Review: A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire

Pages: 1177

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adventure

My Rating: 5/5

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

{29BE96B6-A79B-4AAE-8B7F-B1856E1DD48B}Img100

“Here is the third volume in George R.R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. 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. And as opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by 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…”

* * *

Another book in which Martin did not let me down. I admit, I read this book in parts because I ended up going through a reading slump, but it was fantastic!

A Storm of Swords made me smile, gasp, and even throw my book (I’m sorry, book). Without giving too much away, a lot of moments I had hoped for happened, and a lot of experiences I didn’t expect happened.

I found a new appreciation for Jaime and The Hound, and if you’ve read or are going to read this, you will too.

There isn’t much I can say without giving things away, and I know there are people who still haven’t read the books, BUT, we know there’s always deaths, right?

CAN YOU BELIEVE THOSE WEDDINGS?

Holy crap. There was some epic foreshadowing in there, but reading about these events took it to a whole new level. And I love the subtlety of the magic in this series. It exists, but in such a real way, anything is possible.

Like I said though, I can’t say much without giving anything away, so please, READ THE BOOK!

Enjoy, and happy reading!

Advertisements

Review: A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire

Pages: 1,009

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adventure

My Rating: 5/5

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

10572

“In this eagerly awaited sequel to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a work of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination. A Clash of Kings transports us to a world of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare unlike any you have ever experienced.

A comet the colour of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It it a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel… and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.”

***

What can I say about this book? Wow. I’ll start off with wow.

A Game of Thrones was a wonderful novel, one that dragged you into the story and A Clash of Kings isn’t any different in that regard. I found myself drawn in from the moment it began, partially from being familiar with some of the characters already.

A lot of things have changed. We watch the children grow up, not just in age, but in soul; they have to grow up, either that or face death. And death is a constant rock on your shoulder, it’s always there to remind you that any moment could be the last. I think that’s one of the selling points: the author isn’t afraid to hurt the main characters. We see Sansa get beaten by Joffrey’s men, we see Sansa get beaten, we even see Tyrion get hurt badly. There is pain and grief for every one of these characters, Lannister and Stark alike.

The story focuses mainly on the fact that the Lannisters are bound by incest and should be killed.

Boy, there is a lot of talk about incest in this story. Not just incest, but sex. There’s talk of women and men being raped, the incest between Cersei and Jaime, and it goes on and on about “maidenhood” and whores and who’s bedding who. This isn’t the kind of story I’d read to a child every night before bed.

One of the best parts that I’d like to point out is the magic. In a lot of fantasy novels, magic is there but more so. Characters can depend on it and save themselves with it. In this series, it is briefly touched upon and while it’s there, it isn’t the premise for the entire story. It’s touched on lightly, which is a nice change from the “bam, in your face” that most novels seem to have these days. There’s even a supernatural aspect to all of this. Example being Bran and his third eye. I don’t want to get too far into detail, but there’s things like this as well as, I think they were called “green dreamers.” Children of the forest blood is likely.

And the ending. My goodness! That was surprising, though I took the news happily. I had worried through so much of the book, feeling disgusted and uneasy with what had happened. Thankfully, all of those thoughts were put to rest.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, I would. Of course, after you read the first in the series. I gave this a 5/5  because, again, I felt like it was written quite well, the language is up to par (with what, don’t ask me), and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Parts of it stuck with me and made me feel. I’ve grown attached to these characters and definitely will be continuing with the series after I take a short break from it. Contrary to popular belief, well, with what most people seem to think, I liked this one a bit more than the first. There were also certain parts that were kind of difficult to get through. I felt like it dragged on when it could have been finished much quicker. Yes, I know, that goes hand in hand with epic fantasy, but some parts I just didn’t enjoy.

Prepare yourself for a big surprise!

Enjoy, and happy reading!

Review: A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire

Pages: 864

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adventure

My Rating:  4/5

game of thrones

“In A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.

In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the centre of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavours to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.”

Now I’m not going to lie, it’s been a few months since I read this book and I’ve started on the second in the series, so I apologize.

Epic fantasies are one of the greatest things to read, in my opinion. They take you on an incredible journey, one away from your own, where you delve into the world of these unforgettable characters.

I’d like to get this off my chest: Winter is coming.

At first, it was a bit slow, nothing too fancy or outstanding, but give it time, I promise it will get better. I like to give things chances, even if they don’t immediately hold my attention, and I’m glad that I did. I fell in love with two of the characters right from the beginning: Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister. Arya reminded me a lot of myself. She was stubborn and didn’t want to be a lady, she wanted to be free and defied all that stood in her way. And she is pretty smart too, considering she’s such a young girl. Tyrion, what can I say about him? His wits! His lovely, lovely brain! He is portrayed as an incredibly ugly man, ahem, half-man, who has everything working against him. But he is full of cunning wit and sarcasm. I can see how the characters in the book dislike him, but from an outside perspective, he has to be one of the greatest characters I’ve ever read about.

So as we read, we learn that Lord Eddard Stark, or informally, Ned, was chosen to be King Robert’s Hand. King Robert was a seemingly harmless man, though he loved his booze, food, and hunting. Ned has to leave behind his wife, Catelyn; his sons, Robb, Bran, and Rickon; his daughters, Arya and Sansa; and last but not least, his bastard, Jon Snow, who later joins the Night’s Watch, despite being so young.

Jon was another good character. Young but so full of life.

I grew to really like Ned, and was shocked by what ended up happening. Yes, I was a fool, I couldn’t see what was happening right before my own eyes, I thought everything was going to turn for the better.

Joffrey is an ass, there isn’t much more I can say about him, and I feel sorry for Sansa, being betrothed to him. Cersei isn’t much better, and it would seem that all the Lannister’s are some sort of evil, though the Imp is loveable.

I also really grew to love the direwolves. I love the name Nymeria, it has stood out to me. While out, they found 6 direwolves (direwolf being the sigil of the Starks) and one was given to each of Ned’s children, including the bastard. The children trained their wolves and they proved to be the most loyal companions.

So why did I give this book 4/5 stars? Well, I did enjoy it, thoroughly, I did. But the beginning didn’t hook me as much as I would’ve liked, and there were things throughout that weren’t the most appealing. I love the way it was written, almost in Tolkien fashion, and again, big words. I love learning new words, so reading this has extended my vocabulary.

Overall, this was a great book and I’ll definitely be continuing the series. I mean, what’s better than knights, princes and princesses, jousting, and magic?

In the words of Scar, be preeepaaaared!

Enjoy, and happy reading!