It’s like this. I read (well, reread) A Clash of Kings over such a long period of time (3, 4 months?) and with so many books in between that I can’t really put together any thematic opinions. I know I liked it, still. I know some characters were more annoying this time (Sansa, Catelyn) while others were more sympathetic (Theon). I know I begrudge the lack of frozen zombies.
For the most part, though, I remain in awe of several excellent character studies, and of how Martin really captures the ‘world will burn while mankind fiddles’ feeling that Jordan grasps for, even though Jordan has lots of overt doom and all of Martin’s doom is naught yet but whispers on the wind.