March 23, 2013

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords 
on The Book Depository
I finished it yesterday, but I'm still there, and in my mind I just can't put it aside. I was rather disappointed with the second book and even thought that only the first book was worth something in the series, as happens so often. But I still decided to read the third book before the beginning of season 3 of "Game of Thrones" and it was totally worth it!

The book tells about the events after Blackwater battle, which had a great impact on the conflict of five kings. We still have all the POVs we are used to in the book (except for Theon, but who cares?), and two new - Jaime and Sam tell their own stories now. The country is still divided between different alliances, while winter is coming, and with it comes the evil from the north.

There's no way to talk about the book without spoilers, so here goes...

There are some very emotionally tough scenes in the book, and after the Red Wedding I even had to put the book down and have some wine and a good sleep. Don't get me wrong: it is a good thing that GRRM kills or maims main characters, it does make his books more real. Sometimes far too real. Of course, it is a better decision than to make everybody invulnerable, but god how I hate it! After three books and 2 seasons all of them are very real to me, and when they die or something bad happens, I just can't imagine how things can go on after it. But they do, and the story continues, we just see it with different eyes. And that's what I love about the books. I'm not sure if this whole love-hate paragraph makes sense, but that's how I feel :)

Now to the characters:

I found his story rather dull in the first two books. It was all dreaming and nothing new. In this book though he has some adventures and explores the nature of his gift more. That's interesting how everything is beginning for him after his "death", isn't it? I also like his Reed companions a lot, especially Meera. And it's really great how Bran helped Jon in wolf's skin.

I still don't connect with her (and never will have this chance anymore) and usually find her bit of story rather irritating. She seems to make a lot of wrong decisions, and all of them for the safety of her family. Somehow, though, it all leads to the complete destruction of her family instead, and she seems a bit insane, if truth be told. Some kind of hen-mother for everybody, and everybody find her difficult to talk to.
Robb too is bad at making decisions, as somehow he managed to lose half of his supporters and his head too just because of marrying the wrong girl.
Don't get me wrong, I still mourn their death, but this is mostly their own fault, right?

She is just gorgeous in this book! Her story was my favourite in the first book, then I got very disappointed with her meekness in the second book, but now she is a real queen! There is so much power in her, and also justness and kindness, that I'd vote for her on the Iron Throne. It's a pity Jorah had to leave, I kind of hoped for further tension between them, but if he really sent messages to Varys from Quarth, then it's only fair. Anyway, she has Barristan now, and he is great! I hope they'll be a good team.

Jon's story has become my favourite in this book. He was also dull before, whining about his bastardy, but in this book he has a LOT of real emotional trouble. He falls in love, chooses sides, plans battles, understands what he wants and finally becomes Lord Commander! I just love him. And I shed a tear for Ygritte, too, although I still can't understand how Jon was able to have ALL KINDS of sex with her is she never washes. Loathsome.

Tyrion is my favourite too, but that's not new. It's a pity he experiences so much trouble and hatred in this book. I especially pitied him when Sansa didn't want to even talk to him and when Shae betrayed him. He is a very kind little man, but he has to be cruel and make revenge. Sad

Arya goes to Braavos!! FINALLY! And with Needle! Her most important adventure, as Bran's, also starts after her official death. It's a pity she leaves her wolf behind, though, she might use such a friend. I'm a bit worried about her, though, as she is becoming really fierce and cruel. It has helped her, but it is destroying her too. She needs some break in a safe place, and I hope magic words "Valar Morgulis" will bring her to one.

Well, I don't like her. I can find explanations for everything she does, but I can't really understand her. I just hope she is learning something. Although she might have started doing it earlier.

Davos is a bit pathetic after his "resurrection", and I never liked either him with his fingers, or Stannis. Now that they are in the North, we will see more of them, and that's just not good. Although they did help with the wildlings, they have their own reasons and plans, and this will inevitably affect the Night's Watch

Jaime is a new POV, but I immediately liked him. Although the part with his hand was quite nauseating,  I really enjoyed his relationship with Brienne. They irritate each other, they despise each other, but at the same time they respect each other and help each other. I'm not sure if this can be called friendship, but it's good to both. Jaime's relationship with Cersei continues to surprise me. Not because it's perverse, but because I don't understand what it is. Jaime seems to really love her, but she doesn't. Maybe she really just wants to be him, to have the strength men have and women don't. Or maybe it's some kind of bond even she does not understand. Maybe we'll know more from the next book.

Sam plays a big role in this book, both behind the wall and on it, and he finally finds some courage. Not all of it, of course :) but still. He even gains some respect, which is good, because he is kind and rather clever, and as I've said, this world needs some brain.


That's a hell of a post, very long and incoherent, but it's a strong book, worth all the time spent with it (and it's a lot, as it has 1000+ pages :)) Now I'm looking forward to the series!


  1. Actually I think that's a very coherent and thorough review.
    I love this series but like you say sometimes you have to step away from the book and have a glass of wine and a wind down! GRRMartin is just so ruthless and as you mention it's sometimes difficult to see how the book will continue when he seems to be killing everyone off!
    Lynn :D

  2. I think you did a great job of showing what you liked and why. I'm with you on the whole Catelyn thing because she just doesn't interest me. Tyrion is impossible not to love. His story, what he learns in this book about his marriage, broke my heart. As for Daenerys, she does keep getting better and in this book she showed herself capable of living up to the expectations, and fears, everyone has for her. I can't wait to see what she does in the next book. Thanks to my stubborn husband, the next book is within arms reach but I continue to resist.

    1. Oh, those men! I too want to resist book 4 at least until the end of season 4, but I made by BF watch the series, and then he started reading, and now he is already in the middle of book 4 and he wants to discuss! How long will we be able to fight it? :)

  3. I have resisted this book, as the first two completely monopolized my time and imagination (they're just so long and involved!), but I feel my resistance waning, as the summer kicks in ... I have a couple more books to finish and then ... loved how you spotlighted each character and made a comment reaction on their part in the story! Great review/reaction post!


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