- With the release of A Dance with Dragons, I felt the urge to re-visit these stories.
I also recommend:
- Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
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 a game-changer. This pivotal book takes everything that the first two books in the series has built up and it dashes it to pieces on the ground – yet leaves enough for the true story to shine through.
Kings are dying, have died and will die throughout the progress of A Storm of Swords making it very aptly named. Cherished characters die, others are redeemed and most of all, Martin gives us a picture of one of the most hated characters and brings his back story into the picture through a mannish woman and a journey taken. That back story had me reeling and feeling pity – the Lannisters, once a family I detested (and I still do with Cercei and Tyrwin) now have two somewhat noble family members. Putting aside the incest, which I admit is hard to do, Jaime is a character worthy of pity and one that, oddly enough, brings hope back into the story.
My heart breaks most in this book for Sansa Stark. Used over and over as a tool, for money, for power, for lust, this 13 year old child has seen more in her lifetime then any of us could possibly imagine. She believes she is the last of her line, she has been beaten, threatened with rape, abused mentally, kicked and betrayed by her own family – yet she still manages a strength of character that makes even Ayra seem the weaker sister.
A Storm of Swords up the game and sets up the remaining story in a masterful, incredible way. pAnd the most incredible part? I still don’t know which faction I lean to. Do I look to Queen Daenerys and her dragons? Do I look to the Lannisters, with all of their betrayals and faults? What about King Stannis who, technically, has the right of the crown being King Roberts lawful heir? And the Starks.. where will they fall in all of this?
These questions plague me as I continue to go through this saga. I have to say, no books can hold my attention quite like a fantasy saga – and even more so the king that George R.R. Martin has written. For all of it’s baseness, its crude language and behavior, it is a masterful story and one that holds me in its grip.
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