July 31, 2012

Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

I think the biggest lesson we can take from Martin's books is never get attached, ever.  And that's all I'm saying about that.  Storm of Swords is the third book in the Song of Fire and Ice series.  If you haven't read the first two books then reading this review will be a waste of time for you, you have to start at the beginning or be hopelessly lost.  Heck, I've read them all in order and I still get lost at times.

Storm of Swords pretty much takes up after where the second book left off.  Joffrey is still in power while Robb is slowly losing ground in the North.  Sansa is married off to Joffrey's uncle Tyrion in an effort to secure some sort of claim to the North.  Arya finds herself in the care of The Hound and while she wants to kill him, she also know she needs him to survive.  Jon is busy in the North, running with the wildlings and trying to figure out what his next step will be.  Daeynerys has her dragons and is slowly building an army.  And like the other books, everyone is plotting and planning and wanting the throne for themselves.

There are a lot of characters in this book.  So much so that I can't keep track of them all the time.  So I stopped trying to and that actually made the book a little more enjoyable as a result; not as much stress.  The important ones are easy to remember and my definite favorite is Daenerys.  She has a lot of strength but is also trusting.  My least favorite characters would be the Lannisters, with the exception of Tyrion.  I know I'm not supposed to like them but I just can't stand reading about them.  Everyone else is just so much more interesting.

The plot, like always, is brutal.  There is a lot of murder, rape, war, cussing, you name it.  It's as real as it gets and Martin does not hold back.  This time though there is a lot that is happening and it's kind of a whirlwind ride.  The story bounces back and forth between most of the main characters so you're continually being drug around in the timeline too.  But despite this, it remains fairly consistent and you aren't too lost when you come back to a certain character and their point in the story.  I do think this book could have easily been split in two, it's quite large and there is a lot happening.  Although it wouldn't have slowed the pace down at any rate, all the actions here would happen no matter if it were one, two or three books.

I liked it and will continue to look forward to the next in the series.  It's a solid fantasy to be reading and intriguing as well.

Storm of Swords
Copyright 2000
924 pages

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