A Storm of Swords
Book 3 of A Song of Ice and Fire
by George R. R. Martin
Bantam Books Trade Paperback
In his third book of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin tests the strength and patience of his reader. After a second book of mostly setup (but with plenty of action and surprises), this third novel launches into Westeros with a terrifying Others attack beyond the wall. Along with new point of view chapters from the snarky Kingslayer as he heads to King’s Landing, we also continue with Sansa, now pushed aside by Margaery Tyrell, Tyrion now replaced by Tywin—now hand of the king—and Arya, now on her way to her mother in Riverrun. King’s Landing is recovering from the bloodbath at Blackwater and Stannis is planning a new route to the crown while the remaining contenders in the fight for the Iron Throne, Rob and Danaerys, continue to follow their personal vendettas.
Throughout A Storm of Swords, every character’s strengths, beliefs, motivations, and allegiances are tested and threatened as they have never been to make this the best novel in the series thus far (although I’m just barely into the fourth). The characters captivated me in an entirely new way and drew me to the core of their own inner struggles, that then became my own. Between spending time with Jaime Lannister and getting through the Red Wedding and Tyrion’s trial, I went from being devastated, to frustrated, to angry, to ecstatic and then hovered around confused for the final 100 pages of the book. George R. R. Martin leads the reader on a long, in-depth journey through the minds of many different characters, giving reasons to love, hate, adore, trust, and distrust every single one until the reader doesn’t even know where their own allegiances lie anymore. In a story about love and loyalty, honour and duty, it becomes clear that the lines dividing those concepts are constantly blurred. A whirlwind of action and emotion, A Storm of Swords, will teach you that no character is safe from the usual life-saving storytelling devices. In short, George R. R. Martin is a genius, a master of his craft, and a man who truly understands motivation and the human psyche—of his characters and his readers.
Recommended for all fantasy readers, and anyone who wants a well-written, character-driven tale.