EPIC! A Clash of Kings started off slowly for me. The prologue was extremely long and included more new characters (to add to the cast of hundreds). The events of the previous book have led Stannis Baratheon to plot his quest for the crown.In the sky, a red comet heralds things to come. Each side uses the sighting of the comet to predict their ascent to the throne. You can be assured that there are way too many kings and that situation can’t last long. There will be blood. There will be war. There will be destruction. It truly amazed me to see the repercussions of a very bad decision made by a vengeful child-king. Meanwhile, the locals are getting restless. Food and resources are growing scarce. The legitimacy of the Baratheon line is in question. Rumors abound about Joffrey’s status as heir to the throne. It seems that the residents of King’s Landing don’t really like the Lannisters.The intrigue and positioning for power continue. Leave it to George RR Martin to make this almost an Olympic sport. Those who possess information and know how to use it become more and more powerful. You can never be sure which character will change allegiances and why. To top it off, winter is coming. Winter in this world lasts for upwards of 10 years. There is something out there beyond the wall, but the wars distract. The battle scenes are incredible - bloody, gory, and full of destruction. No one seems to win. Tyrion remains my favorite character. He gets all of the best lines:”Truly, sister, you were born to be a widow.”AND – he gets to bitchslap Joffrey for being an idiot. Tyrion gets it. He understands what it takes to rule effectively, a lesson Joffrey has yet to learn. Tyrion would have made an excellent king. I also enjoyed when he managed to outwit his sister Cersei. Classic!I never thought I would say this, but I am finally feeling sympathetic towards Sansa. Poor girl! Used as a pawn throughout the first book, she finally gets what she wants. When someone close to her advises her of the implications of her new situation, I felt her despair. Arya continues to astound me. She is one very resourceful 10 year old. Everything goes wrong for her and she perseveres. At times, I didn’t like her, but you have to give her credit for continuing. I loved her evening prayer when she listed all the people she wanted to kill. Go, Arya. I enjoyed Bran’s chapters the most, especially when he was dreaming of his wolf. Can’t wait to see what happens next with him.I’m going to have to set aside some time to get through the next book which has only 1,177 pages. Can’t wait to get into that one.