A Clash of Kings
Book 2 in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire

Published by:

Meisha Merlin Publishing

ISBN: 1-892065-31-21-892065-32-0
Edition size: 448 numbered52 lettered
MSRP: $250.00$350.00

This is a very problematic entry. How do you classify something with so many production problems, and yet the end result is a striking example of what a book can (and should) look like? In the case of this website, the choice is simple and clear - you judge based on what winds-up in the hands of the collector. Everything else is backstory.

And that backstory is pretty sordid. As indicated on the A Storm of Swords writeup, Kings was beset with numerous problems. How it wound-up appearing as it did is a minor miracle. Consider the following:

And yet, Meisha actually pulled-off a very nice production.

The lettered state of this edition is quite handsome and comes with the following:

In addition, there're endpaper maps by Charles Keegan and numerous interior illustrations by Howe, including three which are in gorgeous color and one which is a stunning fold-out.

Bring on the pics, you say? Without further ado!

- L E T T E R E D -

The original shipping carton.

The book fully inserted into the slipcase.

The slipcase spine with the gold title stamping.

A really beautiful addition - an onlay affixed to the slipcase of a portion of the dustjacket illustration. This was included only for the lettered edition.

The interior of the slipcase.

The dustjacket. A borderless illustration would've been preferable, but hey, this is John Howe we're talking about here.

The book spine.

The top edge of the book, revealing the gilt. Keep going...

Ah hah! More gilt! Again, this was a lettered-only enhancement.

And the bottom edge. All-edge gilt for lettered purchasers. The embedded bookmark was also a value-added feature of the lettered edition.

The endpaper map by Charles Keegan.

The first full-color plate. The picture doesn't do the rich color palette justice.

The title page, which begins the first of several glaring problems with this book. Notice anyone missing here? Keep reading to find out who.

The copyright page. Very nice of Meisha to document the paper stock used. Also note that the lettered and numbered editions get their own respective ISBNs.

The limitation page. And a train-wreckin' we will go. There're two HUGE problems with this page. The first...

...being this. Words can't even begin to describe just how badly Meisha screwed this proofing up. This is most certainly NOT A Game of Thrones! Ugh!!

The second problem is the omission of a certain artist's name. And who would that be? Why it's...

...Graig Kreindler, who labored long and hard over this tremendous fold-out illustration of King's Landing. That's right - Graig was left off both the title AND limitation page. His only citation appears on the copyright page. Boo! Hiss! Bad Meisha, bad Meisha!

The first page of Martin's introduction.

The second color plate. Again, you really have to see this in person.

A random interior page with cut.

The last full-color plate, and boy is it a doozy. I could stare at this for hours. And it's a fold-out, to boot. Fantastic!

The back endpapers, a reprint of the front endpaper map.