Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Storm of Swords

"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 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 left in the words.

And as opposing forces maneuver 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..."

* *
Over one thousand pages makes up this amazing novel, the third installment in the series A Song of Fire and Ice, A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. 

The characters who offer their point of view, have changed again from the first and second book. This creative angle is an effective method to draw the reader in by allowing them to see some events from various perspectives to better understand the underlying motives of the characters. It serves to bridge the reader to different characters throughout the series, changing the way the readers perceive them.
And where their loyalties lie...

However, I found myself stopping to consider how the characters had gotten to where they were. The ever changing perspectives creates the problem of forgetting where certain characters were while simultaneously offering the aforementioned understanding. 

The plot, which I just have to mention briefly, literally had my mouth hanging open, the word "what" perched on my tongue. It was completely unpredictable! So many things happen constantly: characters die, known plans fail while secret plans succeed, and betrayal is everywhere. Loyalty a hope lost on the raven's wing. 

I was a little disappointed, okay more than a little, when three of my favorite characters "died." I put the quotations around the word because more and more people who die in these novels are re-appearing as... I'll let you figure that our for yourself. 

And not to spoil anything, but the last page will blow every reader away. It makes the previous 1126-ish pages totally worth it.

A Storm of Swords 

on Amazon

rating: 3/5 cups

1 comment:

  1. Two magnificent instalments, and then STORM OF SWORDS, eagerly, oh so eagerly awaited. And this third volume initially lulled me into a false type of security so immense that I sure won't forget it. The first half & something moves along rather placidly, relying more on character & plot build-up than real fireworks. GRRM taking a breather from the general "character slaughter" ? Well, nasty tongues may call the first chapters somewhat Jordan-esque, building up to...something (?), but certainly interspersed with some brilliant scenes & interludes (e.g. Sansa's interrogation by the Tyrell family, Jon Snow's adventures beyond the wall, anything about Daenerys, etc.), but so what...- until certain parties join for a hastily arranged wedding feast to correct wrongs done out of impulse by some of the protagonists...and all hell breaks loose...and the final 350 pages that follow are simply a brutal, no-holds-conventional-rule-breaking-watershed in modern fantasy - no more, no less - all the way up to a last page of an epilogue that may be the eeriest, most mindboggling final lines ever written in a fantasy epic.