A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords

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 al...

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Title:A Storm of Swords
Author:George R.R. Martin
Rating:
ISBN:055357342X
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages:1177 pages

A Storm of Swords Reviews

  • Nataliya
    May 02, 2010

    It made me root for the death of a child (and then despise myself), love a hated character, cry angry tears, and bite my nails because of all the suspense.

    **

    **

    I did not throw the book across the room. Instead, I put it aside and stared at the wall for a few minutes in grief and disbelief. If you read this, you know which part I am talking about *SOBBING*

    It made me root for the death of a child (and then despise myself), love a hated character, cry angry tears, and bite my nails because of all the suspense.

    **

    **

    I did not throw the book across the room. Instead, I put it aside and stared at the wall for a few minutes in grief and disbelief. If you read this, you know which part I am talking about *SOBBING*

    is, in my opinion,

    . It expanded the story in delightful, wonderful ways. It gave it a truly epic feel. It delivered the cruel punch in the gut with the

    and reinforced the axiom that nobody is safe in the world GRRM created. (*)

    It brought our characters to the brink of greatness, put them in the positions that were surely going to change the course of this entire story.

    The characters feel alive and real. They are interesting and fascinating, and fluctuate between likable and despicable in a not too predictable fashion (*). The previously unseen connections between characters and events are mind-blowing. And seeing the select few skillfully manipulating so many others is unsettling.

    *

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Don't get me wrong. I gush about it, but this book is far from perfect. Just like its sequels (and predecessors) it suffers from overload of descriptions and repetitions, gratuitous bodily functions and banquets. Some storylines already begin to drag (Arya, for instance).

    This is what I felt was unfortunately missing from the books that followed, and what I hope they return to eventually.

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  • mark monday
    Feb 26, 2011

    it's time again for...

    __________

    he's the Revenant Robin Hood, leader of a band of merry men whose purpose is to steal from the wicked, give to the needy, ransom the royalty, hang the bad guys, and maybe get laid some. Lord Beric comes equipped with a nifty super-power (courtesy of the Lord of Light, 'natch)... he gets to come back from the dead! unfortunately, his various hideous wounds get to come back with him. but so what... all those scars (

    it's time again for...

    __________

    he's the Revenant Robin Hood, leader of a band of merry men whose purpose is to steal from the wicked, give to the needy, ransom the royalty, hang the bad guys, and maybe get laid some. Lord Beric comes equipped with a nifty super-power (courtesy of the Lord of Light, 'natch)... he gets to come back from the dead! unfortunately, his various hideous wounds get to come back with him. but so what... all those scars (and missing eye, and noose-blackened neck, and crushed-in head) only make him more manly. he's just the dreamiest!

    so what if she's socially awkward, mulishly stubborn, and entirely unimaginative... this young miss may be the last remaining True Knight in the realm! she kicks some serious ass, is loyal to a fault, and she brings out the human in that Jaime Lannister. at one point she stops to take a break by burying some random dead people hanging from a tree. what a big heart she has, it's adorable. you go, girl!

    ha, ha - you thought he was the villain! joke's on you, sucker/reader. this gifted songster is not only the leader of the Free Folk (and what's not to like about them? they believe in freedom, equality, and the pursuit of happiness - even their tendency to steal women is sorta charming)... he is a man who turned his back on the rigid class system and general stuck-upedness of Westeros society for the charms of anarchic wildlings. he's just trying to get all his people away from those infernal Others. goodbye, mysterious villain... hello, brave hero!

    sure, her eyes glow red. sure, she's a little bloodthirsty. sure, she wants to sacrifice some children. what of it? we all have our flaws. don't judge this sorceress... her only goal is to, um, SAVE THE ENTIRE WORLD FROM UTTER DESTRUCTION. have some sympathy for her goals already. it's not like you could do a better job at trying to SAVE THE ENTIRE WORLD FROM UTTER DESTRUCTION. i want her on my team!

    ***

    ~ and a special shout-out to classy old-timer

    . well

    someone realizes that King Joffrey's shenanigans are truly intolerable. extra bonus points for naming your personal bodyguards "Left" and "Right". ~

    __________

    hey, King Asshole, ever hear of keeping your word? seriously, Promiseslayer, what's wrong with you? you may win your battles, but you break your vow over a little punani? and what's up with chopping off the head of your own bannerman? not too bright, son. and all the good intentions in the world doesn't excuse your tendency towards

    . duh. my gosh, as far as common sense goes... the apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree.

    good grief, two winners in one family - those lucky Starks! hmmm, let's see... you capture the wrong guy in book 1... you free an enemy in book 2... you seriously underestimate the most obvious "secret" villain in the world in book 3. what the hey? clearly you should have retired years ago. but i sense some redemption in your future. i know you have some bloodthirstiness in you, so let that freak flag fly in book 4 and get down to some serious villain-killing already!

    wow, i used to love you so much. until i realized you were getting sorta inappropriate with Danerys. yeah, she's brave and beautiful and a queen and she frees entire cities worth of slaves and she has three lovely dragons. but didn't you notice that

    ? and on top of that, you're a jealous liar. get outta here, Creepy McCreeperson!

    come on, wolfie - Arya is supposed to be your soulmate! she's running all over Westeros just trying to get back to the fam, clearly needing a helping hand or paw... so why are you off galivanting about the countryside, chasing deer and hanging out with your new wolfpack buddies? well you did save her ass by taking down some of those Brave Companions - but that's a case of too little, too late. and here i thought that wolves are a girl's best friend. silly me. i guess your stomach is

    much more important.

    ***

    ~ a special Zero mention must be made for

    . where did that brain of yours go? why are you getting your ass handed to you again and again? well at least you unstuck your head from that ass and finally delivered some seriously overdue comeuppance... but i had to read 900 pages to get to that part. i want my old Tyrion back, stat! ~

    __________

    no review necessary, there are enough excellent ones out there. i loved this book, as i loved its predecessors. my favorite parts were the scenes with Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark. those two vicious killers were made for each other and their relationship was both laugh-out-loud funny and strangely moving. awww. at long last, a father figure that a child can truly look up to, and a daughter surrogate who knows what it means to really, really want to get some payback.

    and now on to the next one!

  • Cassy
    Jun 16, 2011

    Martin outdid himself. And honestly, he didn’t have to try so hard. I was already going to give him five stars for this scene alone:

    Have you ever seen a car accident? Not the aftermath that messes up traffic, but the actual event itself? Having driven in both Atlanta and Houston’s rush hour, I’ve seen a handful. It’s horrible horrible horrible. There is that signature sound when thous

    Martin outdid himself. And honestly, he didn’t have to try so hard. I was already going to give him five stars for this scene alone:

    Have you ever seen a car accident? Not the aftermath that messes up traffic, but the actual event itself? Having driven in both Atlanta and Houston’s rush hour, I’ve seen a handful. It’s horrible horrible horrible. There is that signature sound when thousands of pounds of metal crunch together. And it blows my mind. One side of my brain is in denial and keeps repeating, “That did

    just happen.” The other half is moving forward. “Is anyone hurt? Don’t gawk – don’t want to be rear-ended myself. Do they have the insurance? Has someone called the police?” I get clammy and shaky, as well as teary-eyed thinking of all the emotions they’ll have to deal with. And even though I wasn’t directly involved, I have this on-edge feeling that lasts the whole day.

    Reading THAT scene was akin to watching a multi-car pile-up. I freaked out. Literally slammed the book shut, stood up on the bed, and cussed for a bit. Next I curled up into a ball, hugged the book to my chest, and muttered “No no no!” on loop. I wailed to my concerned husband, “What is going to happen now?” Then I proceeded to mull over this development for days.

    Looking back, I wonder why it shocked me so much. This series is full of twists, deaths, and reveals. What’s one more? And Martin certainly gave some clues leading up to the event.

    I think it caught me off guard, because he had just devoted a fair amount of time to this part of the plot. Through books one and two,

    Truth be told, I ignored my own advice after reading book two: if you see a bright light, don’t trust it.

    I guess there is a new, supplemental lesson: never enter into a romantic relationship with Martin. He would jerk my emotions around mercilessly and leave me heartbroken on a bathroom floor.

    Also, THE scene made me question where this entire series is headed. Imagine you’re reading a safe, mass-appeal book, you can rest assured that no how much hardship the author throws at the protagonist, they’ll survive, because (a) the author/publisher doesn’t have the guts to disappoint their legions of readers and (b) there’s a sequel! I thought the main goal here was to see the Stark family emerge victorious and save the Seven Kingdoms. Now I’m not as sure. And after reading roughly 3,000 pages and with 2,000+ pages to go, it shook me to feel so untethered.

    Anyways, kudos to Martin for making me react that strongly. I read enough that I am becoming increasingly callous to authors’ surprise attacks. And this series is so large that the plots from each book are already melting together. It is hard to remember during which book this or that character was introduced or where I learned a key piece of information. But THAT scene will always define book three for me.

    I also love that when I felt confident the book was winding down (with

    200 pages to go), Martin threw in some more shockers. While they were not of the same caliber as THE scene, they nonetheless required me to reset my expectations for the next book. Of course I am referring to

    Martin, I am catching onto your wily ways. And I am begging for more.

  • Matt
    Jun 19, 2011

    This year (2011) has been rough for those of us who count ourselves Minnesota Twins fans. A few weeks ago, however, I watched Francisco Liriano nearly pitch a perfect game. Earlier in the season, Liriano pitched a no-hitter, which was a bright spot in an otherwise unremitting series of losses, injuries, and disappointment. But this was different. This meant more. This was a

    game (and you can’t get better than perfect).

    The announcers, with no regard for karma, started talking about the p

    This year (2011) has been rough for those of us who count ourselves Minnesota Twins fans. A few weeks ago, however, I watched Francisco Liriano nearly pitch a perfect game. Earlier in the season, Liriano pitched a no-hitter, which was a bright spot in an otherwise unremitting series of losses, injuries, and disappointment. But this was different. This meant more. This was a

    game (and you can’t get better than perfect).

    The announcers, with no regard for karma, started talking about the possibility in the fifth inning. I didn't start to get excited until the seventh. I thought to myself: I might be watching something for the history books. Then, in the eighth, the third baseman made an error, and the perfect game was over (the following inning, he lost his no-hit bid as well). The game went down as a victory for the Twins, and for Liriano, but it will be lost in the eddies of baseball history. It was a very

    game; but it was not a masterpiece.

    Back in May 2007, I watched the season finale of the third season of

    . The series, which focused on a group of airplane crash survivors on a mysterious island, became a pop cultural phenomenon with its intriguing present-day storyline intercut with meaningful flashbacks to the off-island lives of the passengers.

    The third season was up-and-down, but after a strong homestretch,

    gave us a finale for the ages. In the final moments, the show revealed that the flashbacks we thought we’d been watching for the previous two hours were actually flash-forwards, and that some of the passengers had gotten off the island. After picking up the pieces of my brain, I thought to myself, I might be watching the greatest television show of all time. Flash forward to 2010, when

    concluded with a melodramatically satisfying but substantively hollow conclusion. It ended as a very

    series, with individual episodes as strong as anything that ever aired on television, but it was not a masterpiece.

    I just finished George R.R. Martin’s

    , and I’m getting the same feeling I did watching Liriano in the 7th inning, or watching the third season finale of

    : the thought that I might be in the midst of something special. Something that might linger and last. Something that be be considered a classic. Not classic fantasy. But a bona fide literary monument. I have grave doubts that Martin can finish this series, or that he can finish it with the same strength with which he started (reviews of the next book,

    are not encouraging), but when I finished the last page, I certainly sensed the possibility of greatness. If Martin can finish this –

    – then he will have accomplished a feat that will demand attention (including from those snotty New York Times Book reviewers who won’t read “fantasy”).

    is Book Three in Martin’s

    cycle. It begins where Book Two,

    left off. At the end of

    , we were treated to the epic battle of the Blackwater; Winterfell was razed; the Night’s Watch was north of the Wall; and it appeared that the Lannisters, including the young, sociopathic King Joffrey, were ascendant.

    My main critique of

    was that it started slowly and maintained that agonizing pace right up until a blistering third act that completely reshaped my feelings.

    doesn’t bother with a slow build-up. It gets into things from the first page. From front to back, this is the best of the series so far, and a stunning novel in any light.

    The ever-expanding plot of

    is impossible to summarize neatly. In

    , as in the other books of this series, the story is told from the alternating viewpoints of various characters. The selected viewpoints are: Jaime Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, Catelyn Stark, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Bran Stark, Samwell Tarly, Davos Seaworth, and Daenerys Targaryen.

    I sometimes criticized the point-of-view choices in the first two books, for the reason that Martin’s decisions often led to viewpoint redundancies and glaring blind spots. That is, Martin would often have several characters in one place, talking about one thing, while huge swaths of the storyline lacked a single witness. As a consequence, big chunks of exposition, central to the plot, were fed to the reader as secondhand hearsay, rather than experienced by a beloved character.

    For the most part, this problem does not arise with

    . The viewpoint characters are well chosen and spread out across Westeros, doing things rather than talking about them. Sam is with the Night’s Watch beyond the Wall, being chased by the Others (they’re a kind of cold-weather mash-up of vampires and zombies). Jon is riding with Mance Ryder’s free-folk in a sort of

    subplot that allows us some insight into the wildlings lifestyle (and occasions any number of hastily-scrawled sex scenes). Catelyn is with her son Robb, the King of the North, who blunders badly by breaking his oath to marry a Frey daughter. Jaime Lannister embarks on a perilous journey back to King’s Landing, guarded by the female knight Brienne of Tarth. Meanwhile, back in King’s Landing, a wounded Tyrion awakens to find that his good deeds have not helped his standing. The presence of his father, Tywin Lannister (a great peripheral character), and the scheming of his sister, Cersei, threatens his position at court. Across the sea, Daenerys gathers an army she hopes will allow her to retake Westeros.

    Of course, not all the viewpoint characters are created equally. Sansa Stark finally has things to do (and finally rejoins the plot; she has basically stood mute since betraying her father Eddard in

    ), but she is still dumber than a garden gnome. Martin finally convinced me that Davos Seaworth, loyal to royal pretender Stannis Baratheon, is an important character; unfortunately, his importance does not make him interesting. Like Eddard Stark before him, Seaworth’s square, dogged sense of honor – shorn of wit or pragmatism – makes him an uninspired character.

    These criticisms are only half hearted, though. The overall quality of Martin’s plotting choices easily cover up the fact that, in a game of chess between Sansa and a sack of unpeeled potatoes, I would wager on the potatoes. Even an otherwise tiresome character such as Samwell Tarly, who is the sniveling heir of Tolkien’s Samwise Gamgee, is given things to do. Heck, I even grew to like Daenerys. In the first two books, I was wholly underwhelmed by her subplot. Though I fully understand (or think I understand) Martin’s endgame with respect to Daenerys, I didn't like how he kept cutting away from the main story to heap page after page upon this unconnected plot thread. In

    , Daenerys does not get much closer to joining the rest of the book, but she does get to kick some ass. I never figured I’d be a person to get much enjoyment from a dragon unleashing fire on an unassuming victim. I was wrong.

    Many of the highlights of this book I will not touch, even vaguely. Things happen that are surprising, shocking, and heart-wrenching. If at all possible, you should attempt to finish this book before accidentally stumbling across a massive spoiler.

    Surprises aside, many of

    ’s highlights stem from four characters in particular: Jaime the Kingslayer; Jon Snow of the Night’s Watch; Arya Stark; and Tyrion the Imp.

    is the first book in which Jaime becomes a viewpoint character. In the past, we knew him as the sister-f***ing, child-defenestrating, king-killing sword master. He appeared a cruel, golden-haired villain, one who inspired terror in the heart of our putative heroes, the Starks (the further you get into

    , the less sure you become about who the heroes and villains really are). In

    , Jaime spends much of his time on the dangerous, outlaw-infested roads back to King’s Landing. Though his chapters are hampered by his unfortunate, almost Tourette Syndrome-like use of the word

    , we learn a lot from Jamie about his time guarding Mad King Aerys. What we learn causes us to seriously reevaluate our earlier judgments, and begins nudging him along the villain-hero spectrum.

    Jon’s story is where the bulk of the action happens. And by action, I mean fighting and sex. Without giving away too much, I think it’s appropriate to say that Jon is at the center of a battle on the scale of

    ’ Pelennor Fields. This battle really tilts

    away from the realistic-fantasy from

    and into the fantasy-fantasy of

    . There are mammoths and giants and spying eagles, but I didn't care, because there were also catapults and trebuchets and murder holes and burning oil. In other words, cool stuff.

    Arya was one of those characters I initially didn't like. For some reason, thematically or otherwise, Martin has chosen for viewpoint characters a high number of children, persons with disabilities, and children with disabilities (I’m not including Sansa’s low-functioning, though I could). This means that a lot of our protagonists are a bit atypical; furthermore, many of them haven’t had a lot to do till now. In

    , the kids finally start to grow up. Bran, the crippled boy, takes some huge strides in terms of reader-interest, as he begins to harness his shape-shifting abilities. However, I was more impressed with Arya’s storyline. She falls in with a gang of outlaws, joins forces with Sandor “the Hound” Clegane, and generally blurs the moral dividing line between good and bad. It’s a bold authorial choice when you take a relatively innocent child character and slowly turn her into a cold, steel-eyed killer.

    Finally, Tyrion remains the transcendent character he was in the first two installments. I expected his droll wit and smartass remarks to start wearing thin, but Martin’s choice to put Tyrion on the defensive, hemmed in by his father and sister, was an act of genius. It kept him evolving, which is no small feat after we’ve spent so much time with him.

    What I’ve just mentioned is just a smattering of the pleasures within

    , a novel that is overstuffed with awesome. This is a big book, and there is room for everything a fiction fan – not just a fantasy fan – could want: swordfights, torture, poison, beheadings, betrayals, shocking deaths, shocking fake-deaths, terrifying beasts, chuckle-inducing sex scenes, large scale battles, miracles.

    As I’ve already mentioned, there are a lot more supernatural and fantastical aspects than before. These are things that might have been off-putting for the old me, the me who never read fantasy. It’s even possible that I never would’ve started

    if these things has existed at the start. Well, too late; I’ve been sucked in. Besides, Martin does a really good job of grounding these aspects with his no nonsense, matter-of-fact descriptions. It was easy for me to accept the prospect of dragons because Martin describes them with such biological precision. And it was easy for me to accept the storyline of Lord Beric Dondarrion, who is repeatedly killed and brought back to life by the Red Priest Thoros, because Martin’s portrayal of Beric is so gruesomely detailed (Beric is given life, but he is not healed; he walks around with a crushed skull and a missing eye).

    For those of you who prefer Tolkien’s wordy, action-light style to numerous beheadings, maimings, and juvenile descriptions of oral sex,

    should satisfy those cravings as well. Amid all the slayings and treachery, Martin still finds time for his characters to tell lengthy stories about the old days, and the long, violent, exciting history of Westeros. There are even songs!

    This is a great novel. Not great fantasy; great literature. Martin’s prose is not elegant. Rather, it is detailed. He writes descriptively but clearly. His style is to create visual images with words. Accordingly, he goes to great lengths telling you about architecture, physical features, clothing, colors, and smells. Even minor castles or minor characters are imbued with depth. It can sometimes be overwhelming, trying to keep all this detail straight. Mostly, though, the result is a novel that is immersive and tactile. You feel surrounded by Martin’s world. You feel like you can gauge the reactions of Martin’s characters. There may be dragons and sorceresses and the walking dead, but it feels

    .

    That is not the extent of Martin’s talent. He has a marvelous sense of humor, and a nice, organic wit threads its way through novel, leavening the dour proceedings. Martin also has a nicely-tuned sense of dialogue. There are enough crisp one-liners and bon mots to put one in mind of

    .

    is the midpoint of what Martin has said will be a seven-book cycle. I would be lying if I said I didn't have grave concerns (grave being relative, of course) about the rest of the series. There are so many variables as to make a prediction impossible. Can Martin sustain this dense style? Does he have any idea where all his plotlines are heading? Will success, riches, and fame blunt his skills? Does he have enough years left in his life to finish this grand project?

    It’d be nice to say these questions don’t matter, that

    and the other completed novels can stand on their own. They can’t. Ultimately,

    will be judged upon the entirety of

    . If the cycle falters, or is left unfinished, then

    will be reevaluated along with the rest.

    There is no denying

    ’s essential qualities. It remains to be seen, however, whether it is part of a masterpiece, or something a bit less.

  • Jessi
    Jun 22, 2011

    First an update on the Direwolf situation

    I still do not have one...sadface.

    This series !!! What can I say I am loving it! I don't know if I was just sick of everything else or just needed the escape but I am soooooo enjoying.

    The great thing is that I am on the third book and its not like I can't say which book I like better, which was weaker they are one long story that come in three(so far for me) packages.

    Its not like Indiana Jones. Where we say" man I love Indiana Jones but... that second o

    First an update on the Direwolf situation

    I still do not have one...sadface.

    This series !!! What can I say I am loving it! I don't know if I was just sick of everything else or just needed the escape but I am soooooo enjoying.

    The great thing is that I am on the third book and its not like I can't say which book I like better, which was weaker they are one long story that come in three(so far for me) packages.

    Its not like Indiana Jones. Where we say" man I love Indiana Jones but... that second one WTH? " You know, with Kate Capshaw and her never ending shriek and there were monkey brains.

    Do you remember the monkey brains?

    I remember the monkey brains.

    Refresher

    **I will make no mention of Indiana Jones and the skull of shit or whatever it was called because I have decided that Harrison Ford needed a new boat and it should not be included in the series.

    Anyways A Song of Fire and Ice seems to different from the other series I have read *cough* Sookie Stackhouse *cough*. I find them very refreshing and I never have any idea where its going or how he is going to get us there,also do not get attached to anyone cause George R R Martin be killing bitches left right and center. No one is safe.

    Confession time: I seem to have a crush on The Hound

    WHAT?

    Shut up!

    I dont want to talk about it!

    Whatever! I am not even sure he is alive,the last time we saw him he was feeling a bit stabbed under a tree and I am not puting a "spoiler tag" on that, cause if I don't know then I am not spoiling anything.

    Maybe its cause he is so grumpy?

    This series brings out some weird attractions, my friend said she thought Littlefinger was sexy, he is a quirky mother f@&ker I'll give ya that, also she did not judge my hound problem so we're good.

  • karen
    Nov 08, 2012

    HAPPY SEASON 4 FINALE EVE, NERDIES!!!

    success! i have managed to read this book without getting spoiled ahead of time!! so - ha! to you nerds talking loudly in my sci-fi section about the plot!! i ran to the history wall and hummed loudly until they left. ha! to that jerk at BEA telling his colleagues every. single. thing. that happened in the third book while he stood behind me in that justin cronin line!! i made greg

    HAPPY SEASON 4 FINALE EVE, NERDIES!!!

    success! i have managed to read this book without getting spoiled ahead of time!! so - ha! to you nerds talking loudly in my sci-fi section about the plot!! i ran to the history wall and hummed loudly until they left. ha! to that jerk at BEA telling his colleagues every. single. thing. that happened in the third book while he stood behind me in that justin cronin line!! i made greg come back from his booth-browsing and hold our place (he has read all of these already), and i scooted over to the chronicle booth and peered around the corner, while greg stood in line wide-eyed and kept making "no, it is not safe yet" gestures and all i heard was the phrase

    ha! to all you irresponsible but adorably enthusiastic teenage reviewers of these books with your spoilery status updates in my feed! i have scrolled through quickly quickly and managed to remain completely untainted.

    and man, there would have been a lot to get spoiled, here.

    and now it is my turn.

    okay, so that was a tease, and i would never be that much of a jerk. but now i understand. i feel powerful, stuffed to the gills with knowledge. and i am so freaking amped for season three to begin, because i cannot wait to see some of these scenes played out.

    but apart from that,i mean, this is the third book in a series. so what can i possibly say in a review?? it is difficult to talk about a "middle" book without spoilers, and the casual goodreader isn't going to read this "review", probably, because there has been so much content, so much context, that it would make no sense to someone who has never picked up a book in this series before. i was re-reading some of my third-book reviews, for books that aren't just a trilogy, and you can see the struggle...

    how do you talk about something that is continuing, for people who have no idea what you are talking about?

    so, i assume only fans of martin are reading this, and you people know how good this book is, so what can i possibly say? so i'm just going to whitter on about some things i like/feel like whittering about.

    oh, dana, i am so sorry about that thing that happens to your beloved character.

    oblique spoiler:

    and in searching for that image, i rediscovered this site that has way more content than it used to, and i got sucked in for about an hour:

    which led me to this, which is a book-one spoiler, so careful, uninitiated friends:

    it is worth a visit to scroll through their archives; i had me some guffaws.

    okay, but there were a couple of things that i didn't like in this book:

    but those were just minor flaws in what is otherwise a great book. george martin is good at a number of different things. for epic fantasy, which is usually defined by action sequences and the large-scale, his books are so skillful at the quiet moments. don't get me wrong, there are plenty of HUGE scenes in this book, but there are also so many small conversations that are seemingly inconsequential to the overall storyline, but they go so far towards character development, which is something lost in a lot of genre-fiction. these characters are vivid, and their decisions (mostly - see gripe number 2) make sense in terms of their positions and ambitions and survival instincts.and they will affect you.

    i started reading this while i was re-watching the first season of

    , which is an exercise i strongly recommend. there are so many parallels, in the way that characters operate within the parameters of "the game," and their individual codes of honor and behavior, and in the rises and falls of characters that are predicated upon such seemingly inconsequential events. the long drawn-out cause-and-effect situations, they are masterful and span seasons/books, which is such a delight to a fan.

    which search led me to this:

    and, oh, god, i love the internet:

    is there anything you do not have, internet??

    this book is "everyone's" favorite, but for me, i think i like the second book better. yet i understand the feeling people have for this; the great love and the great heartbreak. and - oh - the way he takes things we thought we already understood from as far back as the first book; about jon arryn and about tysha, and he's all "nahhhh, this is what happened for real." so very cool. just when you thought you had closure...

    it is an easy series to get addicted to. there are some problems, for sure, some of the writing occasionally can be cliched, and there is some repetition that is a little tedious, but overall, this is a character-driven series that has great scenes of action, is genuinely

    in a lot of places, and the strategies of characters are worth it. remember that as you struggle through the lyrics to "the bear and the maiden fair" for the hundredth time.

    incidentally, i would read an entire series of novels featuring jaime and brienne on a road trip.

    in closing:

    i love her so much. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Bookworm Sean
    Feb 27, 2014

    When I first read

    I hated Jaime Lannister. Now, I think he’s awesome. If someone would have told me then, that by book three I would consider him one of my favourite characters, I’d have likely pushed them out of the moon door. It’s quite surprising that George R.R Martin actually changed him around like this. Well, I say change around. What I actually mean is showed the reader what he actually is. Never before, with any novel, have I had my feelings of pure hatred completely

    When I first read

    I hated Jaime Lannister. Now, I think he’s awesome. If someone would have told me then, that by book three I would consider him one of my favourite characters, I’d have likely pushed them out of the moon door. It’s quite surprising that George R.R Martin actually changed him around like this. Well, I say change around. What I actually mean is showed the reader what he actually is. Never before, with any novel, have I had my feelings of pure hatred completely collapse in on them self and turn into pity and admiration.

    George R.R. Martin achieved this astonishing reversal by showing us the man as he saw himself. Instead of ignorant Ned Stark condemning him in his point of view, we see how Jaimie thinks. Indeed, we see his side of the story and why he committed his Kingslaying. It was no ill thought out act or cowardly murder; it was a killing of pure honour and decency. Surprising, I know. I was convinced by Ned Stark’s judgment. I, too, saw a backstabber and murderer. I was glad when the veil was lifted because never before has a character been so wrongly perceived by so many. Jaimie Lannister, certainly, deserves more recognition for his act. But, like a man of honour, he kept the details to himself and cared not what the world thought. He knew that he exacted justice and that’s all that mattered.

    And then there’s Tyrion’s little fiasco with that crossbow. I mean, wow! I did not see that coming. I literally cheered the very first time I read that; it was so perfect and so necessary. The way the chapter ended was superb also. I’d put the quote in, but that would be a big plot spoiler. I guess there is only so far you can push someone before they finally snap, and lash out against the world. Tyrion could only take so much abuse and disuse from the ones who should actually love him. What he did was totally justified and necessary for his own survival. He simply couldn’t go on anymore with that kind of treatment. The end he provides to his victim’s name will well, and truly, sully his reputation. It was most apt to finish him in such a way. What an awful, and deserved, way to go.

    Also, I think the blow of the red wedding has somewhat softened over the years. Initially, it is upsetting and horribly unjust, but then you read the build-up of it again and see it in a different light. It is clear that it was completely King Rob’s fault. He caused it; he should have known better than to renegade on such an important deal. It was pure folly. He left himself completely vulnerable. But, he isn’t to blame completely; he was very young after all. Maybe one day the Starks will be avenged completely. Well, I think it’s obvious that there is only on person with the capabilities to do it.

    By this point in the series Dany has truly cast aside her fear. She has realised who she is and what she is capable of; she has become the dragon her brother was attempting to be. But, for all her power, she lacks wisdom. It isn’t a lack of wisdom born of stupidity, but through a lack of experience. She needs someone to guide her and help her realise her destiny; she needs someone well versed in the game to lead her steps, and insure her politics are not completely detrimental. In short, she needs someone braver than Jorah and someone more cunning than Barristan; she needs a strong right hand. She needs an ally who can truly save her. It’s just a shame that the television show has beat Martin to it! However, she still has her own natural leadership abilities. She has taken an army and freed a city; she has found her voice and her confidence. But, she still needs help. Dragons are a powerful weapon, though they will only take her so far. They’ve saved her in this novel, and they will save her again. But, it takes more than Fire and Blood to win a throne, though it does help.

    This, for me, is the strongest novel in the series so far. The characters have evolved and become figures of investment. The characters in this are truly brilliant. It’s why this series is so damn good. It’s very difficult to actually pick a favourite because with each novel my opinions seem to change as the characters do. It’s also very hard to give each of them a mention in a review! I didn’t even talk about Jon Snow. Never mind. I think it’s clear what my opinion of this book is.

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  • Mohammed Arabey
    Apr 12, 2015

    في الجزء الأول أرسل مساعد الملك روبرت ' إيدارد ستارك' فرسان لوقف أعتداءات عائلة لانيستر في بلدان النهر وتحقيق العدالة, ولم نعرف مصيرهم بعد وفاة الملك ومساعده نيد ستارك, هنا سنعرف مصيرهم وحياتهم في ظل حكم الملك جوفري المراهق, ومساعده تايون لانيستر نفسه

    فما مصير هؤلاء الفرسان الذي صار يدعي الملك الجديد أنهم خارجين عن القانون ؟ و ما مصير الخارجين عن القانون الذين أستعان بهم لانيستر لنشر الفوضي في بلدان النهر؟

    من أرسل قاتل لأغتيال أبن أيدارد ستارك الصغير بالجزء اﻷول؟ وهل سيلقي جزاءه؟ وما سر قدرة بران ستارك نفسه للدخول في عقل ذئبه؟ وهل أخوته لديهم جزء من هذه الموهبة؟

    ما سر تحركات الهمج، القوم اﻷحرار ناحية الجدار؟ وهل لها علاقة بأختفاء عم جون سنو بالجزء اﻷول؟

    ماذا بعد أنتصارات روب ستارك ملك الشمال في كل معاركه؟ هل يضمن له ان يكسب الحرب؟ ولماذا تشعر أمه كاتلين ستارك بكل هذا الخواء برغم الأنتصارات؟

    ماهي الخطوة التالية لملكة التنانين؟ الملكة الشرعية لويستروس والمنفية وراء البحار؟ و ما سر الرجلان الذان يتبعناها منذ الجزء السابق؟ وماسر عدم ثقة فارسها به؟

    ماذا سيفعل الملك ستانيس براثيون بعد هزيمته؟ وما سر تشبثه بالأبن الغير شرعي للملك السابق روبرت براثيون؟ وهل للمرأة الحمراء دور بهذا؟ تلك الكاهنة التي يمقتها مساعده دافوس؟

    أبن أثري عائلات ويستروس، الوسيم،المتعجرف، ذابح الملك ،كاسر النذر خائن العهد، صاحب العلاقة الغير شرعية مع أخته سيرسي..وقد يكون المتهم في إرسال قاتل لبران ستارك ذو التسع سنوات بعد أن ألقاه من البرج بالجزء اﻷول

    بالرغم من كونه مجرد شخصية جانبية في جزء "جون سنو" بالجزئين السابقين , بالرغم من كونه الشخصية الجبانة والتي تخشي كل شئ ماعدا الأعتراف بذلك

    ولكنه يثبت شئ من الثبات بنهاية الجزء الثاني

    ونتيجة لأنفصاله لتوالي الأحداث عن جون سنو بنهاية الجزء الثاني وأنفصال جون سنو نفسه عن الحرس الليلي لينضم للهمج في مهمة سرية كان يجب أن يكون هناك من ينقل لنا ماذا يحدث بين الحرس الليلي والجدار بالشمال خاصا أن الأوضاع كانت أكثر توترا وخطورة عن الأجزاء السابقة

    فضلا عن هذه الشخصيتين هناك الكثير من الشخصيات التي تظهر لأول مرة ,كجماعة فرسان أحرار "

    " وطائفتهم بقيادة "

    " وكاهن أخر "ثورون" يتبع نفس العقيدة العجيبة السحرية لأله النار كالمرأة الحمراء ميليساندرا

    هناك أيضا الظهور الأول ل"

    " قائد البرابرة ,أو كما يطلق عليه "ملك خلف الجدار" ,والذي يقابله لأول مرة جون سنو ليعرف سر تحركات الهمج "البرابرة" نحو الجدار وقري الشمال وهي شخصية مثيرة جدا ومكتوبة بشكل ممتاز بالرغم من قصر دوره

    حتي الشخصية التي تظهر في أخر فصل..10 صفحات يروي قصة حياته في عائلة "فيري" وسوء حظه..لتنتهي حياته في هذا الفصل الوحيد كما أن هذا الفصل اﻷخير نفسه ينتهي نهاية غير متوقعة ولم تظهر حتي اﻷن بالمسلسل ، نهاية صادمة غريبة ومشوقة تدفعك لمعرفة المزيد بالجزء التالي

    بالأجزاء السابقة نجد سانسا ستارك, فتاة علي أعتاب المراهقة , تعشق الأغنيات , أغنيات الفرسان الشجعان , الحب والفروسية والجمال.. كانت تشعر أن الحياة كتلك الأغنيات

    ولكن الحياة في اغنية الجليد والنار ليست من ذلك النوع , من نوع مختلف من الأغنيات والتي تم ذكرها في أجزاء سابقة ولكن هنا نجد أن اغنيتين بالأخص كان لهما النصيب الأكبر من التماثل مع الأحداث وهما

    من بعد الجزء الثاني تغير تماما مستقبل كليهما، فسانسا لم تعد مخطوبة للمتوحش الملك جوفري ، وعليه فهي العذراء الجميلة تنتظر فارسا ينقذها من أراضي الملك وقبضة سيرسي

    و لخطة أخري يلعبها منزل 'هايجاردن' الذي منه خطيبة الملك الجديدة مارجري تايريل، تقرر السيدة أولينا مكافأتها بعرض زواج أحد عائلة تايريل، وأن تنتقل للعيش بهايجردن وتبعد عن الملك جوفري وسيرسي

    وترتفع أمال سانسا بذلك الفارس الذي سينقذها ولكن، إنها أغنية الدب والعذراء الحسناء...إنها أنشودة عاصفة السيوف

    فتايرون لانيستر ، القزم ، أيضا تغير مستقبله تماما عن الجزء الثاني، فهو لم يعد من الحرب التي خاضها دفاعا عن أراضي الملك محبوبا أكثر، بالعكس عاد مكروها أكثر ،جريحا جروح شوهته أكثر من بعد نجاته من محاولة إغتيال دبرتها أخته ليظهر أنه سقط في الحرب

    تم نزعه من منصبه تماما كمساعد 'يد' الملك لصالح أبيه تايون لانيستر والذي صار يتحكم فيه بشراسة أكثر ، وايضا أخته سيرسي وحتي أبن أخته الملك جوفري

    ولكن ما زاد عن كل ذلك، رد فعل أبيه المفاجئ فور معرفته خطة عائلة تايريل السرية لتزويج سانسا ...فقد قرار سبقهم وتزويج ابنه القزم المشوه من الحرب "تايرون" لسانسا ستارك...العذراء الحسناء

    لم تطلب يوما أن ينقذها فارس، فهي فتاة صغيرة عنيدة..شهدت إعدام أبيها وعانت صعوبات في الطريق لتصل ﻷخيها ملك الشمال...وبعد هروبها بأعجوبة من هارينهال بنهاية الجزء الثاني، تواجه مصاعب في طريقها إلي ريفيررن ، مدن منطقة النهر ، حيث أخيها روب ستارك ملك الشمال وأمها ...ولكن الطريق صعب وملئ بقطاع الطرق، وحتي فرسان الملك السابق المعدمين "الأخوان بلا راية" والذين يصطحبوا آريا معهم للحصول علي فدية... ولكن من قال أن صحبة هؤلاء الأخوان سيجعلها بمأمن من عاصفة السيوف؟

    هذا الجزء سنتعرف علي جماعة الأخوان بلا راية والعجائب الخارقة للطبيعة التي يقوم بها كاهنهم ، وتظل آريا أسيرتهم هي وجريندي و هوتباي من الجزء السابق، ولكنها تجد نفسها تبتعد دوما عن وصولها لأهلها..ولكنهم ليسوا الدب هنا

    بعد الجزء الثاني وإنضمام جون سنو للهمج، البرابرة ، أو كما يطلقون علي أنفسهم 'القوم اﻷحرار' ، وذلك ليكسب ثقتهم كمرتد عن الحرس الليلي ولكي يعرف خططهم وسبب تجمعاتهم الضخمة وزحفهم إلي جنوب أراضيهم نحو الجدار ... سيتعرف جون علي ياجريت والتي ﻷنه أبقي علي حياتها بالجزء الثاني، تساعده في أن يكسب ثقة قومها

    هي تساعده، وتقربه من قومها...تحاول أن تثبت له أن الجميع يجب ان يكونوا أحرارا، وأن لا أختلاف بين قومها وقومه...جميعهم بشرا من دماء واحدة

    المعضلة هنا هي أن جون سنو لا يريد خلف قسم أخوية الحرس الليلي, والذي يقتضي عليه ألا يتزوج أمرأة..ولكنه إن لم يكن طبيعيا مع ياجريت فأن هذا سيزيد شكوك القوم الأحرار ..فماذا سيفعل؟

    بالرغم من جبنه إلا أن شهامته ظهرت عندما إستنجدت به فتاة من القوم اﻷحرار ،جيلي، حيث يقوم أبيها/زوجها في حالة إنجاب بناته/زوجاته أبن ذكر ، فأنه يقوم بالتضحية به لآلهة الجليد!! وعندما علمت جيلي بحملها ولدا لم تجد سوي سام

    وبالرغم من رفضه بالجزء السابق إنقاذها بسبب قسم أخوية الحرس الليلي، إلا أن الأحداث المؤسفة الغادرة تجعله هو أيضا يحتاج إنقاذ

    هي أيضا تنويعة مختلفة من اﻷغنية...هي الملكة الجميلة التي تحاول أن تكون قوية ، أرملة دروجو قائد قوم الدوسراكي اﻷقوياء، ملكة التنانين ، ولكنها أيضا في حاجة لمن يدعمها ويرشدها

    صديقها المخلص كما تراه، سير جوراه , ولا تعلم عن أنه في البداية كان جاسوسا عليها لصالح الملك روبرت براثيون، هو سير جوراه

    هو يحبها ليس كمجرد فارس وملكته، بل هو يعشقها، يحاول حمايتها من كل الرجال ولا يثق بأحد مما يجعلها تضيق خنقا

    هي أيضا لديها شكوكها للفارس المنضم مؤخرا ومساعده كتابعان لها، ولكنها لا تشعر تجاه سير جوراه بنفس المشاعر، مما يجعلها في خضم جزءها الزخم باﻷحداث دائما في ذلك الصراع العاطفي ، حتي تنقلب اﻷحداث وتبدأ المفاجأت، ولا تنس النبؤة التي سمعتها دانيريس بنهاية الجزء الثاني حول 3 خيانات ستقابلها في طريقها

    وقد واجهت اﻷولي بالجزء اﻷول من الساحرة التي كلفتها حياة زوجها وأبنها في رحمها...مما جعلها شديدة الحذر تجاه الجميع

    حتي الأن علي الأقل

    محمد العربي

    من 21 أبريل 2015

    إلي 10 مايو 2015

  • Candace
    May 11, 2016

    Each one of these humongous books has managed to completely captivate me. I have loved listening to the characters evolve with this series as their fantastical world changes around them. Nothing is off-limits and nobody is sacred. As anxious as it makes me, the fact that I never know what to expect next is a big plus for me. When you read as much as I do, it is rare to be surprised, but Mr. Martin manages to keep me guessing.

    While the second book had multiple kings rising to power and fighting f

    Each one of these humongous books has managed to completely captivate me. I have loved listening to the characters evolve with this series as their fantastical world changes around them. Nothing is off-limits and nobody is sacred. As anxious as it makes me, the fact that I never know what to expect next is a big plus for me. When you read as much as I do, it is rare to be surprised, but Mr. Martin manages to keep me guessing.

    While the second book had multiple kings rising to power and fighting for their piece of the Iron Throne, this book took the story in an entirely different direction. What goes up must come down. In this epic saga full of scheming and betrayals, the power players are constantly changing. 'A Storm of Swords' completely changes the landscape of this story yet again.

    Aside from the fall of kings, the way the characters are presented had me rethinking my previous judgments. As each character's thoughts and actions were explored, it became clear that there is no "good" or "bad" person. Even despicable characters had redeeming qualities and/or motivations that were understandable, if not admirable. Similarly, the less than pure intentions and actions of some of my favorite characters were brought to light. Everyone is flawed and vulnerable in some way.

    The only exception to this was Joffrey. I couldn't find a single redeeming quality in that evil brat. Maybe it was there and my hatred for him just wouldn't allow me to see it. Nonetheless, he remained true to his role of "ultimate villain".

    As with the first two books in the series, be prepared for plenty of blood and gore. Characters will die, sometimes gruesomely. Don't get too attached. This definitely isn't a series for the faint of heart.

    Now that I've finished the third book, I can begin to spot some of the inconsistencies between the books and the HBO series. There are some omissions that have been made, but nothing that I thought was critical to this story so far. I've also noticed that a few things are presented out of sequence. Again, this didn't take away from the enjoyment for me, but it was noticeable if you're reading and watching subsequently.

    Overall, I am still loving this story. It is still confusing at times, with an extremely complex storyline. However, I feel like I'm getting a better grasp on things. It's on to the next one for me.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    Feb 12, 2017

    Reading this was cray because I keep looking to see if I had read it before! I thought why is so much of this familiar. Then I thought, "Oh yeah, stupid, you own and have watched all of the current shows!" <--- I mean duh!

    I was going to give this one 4 stars because it's the one where they kill more of the Stark's and wolf and I wanted to go in, turn into my own dragon and burn them all down!

    but then . . .

    Oh happy day! Oh happy day

    Reading this was cray because I keep looking to see if I had read it before! I thought why is so much of this familiar. Then I thought, "Oh yeah, stupid, you own and have watched all of the current shows!" <--- I mean duh!

    I was going to give this one 4 stars because it's the one where they kill more of the Stark's and wolf and I wanted to go in, turn into my own dragon and burn them all down!

    but then . . .

    Oh happy day! Oh happy day! What joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤

    I love so many people on the show and in the books. But my favorites are:

    1) Jon ❤

    2) Tyrion

    3) Arya

    4) Daenerys

    5) Brienne

    6) Sam

    7) Sansa

    in no particular order because I tried that one already.

    In the book there were certain scenes I liked better than I did in the shows. I love the shows and I love the books so far. But, in this book there were more parts with dialogue that I really enjoyed. My favorite in this book were the scenes between Brienne and Jaime. I know, you didn't see that coming right? I mean you would think it would have been all the parts about Jon since he's my hunneh bunneh but nope. I liked his parts better in the show and nooo it's not because I can look at him in the show. Although. . . nevermind.

    I just felt like there was so much more to Brienne and Jaime's time together in the book. I wished he would have quit calling her ugly and such though. Jerk, but they did seem to be friends of a sort at the end of their time and I liked that.

    The things you miss in any book is the commentary in someone's head. Of course some I would rather not read about. But I really loved the parts where we could read Tyrion's thoughts about Sansa. They were sweet and true and sad in many ways.

    Overall I enjoyed the book because of the parts with Joffrey dying. Bwhahahahaahahahahahahah!

    And the parts with Brienne and Jaime. I loved all of my other characters parts but these were the highlight moments for me.

    Or course you know when you get rid of one evil b•stard, along comes another one!

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