Customer Reviews for

A Storm of Swords (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Average Rating 4.5
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(1967)

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(130)

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(46)

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(50)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

36 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Great Book, Great Series

I'm almost out of breath after completing George RR Martin's "Storm of Swords", the third in his Fire and Ice series. Each chapter is like its own short story with its own little cliffhanger. Martin's characters are dramatic, melodramatic, genuine, realistic, and so bol...
I'm almost out of breath after completing George RR Martin's "Storm of Swords", the third in his Fire and Ice series. Each chapter is like its own short story with its own little cliffhanger. Martin's characters are dramatic, melodramatic, genuine, realistic, and so bold and colorfully drawn that I find myself thinking about them in between readings. After each book I've needed to take a little breather, but find myself drawn back to the stories and the characters' individual and interconnected dramas, desperate to find out what's happened next, while enjoying the immersion in Martin's world.

While some of Martin's characters are clear 'black hats', and some are 'white'...there's more 'gray' than anything else, which adds to the realism of the ever-changing qualities that the characters display. Some of the black hats start moving toward white, and some of the white drift towards the black. Like real life, few of Martin's story lines have true endings. Even when a character is killed, the ramifications are often far reaching and impact Martin's landscape across multiple books in the series.

One couldn't really get their arms around 'Storm of Swords' without having the background of the previous two books. The author doesn't pander to one looking for detailed background and reminders. He relies on the memories of the reader to connect the dots until Martin's good and ready to connect them outright.

This is the first book in the series that really takes a full leap into fantasy, whereas the first two were more medieval historical novels set in an otherworldly location. Martin introduces some of the evil that's been threatening from the north - Giants, Mammoths, Shadowcats, and the living dead. There's a sprinkle of magic from Melisandre and her Lord of the Light. And oh yeah, and the three dragons with their mother Daenerys, are threatening Westeros from the East.

What drives this series are the characters and storylines. And there are a lot of each. Martin chews through pages like a direwolf through a deer, but things are never dull, and the storylines never dry up. The final 300+ pages absolutely fly by. I'm not a fantasy reader. But I love this series. And book three is as solid, deep and satisfying as the previous two.

posted by JGolomb on May 16, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Could this get any more depressing?

I innitially picked up this series because of the copious rewiews i read which mentioned how much better this series was than the book being reviewed. When I began reading however, there were so many characters, so many convoluted relationships between the characters, ...
I innitially picked up this series because of the copious rewiews i read which mentioned how much better this series was than the book being reviewed. When I began reading however, there were so many characters, so many convoluted relationships between the characters, and absolutely no need for most of the extranious and downright confusing information which Martin weaves into his story. I have always wondered what a book would be like if the heroes lost. If it was evil that was triumphant. After reading the first three books of this series, i can tell you that it is a failure. Not only is it maddening and disheartening, it is amazingly depressing. I must admit that there are points where one feels joy, and elation at the fortune of one of the villians, but all such moments are short-lived, as the plot invariably falls back to the downward spiral of death and destruction on the side of the heroes, and triumph on the side of the villians. In addition to the confusing characters and relationships contained whithing the books, Martin takes a rather simple approach to the presentation of the story. He only tells of one action at a time from one characters firsthand point of view, with sparse second and third-hand speculation by other characters. In short, it is a grand attempt at a tale of epic proportions, but it ends up as a depressing horror as all whom the reader comes to love, become separated from those who they love, and invariably end up in a 'Hell on Earth' or dead.

posted by Anonymous on August 2, 2007

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book, Great Series

    I'm almost out of breath after completing George RR Martin's "Storm of Swords", the third in his Fire and Ice series. Each chapter is like its own short story with its own little cliffhanger. Martin's characters are dramatic, melodramatic, genuine, realistic, and so bold and colorfully drawn that I find myself thinking about them in between readings. After each book I've needed to take a little breather, but find myself drawn back to the stories and the characters' individual and interconnected dramas, desperate to find out what's happened next, while enjoying the immersion in Martin's world.

    While some of Martin's characters are clear 'black hats', and some are 'white'...there's more 'gray' than anything else, which adds to the realism of the ever-changing qualities that the characters display. Some of the black hats start moving toward white, and some of the white drift towards the black. Like real life, few of Martin's story lines have true endings. Even when a character is killed, the ramifications are often far reaching and impact Martin's landscape across multiple books in the series.

    One couldn't really get their arms around 'Storm of Swords' without having the background of the previous two books. The author doesn't pander to one looking for detailed background and reminders. He relies on the memories of the reader to connect the dots until Martin's good and ready to connect them outright.

    This is the first book in the series that really takes a full leap into fantasy, whereas the first two were more medieval historical novels set in an otherworldly location. Martin introduces some of the evil that's been threatening from the north - Giants, Mammoths, Shadowcats, and the living dead. There's a sprinkle of magic from Melisandre and her Lord of the Light. And oh yeah, and the three dragons with their mother Daenerys, are threatening Westeros from the East.

    What drives this series are the characters and storylines. And there are a lot of each. Martin chews through pages like a direwolf through a deer, but things are never dull, and the storylines never dry up. The final 300+ pages absolutely fly by. I'm not a fantasy reader. But I love this series. And book three is as solid, deep and satisfying as the previous two.

    36 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2005

    More addictive than crack.

    Luckily for me, I came into the series really late, as in just this past summer. When my boyfriend dumped me, my sister practically shoved A Game of Thrones in my hand as a balm to get me over the worst of it. Better than drugs, more addictive than crack, I seriously couldn't put the book down. I let my dad drive my truck back from Atlanta just so I could continue reading it. Wonderfully intricate politics, characters that you can't decide to hate or love, lush settings, and, through it all, a master story teller plies his trade with expertise. You spend half your time wondering whether or not you should hate someone, never to be given a definate yes or no in most cases, strangely like real life here. The two characters I have been steadfast in my regard for are Arya and Sansha. Arya simply because she is a Stark and she is, by god, going to DO something about this mess (and I love strong tomboy characters). I loathe Sansha as strongly as I love Arya...anyone who gives up their wolf and turns their back on their family gets what they deserve...but I do feel sorry for her. She got caught in a web of her own making...but no one really deserves Jeoffrey. Love these books and I have made most of my friends read the series as well. We are now waiting anxiously for the new one even as we continue to argue the old ones.

    16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2007

    Could this get any more depressing?

    I innitially picked up this series because of the copious rewiews i read which mentioned how much better this series was than the book being reviewed. When I began reading however, there were so many characters, so many convoluted relationships between the characters, and absolutely no need for most of the extranious and downright confusing information which Martin weaves into his story. I have always wondered what a book would be like if the heroes lost. If it was evil that was triumphant. After reading the first three books of this series, i can tell you that it is a failure. Not only is it maddening and disheartening, it is amazingly depressing. I must admit that there are points where one feels joy, and elation at the fortune of one of the villians, but all such moments are short-lived, as the plot invariably falls back to the downward spiral of death and destruction on the side of the heroes, and triumph on the side of the villians. In addition to the confusing characters and relationships contained whithing the books, Martin takes a rather simple approach to the presentation of the story. He only tells of one action at a time from one characters firsthand point of view, with sparse second and third-hand speculation by other characters. In short, it is a grand attempt at a tale of epic proportions, but it ends up as a depressing horror as all whom the reader comes to love, become separated from those who they love, and invariably end up in a 'Hell on Earth' or dead.

    9 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    Don't Miss this series!!

    tired of the same old, same old? good guy meets bad guy,.. good guy fights bad guy, good guy wins.. the end.. This series will turn and flip and spin you around. Who is good , who is bad? at what point do charecters cross the line. Main charecters, getting killed off! no.. but yeS!! every page is a nerve racking spine tingle suspense filled joy. This is not to say that it is a harsh book with no redeming qualites of love,hope, goodnes and light . not at all but if your tired of always knowing who will win and what will happen . Read this book P.S. Defiantly start with book one

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    Very disappointed!

    More than 1/2 way through this book and have to stop. Was completely addicted and kept thinking there would be some sort of happy ending but it becomes so depressing. And is it just me or do these books cross a line regarding the age of the children and all the sick situations they are exposed to? Really want to finish this series but it's a bit too much!

    7 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2006

    pornography.

    I would like to get one thing straight. George. R.R.Martin is probably the greatest mind since tolkien. His world is vast and intricate, and his characters have a depth that as a writer I truly envy. To be quite honest this series is my favorite, and I hate having to give it up. I am stuck between the fact that Mr. Martin here work is great and the underlying fact that it is nothing more than pornography. This is snuff. This is the most sleazy piece of literature that I have ever read,and it is sickening what is now considered mainstream, and frankly it is kind of disturbing the stuff that creeps into his work. In my book pornography will all ways be pornography no matter how well it is written.

    7 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful!... so far

    Having read all of the first three books I have never been disappointed by the constant page turning action, heart-felt characters, and gripping plot. This is possibly the best Fantasy series in existence. The tragedy is that it is incomplete. Even though the books have been amazing thus far... I'm hesitant to move on to the next book while knowing it leads nowhere. I sincerely hope that George will one day bestow on us the final chapters of this truly epic story.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A great Book and Series but don't read if you are suffering from depression.

    Let me first state that I love this series. These books are wonderful for escaping on a snowy night. The characters, good or bad, continue to forge a place in your heart. The books have everything you would want from a work of fiction, except.

    This series is sad. Without any specific spoilers I can say that there is not one thing that has happened in this series that makes you feel good. Even when a character falls in love there is an underlying issue that makes the love a bad idea. The characters you care about are put through one horrific event after another and most of the characters are children. I know the series is far from finished but at this point, every single chapter you can rest assured that the characters you love will have nothing good happen to them.

    Read this series but take a break in between books. There is no rush as the author has very little interest in finishing the series quickly. Otherwise, the chapters begin to feel like a depressing grind.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Character creation and expansion on a large scale

    George R. R. Martins final book in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" trilogy is a well thought out ending to the incomplete lives of the character of the Seven Kingdoms. I thought his trilogy was outstanding; I was enraptured by the twists and turns. However, Martin is some what reminicent of "The Wheel of Time Series" with his detailed discription of events, which to a reader can sometimes get monotonous. Martin writes a massive amount of characters into the plot and sometimes it is frustrating to jump from one character to another character doing something completly unrelated. I found myself on a occasion skipping through and just reading one characters' chapters through out the book. Martin masterfully builds up character just to eliminate them from the story; it really inspires a emotional responce from the reader. I recommend this book to heavy readers and fantasy addicts. you will be surprised many times over with the plot.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    For Arya!

    Contentious, negative, rambling, shambling, blathering on about arguments, needling - whining viewpoints and a dizzying array of POVs that end up with a patchwork quilt-like feel rather than a cohesive story that has a beginning, middle and MOST important of all - an ending. Three books into this series and nothing has been resolved. Crash, burn, wreck, ruin, heartbreak, crushing disappointment, betrayal by inferior types - but no resolution.

    And these poor dumb characters are trotted out for more of the same for at least two more books? Count me out! I won't support this abuse of a reader any more than I'll loosen up some cash at a tent revival. I hear the tent revivals are at least lively.

    Two things I came away with:
    1. Wow, ravens sure are a lot more efficient than I imagined! Heck, in this story line they are at least on par with the USPS.
    2. George R.R. Martin has no idea what normal sex is. But he SURE does love writing about his view of it.

    I couldn't recommend this book to anyone. I'd be concerned that I would have the reputation of approving brutalization of children, raping, enslaving, incest, Caetlyn Stark, whoring, lame plot points and the squandering of good book money.

    The Jerry Springer of Fantasy novels! No wonder Americans love it!

    5 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Great read

    Love this series. Read the first one before the show came out on HBO and have since read books 2, 3 and 4. Great epic tale - has kept my interest.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    loved it

    this is a good series with many characters that you want to follow to find out more of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well as the others in the series, and again cannot wait to read the next one.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Time to give it a rest

    I breezed through the first two books, but the third one is definitely not as engaging. To begin with, it is long, at over 1,000 pages, it is daunting. The worst part, however, is that the characters are not as strongly drawn, don't seem to engage emotionally and the story meanders all over the place without a clear sense of purpose. Since I do most of my reading at the gym, it is not something awful, more like mindless entertainment, but it certainly fails as a book.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Just Keeps Getting Better!

    George R.R. Martin has that talent of writing that keeps you on the edge. Some moments you have to resist skipping pages justg to see how something turns out. Other times you want to put the book down because you are dreading what might happen next. Amazing. I only wish other reviewers would STOP explaining the whole book and spoiling the book for new readers!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the Worst and Boring Fantasy Books Ever Written !!!

    The PB version of this book is over 1,000 pages long, and I'm on page 506 now, and I'm just waiting for something to happen, yet nothing does. I've been saying the same thing since page 15 or so. I was like, "let's give George a chance since his first two books in this series ("A Game of Thrones", and "A Clash of Kings") were actually good". So, I kept on reading, waiting for some kind of action sequence to excite me, but it never happened. <BR/><BR/>I'm an Action-Fantasy fan, and I've finally realized that George RR Martin is more of a "drama and character-development" writer, thus the reason I gave the "Characters" rating of this book 4 stars. But, unfortunately, that's where it ends for me. In addition, he seemed to drag some pointless parts of his stories on for way too damned long (I guess for just trying to make more bucks)...so, it makes no sense to me as a reader and fan of fantasy. No idea how this book even became a NY Times Bestseller. Maybe people who thinks this guy is a good fantasy writer have never read R.A. Salvatore's books before (now, there's an author I HIGHLY recommend, especially his "Dark Elf Trilogy" books). Anyways, I really feel that I've wasted $8.00 on this book, and halfway through this book is more than enough for me. I DON'T recommend this book AT ALL. If you truly want a good fantasy series, like I said, pick up R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf stories, and I guarantee that YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED !!!

    2 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    very good but a little depressing.

    i intially started reading this series on the recommendation of my uncle and was definately not disappointed. a good plot, likeable characters, and some villains you can't help but like, this book has it all. but one thing really upset me...my favorite characters keep getting killed! i understand that it's a book about war, and that leaders in war more often than not end up dead, but some of the deaths in this book ticked me off!! but as long as jon and arya don't die, i'll keep reading the series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2001

    An extra star because I got the book cheap

    Arya bounces back and forth like a ping pong ball in a series of undescriptive landscapes, Sansa becomes a less sympathetic character than in the first 2 books because the author fails to bring any depth to her personality, Robb is 16 going on 40 going on 12 and we don't get into him much either, Bran's just boring- his conversation is about as stimulating as Hodor's, and Rickon... Rickon who? I'll probably wait and skip to book 6, if I live long enough, and won't have missed anything but the dragons' Senior Prom and a lot of names that take up a half a page, but have no basis in the story. Can't anyone write a good book anymore and just wind it up? I love fantasy, but the writing of encyclopedic works is becoming a habit. If you need a geneology listing in the back of the book, there are way too many characters. Period. At least some of the series writers know how to come to some kind of partial conclusion at the end of each book... Get on with it already. Let's find out who Jon's mother really is (some queen, no doubt), legitimize him, give him the durned crown and be done with it. Jordan's books went decidedly downhill after 3. Martin started early.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Good overall book

    This book was pretty sad and alot of drastic things that you don't expect. But, all in all it is a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    He's so twisted....

    .....which is probably why i can't put his books down

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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