April 23, 2012
A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3
by George R.R. Martin
Treachery and betrayal. If you've read the first two books in G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Series, and thought that you've read enough about treachery and betrayal, you ain't seen nothing yet.
If you thought that reading both A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings has prepared you enough for more violence, gore, and murder, you'd better think again.
And if you've resolved, after reading the first two installments in the series, not to get too attached to any one character because of Martin's penchant for offing characters – popular or no – then make that resolution again, and firmly.
I'm not going into detail or even write a summary about the book, lest I spoil anything for those who intend to read the series but haven't had the opportunity yet. No need to say, either, that the plot of A Storm of Swords picks up where the second book left off.
A Storm of Swords left me with little sleep, anxiety, and utter hatred for fictional characters, it's just crazy. It started a little too slowly for my taste, but it picked up before I even realized, and I was unable to put it down after that. And it's not really the issue of characters dying left and right; it's the manner with which their deaths were brought about. These characters are not even favorites, and their roles are merely for support, in the grand scheme of things, but how they died... Well. That's another matter.
I reiterate: betrayal. Treachery. Two very prominent themes in A Storm of Swords. There were times when I wanted to tear out my hair in frustration, and times when I gritted my teeth in anger at what I had just read. I was tempted to hurl my Kindle against the wall, but that would be too much.
Still, Martin's genius is amazing. The characters I thought should be taken by the Others because of their evil deeds are not truly evil; Martin has given them all redeeming traits, taught them lessons in order to compensate for their mistakes. As in the previous two books, the “good” people always seem to be the less fortunate ones. I can only hope for some retribution for them in the end.
And, just so you know: my favorite “lion” character is still alive. I can't hope for anything more. :P