A Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire, book three


Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…


Well, the good news is, Davos survived. The bad news is, a lot of other people died. Like, a LOT of other people. I knew about a few beforehand, being dumb enough to read the appendices at the back of book five ahead of time, and you would think having forewarning would lessen the shock a bit, wouldn’t you? Yeah, no. It doesn’t. And yes, I’m talking about the Red freaking Wedding. It’s not a spoiler to mention it by name, because there are so many weddings and betrothals going on in this book you won’t know which one is THE one until you read it, so I haven’t ruined it for anyone. See?

This book was a lot worse than Mockingjay for messing with my emotions, since Martin is a much better writer than Collins (hey, I call them as I see them). In fact, I can safely say that Martin is the best writer I’ve read in a long time. Rich world building, characters so vivid and true-to-life they really do feel real, more suspense than I could cope with, twists and turns so unpredictable I couldn’t see them coming to save my life, and a certain ruthlessness that makes it impossible to stay rational while you read; you cannot–CANNOT–get attached to anyone, because the odds are excellent that Martin will kill him/her off at some point in time. And trust me, it’s going to hurt. I lost count of how many times I burst out “I can’t handle this! Holy God and Jesus at Olive Garden, I can’t handle this!”

The Red Wedding wasn’t the only thing that shocked me. Another bombshell came in the form of Jaime Lannister. Remember him? Through books one and two, he’s the Kingslayer, the man who bangs his own sister, sires evil malicious bastards through aforementioned incest, throws children from towers, breaks oaths that are binding for life, ambushes good guys in the street, kills a few more good guys in battle thus stirring other good guys into vengeance, stands back while innocent men are cooked alive in their own armor, and generally has shit for honor. All that is turned on its head here, and I started to see what motivates this guy. Finally hearing his side of the story went a long way towards understanding him, and by the time I finished the book, I liked him as much as Tyrion.

Tyrion! Holy crap! I’ve seen a few people complain about the turn his character takes in the last few chapters, but I think that’s only a natural progression given *cough* events. A Lannister pays his debts, after all. He’s still my favorite of the series so far, and I’m the most anxious to see what’s going to happen with him over the other characters…except perhaps Jaime. And Sansa, now there’s a nice mess if I ever saw one. Daenerys really started coming into her own, and I finally made up my mind about Jon Snow. He’s still far from my favorite character, but I liked him a lot better once he stopped being so freaking perfect. If I’m allowed a nitpick, I would have liked to see Ygritte stay in the action a little longer. After what happens to Jon in the Night’s Watch, it would have been interesting to see what came about if that relationship carried on. Oh well. It’s your universe, Mr. Martin, and you’re doing well enough without my advice.

Wonder what I’m going to do when I catch up with the series and the sixth book isn’t out yet…

About RisingPhoenix761

Hello! Glad to meet you! Long story short, I've got a young heart with an old soul, I love to think about stuff, and occasionally share what I think about. Stick around, if you like!
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1 Response to A Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin

  1. Mian says:

    You’re going to cry about how much GRRM ruined it (pacing, plot, you name it), just like the rest of us sods. But you’ll keep reading, because — ya just can’t stop.


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