A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Summary from Goodreads:

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is 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. 

A Storm of Swords is the third installment in A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin and it still has those elements which makes this series the all consuming read that it is. There is still the element of danger and uncertainty. You still root for the characters. And you still get political intrigue. But each of those elements are heightened, jacked up, elevated. It's like GRRM found a switch for some rocket boosters and installed it here. He dishes up one revelation after another, sets up one epic scene after another, and brings in more characters to play the game of thrones, or at least be tangled in the game. There are more weddings and escapes than you can shake a stick at. Expect grief, sorrow, suffering, vengeance, lies, and betrayals. At least more than what the first two installments ever brought. 

I think what stood out for me, in this installment is this whole idea of choices and consequences. GRRM thrusts the most of the main characters here, more and more, in situations where you see them grapple with difficult choices. Then he underscores the fact that for all the choices that they make, there will be consequences, and that they must be prepared to deal with them. Notable examples of this would be found in Robb's, Catelyn's, Jon's, Jaime's and The Hound's storyline. I do think that it made these characters more real, more human.     

I never thought GRRM could top A Clash of Kings, but he actually did it here. I once told my reading buddies over at The Filipino Goodreads Group that at the end of this book, I felt like I was pummeled, up to the state of catatonia. And I do mean that as a good thing.  

Awards received: Award Winning Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel (2001), Nebula Award Nominee (2002), Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2001), Ignotus (2006), Geffen (2002)

Award Winning Books Reading Challenge Entry # 15

Comments

  1. This. I should read faster now.

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    Replies
    1. Where you at? I managed to read the last 20 chapters in one sitting, which is a feat for me. Haha. I am excited for you to find out all the revelations in this installment! :)

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