I liked this book just as much as I liked the first one even though this one has a different job in the series. The first book acted more as a way to set up the characters so that readers could get a feeling for them. It also acted as a way to set off all the action that happens in the second book. Basically, the first book holds the catalyst to everything that happens after. The ending is the tipping point for the series.
I really enjoyed this book because it stepped away from the action a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of action and fighting going on in this book, but what really made this book good was the intrigue. While the first book gave us the basic outline of the characters, we really get to delve into them in this one. Characters that seemed a little one dimensional in the first book (like Sansa) start to fill out and become more complex.
Also, most of the action in this book consisted of a behind the scenes look at how war actually goes. It’s not all swords and battles as this book makes absolutely clear; it’s also about cunning strategy, betrayal, and alliance bonding marriages. I loved be able to back away from the action a little and really see what it looks like on the other end. It takes both brawn and brains to win wars.
Alas, there were still some of the same issues that I had with the first one, like the unnecessary internal dialogue and obsession with food (see more about these grievances in my post about the first book), but I always end up glancing over these issues because the story is so awesome.
Overall, I am really pleased with this series so far and look forward to continue on with it. Stay tuned for my blog post on the the third book, A Storm of Swords.