Customer Reviews for

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

35 out of 38 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 31 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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