frog who had gotten rather above himself. "We have sore need of you, my lord. Rebellion everywhere, this grim omen in the sky, rioting in the city streets . . ."

"And whose fault is that, Lord Janos?" Cersei lashed out. "Your gold cloaks are charged with keeping order. As to you, Tyrion, you could better serve us on the field of battle."

Excerpted from A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. Copyright© 1999 by George R.R. Martin. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Spectra, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Speak No Evil
    Speak No Evil
    by Uzodinma Iweala
    Young Nigerian American writer Uzodinma Iweala is fast becoming known as a powerful chronicler of ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.