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Book Reviews

Review: “A Storm of Swords: Steel & Snow,” George R.R. Martin

January 26, 2012
Review: “A Storm of Swords: Steel & Snow,” George R.R. MartinA Storm of Swords: Steel & Snow (A Song of Ice & Fire #3, Part 1)
Written by George R.R. Martin
Published August, 2000 by HarperVoyager
623 pages
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Medieval
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five-stars

The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud, and winter approaches like an angry beast. Beyond the Northern borders, wildlings leave their villages to gather in the ice and stone wasteland of the Frostfangs. From there, the renegade Brother Mance Rayder will lead them South towards the Wall.

Robb Stark wears his new-forged crown in the Kingdom of the North, but his defences are ranged against attack from the South, the land of House Stark’s enemies the Lannisters. His sisters are trapped there, dead or likely yet to die, at the whim of the Lannister boy-king Joffrey or his depraved mother Cersei, regent of the Iron Throne.

And Daenerys Stormborn will return to the land of her birth to avenge the murder of her father, the last Dragon King on the Iron Throne.

The first part of book three in the series really brought back everything that I loved about the first book, A Game of Thrones. There were no boring bits, only page-turning action and character development, quite possibly rendering A Storm of Swords my favourite in the series so far!

I must admit that I was quite happy not to see a chapter in Theon Greyjoy’s point of view this time around. While there are still Davos chapters (I still groan inwardly when these pop up) they were a little easier to swallow this time around, since there is so much happening all over the Seven Kingdoms. We also get a point of view from Jaime Lannister this time, which proves interesting. While I’m not a fan of the Lannisters (I like Tyrion, but his chapters aren’t my favourite by a longshot), I did relish the chance to glimpse into Jaime’s brain.

I particularly like his developing relationship with Brienne of Tarth. They are two characters I didn’t even think to put together, and although I don’t quite like them in the romantic sense, I find their exchanges and growing respect for one another great to read about. I was also surprised with the movement of Robb Stark’s character arc. While he had been a particular favourite character of mine (probably influenced by his portrayal in the TV show before reading), I found my liking for him dwindling in A Storm of Swords. I am spoiled for what happens in the next installment, but I won’t say anything about that until I read it, however all I will say is that he made some very poor choices this time around and my respect for him as a character when down a few notches.

Catelyn Stark continues to be a favourite, which is great. This woman knows her politics and uses her strengths. I wish someone would put this lady on the throne already! It constantly irks me that nobody listens to Catelyn *sigh*. We’re also introduced to the Tyrell family, of Highgarden, which makes a great new plotline for us to follow. While we don’t have any POV chapters by members of the family, we do see quite a lot of them through Sansa’s chapters. I’m looking forward to how it develops!

Jon’s plotline surprised me the most. I don’t know if I’m enjoying it or not so far – though we’ll soon see where that heads in Part 2, Blood & Gold. I can say with certainty, however, that I prefer the world of the Seven Kingdoms compared to the land Beyond-the-Wall. Snow, caves, snow and more snow…

All in all, A Storm of Swords is a thrilling addition to the series. If, like me, you found A Clash of Kings to be a little tedious in parts politics and war-wise, A Storm of Swords will quickly remind you just why you love the series so much!

Recommended to: Fans of the series should be pleased with this addition.

About George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included. Later he became a comic book fan and collector in high school, and began to write fiction for comic fanzines (amateur fan magazines). Martin's present home is Santa Fe, New Mexico.

6 Comments

  • Reply Zoraida February 4, 2012 at 8:19 am

    These books look like such a commitment! I can’t wait to section off time to read them.

    Also, I’m giving away an ARC of The Vicious Deep. Thought you might be interested :)
    http://www.zoraidawrites.com/2012/02/vicious-deep-arc-giveway.html

  • Reply Michelle A January 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Great reviews! Sounds Like I need to read this series.

    Michelle

  • Reply Steph January 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Wooh, you sped through this one, go you! I’m still in the middle of it, and I hope to continue it soon, but I’m glad to hear it was your favorite so far. Even more glad about the lack of Theon. :P Excellent review, Britt!

  • Reply Kylie1403 January 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    You are flying though this series!!! good on yah!

  • Reply Sasha @ The Bookshelf January 27, 2012 at 11:15 am

    It’s interesting that in the UK they split A Storm of Swords into two parts, I never knew they did that. ACoK is actually my favorite book of the series so far, for the reasons that you mentioned :) You’ll enjoy part II!

    • Reply Sasha @ The Bookshelf January 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Woops! I mean to to say that my favorite was A Storm of Swords *facepalm*

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