Saturday, 16 April 2011

Book #23 - A Storm Of Swords by George R.R Martin

A Storm Of Swords

Originally published in two separate parts, we have arrived at the mammoth third installment of the Song Of Ice and Fire.  We are joined by two new narrators Jon's friend Samwell Tarly, and Jaime Lannister. This just after I praised the fact in my last post that not having Jaime as a narrator made him a more elusive character!

Having Jaime on board does work though as he is one of the more fascinating characters and the events of Storm Of Swords serve to create a much different man from the one we've previously seen. Although there are certain sections in Storm of Swords that disappoint, Arya persistently lurches from disaster to disaster with no real purpose and I still can't warm to Daenarys...Storm of Swords is packed with amazing and unexpected moments.

Though there are points along the way where chapters merely serve as exposition or to move characters from one event to the next, some of the major episodes and incidents in this novel and there are many, are breathtaking. There are several battles and several weddings, each more unbelievable, in the best of senses, than the last, several shock deaths, many plot twists you do NOT see coming, and a closing epilogue which leaves you open-mouthed. My personal response was "Wait....? Let me read that again....oh my god I DID read it right....WHAT? AWESOME!" It closes on a truly special twist following a twist, an ultimate cliffhanger.

There are also some really satisfying moments for favourite characters, Tyrion particularly, and certain characters really do get the comeuppance the reader has been desperate to see in the first two books, and the two shadowy conspirators Varys and Baelish outdo themselves with their intrigues.

Having read A Game Of Thrones and A Clash Of Kings you begin to presume. You presume you know where Martin is going with certain characters and certain plots, both in this book and the books to come and you are certain you know who the 'good' and 'bad' characters are.   The joy of this book is that Martin laughs in your face and proves you presumptuous, suddenly everything you thought you knew shifts, and leaves you reeling in shock.

I sincerely hope that the HBO series starting on Monday here succeeds long enough in order to bring this third book to the screen as some of its moments are almost made to be seen on screen. If this book were a theatre performance, there are moments where you would start applauding for the sheer talent of the writing, both in concept and execution. Although I was uncertain of it at the beginning, there are so many wonderful things in Storm of Swords from massive events to one line sentences, so many genius moments that I must give this book a 10/10

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