Review: A Storm of Swords

Title: A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Publication: 2000 by Bantam Books
Format: Paperback

Book Synopsis

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. 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….

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is 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.

What I Thought About It . . .

This seems to be the book where all the children take steps toward growing up. Still for such a long book, there’s not really a whole lot that is truly going on in it. At least that is until about the middle of the book and then one might say that all hell breaks loose. When I first got into the series, I was warned not to become too attached to characters because they were likely to die, but really there hasn’t been a whole lot of characters of any major significance to die since A Game of Thrones . . . until A Storm of Swords that is. Oh, what a way to go too! I had kind of gotten to the point where I stopped reading the book to persue other titles because I just wasn’t interested, however, in a desire to read so many pages in order to make more of a dent and eventually finish it I picked up the third volume of the saga again. And after a few dull narratives, it really started to pick up. Before I knew it I had read well over three hundred pages. I came very close to offering this volume a lower rating than the previous books.

I am kind of amused by certain hypocricies that the characters suffer. Robb claims he will kill the traitor because the act killed his honor. I would think his honor already died when Robb foreswore his oath to wed a daughter of House Frey when he married the girl from the lesser House because the guilt of bedding without wedding her appeared too much for him. Isn’t it amazing that a man can be wounded and sick in bed, but he still finds the strength to deflower a maiden? I wonder if there’s some reason for Littlefinger’s continual lying boast that he took Lady Catelyn’s maidenhood? A bedding, false as it may be, seems hardly an accomplishment to be proud.

I suppose this set of books proves to be adequate fodder for those who appreciate some good irony as well. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not one big exercise in finding ways to screw up the lives of these characters. Some of their fates make you wonder if it can get any worse . . . and the ending? I’m on pins and needles to know what happens next!

While I still like the series, I’ve been noticing that I don’t like it quite as well in these later books as I did reading A Game of Thrones. I suppose that it’s partially due to the fact that there’s so many more characters whose stories need to be covered, and the ones whom I am interested in reading more about seem to show up few and far between or perhaps not at all. And probably because I miss Ned Stark . . . a lot. Still I could think of several characters whose perspectives I would rather know on a more intimate level than Samwell of the Night’s Watch . . .

I look forward to seeing what kind of mayhem will be wrought as the dragons are older and larger. I think that despite all she had to deal with in the past books, Danaerys Targaryen seems to have come out best of all.

Only one more book to get through until I’ll be able to read the long awaited fifth installment in A Song of Ice and Fire. I have a request for it at my library, but there’s a small queue so I shall have to wait. Yet I don’t mind waiting.



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