By: George R.R. Martin
Review by: Alex Frank
WARNING!! Do not read this review if you have yet to read Clash of Kings. There are spoilers at the beginning of the review and I would really hate for details to be ruined for you. I know I get angry when people tell me things about the series when I have yet to discover them myself, so I am lending a friendly warning. If you skipped over this warning or just chose to read ahead anyway (and you become enraged by the contents), please be kind enough to be mad with yourself instead of me. I warned you.
*Read ahead at your own risk
Westeros is tearing itself apart as war rages across the entire continent. Renly Baratheon is dead. Stannis still declares himself King after the brutal defeat at the Battle of the Blackwater. Robb is sweeping the Lannister army off its feet in undefeated victory, and Joffrey still sits pretty on the Iron Throne. North of the Wall the wildlings gather in anticipation to retake the North as the Night’s Watch continues to dwindle.
How do our characters fair? (I will not give details away from Storm of Swords because spoilers are rude. This is meant as a review/catch up with our beloved characters from Clash of Kings)
Catelyn- last seen having a heated and potentially violent dispute with Jaime Lannister.
Arya- Escaped from Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie
Tyrion- Bloodied and battered after the brutal battle of the Blackwater
Davos- Was about to be swept into burning ships after Stannis’ fleet was overcome by wildfire
Sansa- Still a captive of Joffrey and Cersei in King’s Landing
Jon- Went with the wildlings after being commanded to kill the Halfhand (by the Halfhand)
Daenerys- She now has ships and is able to cross the sea. She has also gained some new and strange companions.
Bran-Not dead! Riding into the woods after Winterfell is burned
Two characters also receive perspectives though they are not new to the story (some might count them as old friends):
Jaime Lannister- Twin brother to Cersei (Queen Regent and Joffrey’s mother), a knight of the King’s Guard, and captured by Robb’s men.
Samwell Tarley- Brother of the Night’s Watch, and Jon’s fat (but kind) friend. He is separated from Jon and is at the Fist of the First Men with Commander Mormont and his other Brothers.
Book three, though being the longest of the novels I’ve read to date, is by far the most entertaining and thrilling. I dare say it is my favorite as of yet and has more twists and turns than books one and two combined. Some (including myself) would go are far to say that the deaths in this book are even more tragic and delicious than Ned’s death. That says something.
Storm of Swords has all the action, adventure, violence, and strange love a person could wish for. Excitement waits at the turn of every page.
This is not to say that some parts aren’t slow. But the beauty of the slow parts is that they lull the reader into a sense of security, and, before we know it, everything changes. The long detailed paragraphs about food and clothing seemed scaled down in comparison to the importance of every scene. The series has really picked up.
As I expressed in my last review, I do not care for Theon. I was happy to see that he was not present at all in this book except for a few chapters where his name is mentioned by a character. I don’t miss him.
On that note, I will admit I did not care for Jaime before the third book. My feelings for him were not quite hate but they were nowhere near kind. Martin made me change my opinion. A lot can be said from taking a character and making their perspective one that becomes involved with the reader. Had Martin not put Jaime as a perspective, I may still have a moderate amount of loathing for him. I no longer do. In fact…I dare say I have grown fond of his smartassness. I enjoy him almost as much as I enjoy Tyrion…but not quite. Not yet at least. I won’t rule it out.
Also, dear reader, remember when I said that Martin can be an evil monkey with a typewriter if he wants to be? Well he flexed his fingers and flashes a large toothy grin in this novel. Take your heart and lock it away before you dare read this book. Some deaths you will want and others you will dread. In my opinion, they are about equal.
I look forward to A Feast of Crows, but I don’t see how our beloved author is going to top Storm of Swords. The treachery was too delicious for words.
You may finally be happy with some of his plot twists if you weren’t before…maybe.
Overall rating: 5
Ps. The only thing that could make the series better now, in my opinion, would be a perspective from Brienne of Tarth. I adore that grotesque mountain of a woman.