BOOK: A Storm of Swords
AUTHOR: George R.R. Martin
MY RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)
Here is the third volume in George R.R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
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 manoeuver 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…
This is the first book in the series that has truly left me reeling about everything that happened. A lot more in this book differed from the TV show and that gave it a bit more entertainment value for me. (I know, I know. Should’ve read the books first!)
I find it really difficult to review the series without major spoilers. GRRM continues his epic weaving of all the characters and their personal endeavors into one huge story. So much character growth from everyone in this book. While Cersei remains a character I can’t stand, my hatred for Jaime turned around a lot as we got to hear from his point of view, and his time with Brienne seems to have changed him for the better. Jon struggled with his sense of honor, but it turns out he’s just as honorable as his father, and Arya has become a hard young lady. Tyrion, however, remains one of my favorite characters, and his struggles in this book broke my heart, including his decisions pertaining to Shae.
Where book two was a bit slow for me, A Storm of Swords got me back into the series with a renewed determination to devour these books.
Even though I knew the Red Wedding was coming, it still tore my heart into pieces all over again. GRRM seems to have a knack of doing that; breaking my heart, then piecing it back together just to break it all over again. Every time you think someone is on the right track, you quickly learn they are not.
I don’t cry often when reading books, but there was some heavy sobbing here. Catelyn remains one of my favorite female characters in this series and I consistently find myself drawing inspiration from her strength. The epilogue definitely threw me though (many faced god?).
The constant excitement is what keeps me pushing forward, and the fact that I never know what’s going to happen next in this series. Expect the unexpected.