A Storm of Swords (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three

( 4 )

Overview

THE BOOK BEHIND THE THIRD SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, AN ORIGINAL SERIES NOW ON HBO.
 
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: BOOK THREE
 
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 the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, ...
See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - HBO Tie-In Edition)
$9.09
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$9.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $1.99   
  • Used (6) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

THE BOOK BEHIND THE THIRD SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, AN ORIGINAL SERIES NOW ON HBO.
 
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: BOOK THREE
 
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 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 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.
 
“Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, [George R. R.] Martin is by far the best. In fact . . . this is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien.”—Time
 
“Long live George Martin . . . a literary dervish, enthralled by complicated characters and vivid language, and bursting with the wild vision of the very best tale tellers.”—The New York Times
 
“One of the best series in the history of fantasy.”—Los Angeles Times
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Our Review
George R. R. Martin's Game Continues
In 1996, A Game of Thrones earned praise and awe as a remarkable high fantasy introducing five noble families clashing for power over the wondrous Seven Kingdoms. Three years later, A Clash of Kings became a national bestseller with the continued chronicles of the royal houses of Targaryen, Baratheon, Lannister, Stark, and Greyjoy, each battling to keep or carve a kingdom. George R. R. Martin will draw a new legion of fans with A Storm of Swords, the third novel in his beloved fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Fourteen-year-old exiled queen Daenerys Targaryen raises an army like a fantasy-world Joan of Arc, but the fire is on her side, for she walks with dragons. Determined to claim the Iron Throne from which her father had ruled until he was slain by Prince Jaime Lannister, Daenerys walks a gauntlet of treacherous slavers and sorcerers.

The war between Lannisters and Baratheons that concluded A Clash of Kings has not ended. Clever Tyrion Lannister, called the Imp for his short and crippled stature, struggles to retain his honor and authority as his father, Lord Tywin, and his elder sister, Cersei, as beautiful and evil as the witch Circe of The Odyssey, turn every hand against him. Though he longs only to live with his loving mistress, Shae, Tyrion's desires are as cruelly thwarted as those of young Sansa Stark, who once loved the immature, sadistic King Joffrey Lannister and who seeks to escape.

With noble Lord Stark executed for treason, his family is scattered. Lady Catelyn counsels her valiant son Robb, the King in the North, to seek not revenge but justice as he makes war against the Lannisters. Tomboy Arya is afoot in the wilderness, having lost both her pet wolf and her sword, though gaining surprising new friends, and young Bran Stark learns he has a latent and peculiar magical talent.

Jon Snow, bastard son of Stark and a Brother of the Night's Watch, treads the most perilous path of all. Ordered on an undercover mission north of the great Wall to discover the plans of the renegade Mance Rayder, he finds not only a powerful army raised to invade the Kingdoms but also terrifying supernatural creatures in pursuit, of which giants and shape-changers are by no means the deadliest.

Book Three of A Song of Ice and Fire is inexpressibly rich in both humor and horror. A Storm of Swords is eerily atmospheric, with tales of old hauntings, dreams of bad omen, the writhing air of ghosts, and ruins. Martin's gift for imagining histories within histories, fables and superstitions, marvelous geographies, and the secrets of the heart is so enthralling that no reader can possibly be satisfied until the next chapter of the saga appears.

--Fiona Kelleghan

Fiona Kelleghan is a librarian at the University of Miami. Book reviews editor for the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, she has written reviews and articles for Science-Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Science Fiction Research Association Review, Nova Express, St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Neil Barron's Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide, Contemporary Novelists, 7th Edition, and American Women Writers. Her book Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work was published by Alexander Books in 2000.

From the Publisher
“Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, [George R. R.] Martin is by far the best. In fact . . . this is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien.”—Time
 
“Long live George Martin . . . a literary dervish, enthralled by complicated characters and vivid language, and bursting with the wild vision of the very best tale tellers.”—The New York Times
 
“One of the best series in the history of fantasy.”—Los Angeles Times
Denver Post
Destined to be one of the greatest fantasy series ever written.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The third volume of the high fantasy saga that began with A Game of Thrones and continued in A Clash of Kings is one of the more rewarding examples of gigantism in contemporary fantasy. As Martin's richly imagined world slides closer to its 10-year winter, both the weather and the warfare worsen. In the north, King Joffrey of House Lannister sits uneasily on the Iron Throne. With the aid of a peasant wench, Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, escapes from jail in Riverrun. Jaime goes to the other youthful ruler, Robb Stark, to secure the release of Joffrey's prisoners, Robb's sisters Arya and Sansa Stark. Meanwhile, in the south, Queen Daenarys tries to assert her claim to the various thrones with an army of eunuchs, but discovers that she must choose between conquering more and ruling well what she has already taken. The complexity of characters such as Daenarys, Arya and the Kingslayer will keep readers turning even the vast number of pages contained in this volume, for the author, like Tolkien or Jordan, makes us care about their fates. Those two fantasy greats are also evoked by Martin's ability to convey such sensual experiences as the heat of wildfire, the chill of ice, the smell of the sea and the sheer gargantuan indigestibility of the medieval banquet at its most excessive. Perhaps this saga doesn't go as far beyond the previous bounds of high fantasy as some claim, but for most readers it certainly goes far enough to command their attention. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
In this third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, four serious contenders for the throne of the war-torn Seven Kingdoms remain. Joffrey of House Lannister sits uneasily on the Iron Throne, holding hostage one of the sisters of Robb of House Stark, King of the North and aspirant to the throne. Lord Stannis Baratheon, defeated and disgraced, has retreated to his stronghold of Dragonstone to continue plotting, aided by Meslisande, a distinctly sinister priestess of an unquestionably sinister god. Meanwhile, making her way across the southeastern continent of Ghiscar is the exiled queen, Daenerys, of House Targaryen. Daenerys is gathering strength, allies, and wisdom as she plans for an assault on Joffrey's stronghold of King's Landing to win back her rightful crown. Miles to the north, Jon Snow, bastard brother of Robb Stark and man of the Night's Watch, holds out against a formidable army of wildlings and forces of the uncanny Others, warriors from beyond death. Told from ten viewpoints, the story unfolds in overlapping narratives that yield a complex tapestry of a story, solidly and intricately plotted, with a body count that makes Martin a sort of sword-and-sorcery Robert Ludlum. Characterization is definitely the strength here, as each voice is distinct and fully realized. Graphic sex and the aforementioned violence suit this book best for those young adult readers who have read the first two books in the series. For collections with A Game of Thrones (Bantam, 1996) and A Clash of Kings (Bantam Spectra, 1999/VOYA August 1999), however, A Storm of Swords is a must purchase. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing;Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, Bantam, 973p, . Ages 16 to Adult. Reviewer: Ann Welton SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Library Journal
House Lannister occupies the Iron Throne, though internal strife divides the members of the ruling family. Martin's sprawling fantasy epic continues the tales of Tyrion the dwarf, his renegade brother Jamie, Robb Stark of Winterfell, Daenerys Stormborn, and other participants in the War of Five Kings. The author's ability to interweave dozens of plot lines and to create memorable characters makes this a rousing saga that should appeal to most fans of grand-scale fantasy. Recommended for most libraries, along with its predecessors, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kevin M. Kelleghan
George R. R. Martin's Game Continues

In 1996, A Game of Thrones earned praise and awe as a remarkable high fantasy introducing five noble families clashing for power over the wondrous Seven Kingdoms. Three years later, A Clash of Kings became a national bestseller with the continued chronicles of the royal houses of Targaryen, Baratheon, Lannister, Stark, and Greyjoy, each battling to keep or carve a kingdom. George R. R. Martin will draw a new legion of fans with A Storm of Swords, the third novel in his beloved fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

Fourteen-year-old exiled queen Daenerys Targaryen raises an army like a fantasy-world Joan of Arc, but the fire is on her side, for she walks with dragons. Determined to claim the Iron Throne from which her father had ruled until he was slain by Prince Jaime Lannister, Daenerys walks a gauntlet of treacherous slavers and sorcerers.

The war between Lannisters and Baratheons that concluded A Clash of Kings has not ended. Clever Tyrion Lannister, called the Imp for his short and crippled stature, struggles to retain his honor and authority as his father, Lord Tywin, and his elder sister, Cersei, as beautiful and evil as the witch Circe of The Odyssey, turn every hand against him. Though he longs only to live with his loving mistress, Shae, Tyrion's desires are as cruelly thwarted as those of young Sansa Stark, who once loved the immature, sadistic King Joffrey Lannister and who seeks to escape.

With noble Lord Stark executed for treason, his family is scattered. Lady Catelyn counsels her valiant son Robb, the King in the North, to seek not revenge but justice as he makes war against the Lannisters. Tomboy Arya is afoot in the wilderness, having lost both her pet wolf and her sword, though gaining surprising new friends, and young Bran Stark learns he has a latent and peculiar magical talent. Jon Snow, bastard son of Stark and a Brother of the Night's Watch, treads the most perilous path of all. Ordered on an undercover mission north of the great Wall to discover the plans of the renegade Mance Rayder, he finds not only a powerful army raised to invade the Kingdoms but also terrifying supernatural creatures in pursuit, of which giants and shape-changers are by no means the deadliest.

Book Three of A Song of Ice and Fire is inexpressibly rich in both humor and horror. A Storm of Swords is eerily atmospheric, with tales of old hauntings, dreams of bad omen, the writhing air of ghosts, and ruins. Martin's gift for imagining histories within histories, fables and superstitions, marvelous geographies, and the secrets of the heart is so enthralling that no reader can possibly be satisfied until the next chapter of the saga appears.

--Fiona Kelleghan

Fiona Kelleghan is a librarian at the University of Miami. Book review editor for the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, she has written reviews and articles for Science-Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Science Fiction Research Association Review, Nova Express, St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Neil Barron's Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide, Contemporary Novelists, 7th Edition, and American Women Writers. Her book Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work was published by Alexander Books in 2000.

Dallas Morning News
This medieval fantasy series stands as one of the best.
Kirkus Reviews
Third in Martin's massive fantasy series following A Game of Thrones (1996) and A Clash of Kings (1999). There's further turmoil in the Seven Kingdoms. Among the proximate causes: the ruling House Lannister; Robb Stark and his own tyro kingdom; threats from beyond the mysterious Wall; and Daenerys Stormborn with her dragons. The upside is impressive: a backdrop of real depth; elaborate yet immaculate plotting; believable characters; and controlled, resourceful magic. The downside, though, is daunting: the impossibility of remembering who's who or what's what, plus the lack of a synopsis—the cast list, though swollen to 46 pages, doesn't help. Consider, too, the following sequence: (1) 672 pp., (2) 30 months, 896 pp., (3) 21 months, 992 pp., . Yep, Doorstopper Syndrome for sure. Author tour
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345543981
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Series: Song of Ice and Fire Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: HBO Tie-In Edition
  • Pages: 1216
  • Sales rank: 93,884
  • Product dimensions: 4.42 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 1.64 (d)

Meet the Author

George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle), and Dreamsongs Volumes I and II. He is also the creator of The Lands of Ice and Fire, a book of maps from A Song of Ice and Fire featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts. As a writer-producer, Martin has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Biography

As a child growing up in New Jersey, George R.R. Martin displayed an early interest in "the writing life" by selling monster stories of his own invention to the children in his Bayonne neighborhood. In high school he became an avid comic book collector and began to write for comic fanzines. He sold his first story to Galaxy in 1970 when he was 21 years old.

Martin received his bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. After graduation he served two years in VISTA, then worked as a teacher and chess tournament director in the Midwest, while continuing to craft award-winning short fiction. His first full-length novel, Dying of the Light, was published in 1977. A dark, lyrical sci-fi tone poem set on a doomed world without a sun, the book was nominated for a Hugo Award.

Throughout the 1980s, Martin worked in television, writing for science fiction- and fantasy-themed shows like The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. At this time he became involved with Wild Cards, a long-running anthology series composed of "mosaic stories" written by multiple authors and set in a shared universe. In addition to editing the series, Martin has contributed stories to the Wild Card books.

In 1996, Martin published A Game of Thrones, the first installment of his magnum opus, the epic fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice. Set in the Seven Kingdoms, a realm resembling medieval Europe, the internationally bestselling series has provided the ultimate showcase for Martin's formidable world-building and characterization skills.

During the course of his long, prolific career, Martin has accrued every major literary prize for science fiction or fantasy writing, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, Daedelus, and Locus awards. But what endears him especially to his readers is his extraordinary accessibility. A tireless participant in genre conventions and festivals, he maintains a cordial relationship with his fans through his website and blog. He is also a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Good To Know

Christened George Raymond Martin, the author has this to say about his unusual name: "I arrived short one 'R' but fixed that at my confirmation 13 years later."

As a conscientious objector, Martin did alternative service from 1972-1974 with VISTA, attached to Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation.

Martin was class valedictorian of his high school. In 1970, he graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University.

In the mid-1970s, Martin supplemented his income by directing tournaments for the Continental Chess Association.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Santa Fe, NM
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 20, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bayonne, NJ
    1. Education:
      B.S., Northwestern University, 1970; M.S., Northwestern University, 1971
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

The day was grey and bitter cold, and the dogs would not take the scent.

The big black bitch had taken one sniff at the bear tracks, backed off, and skulked back to the pack with her tail between her legs. The dogs huddled together miserably on the riverbank as the wind snapped at them. Chett felt it too, biting through his layers of black wool and boiled leather. It was too bloody cold for man or beast, but here they were. His mouth twisted, and he could almost feel the boils that covered his cheeks and neck growing red and angry. I should be safe back at the Wall, tending the bloody ravens and making fires for old Maester Aemon. It was the bastard Jon Snow who had taken that from him, him and his fat friend Sam Tarly. It was their fault he was here, freezing his bloody balls off with a pack of hounds deep in the haunted forest.

"Seven hells.” He gave the leashes a hard yank to get the dogs' attention. "Track, you bastards. That's a bear print. You want some meat or no? Find!" But the hounds only huddled closer, whining. Chett snapped his short lash above their heads, and the black bitch snarled at him. "Dog meat would taste as good as bear," he warned her, his breath frosting with every word.

Lark the Sisterman stood with his arms crossed over his chest and his hands tucked up into his armpits. He wore black wool gloves, but he was always complaining how his fingers were frozen. "It's too bloody cold to hunt,'' he said. "Bugger this bear, he's not worth freezing over."

We can’t go back emptyhand, Lark," rumbled Small Paul through the brown whiskers that covered most of his face. "The Lord Commander wouldn’t like that.” There was ice under the big man’s squashed pug nose, where his snot had frozen. A huge hand in a thick fur glove clenched tight around the shaft of a spear.

"Bugger that Old Bear too," said the Sisterman, a thin man with sharp features and nervous eyes. "Mormont will be dead before daybreak, remember? Who cares what he likes?"

Small Paul blinked his black little eyes. Maybe he had forgotten, Chett thought; he was stupid enough to forget most anything. "Why do we have to kill the Old Bear? Why don't we just go off and let him be?"

"You think he'll let us be?" said Lark. "He'll hunt us down. You want to be hunted, you great muttonhead?"

"No," said Small Paul. "I don't want that. I don't."

"So you'll kill him?" said Lark.

"Yes." The huge man stamped the butt of his spear on the frozen riverbank. "I will. He shouldn't hunt us."

The Sisterman took his hands from his armpits and tumed to Chett. "We need to kill all the officers, I say."

Chett was sick of hearing it. "We been over this. The Old Bear dies, and Blane from the Shadow Tower. Grubbs and Aethan as well, their ill luck for drawing the watch, Dywen and Bannen for their tracking, and Ser Piggy for the ravens. That's all. We kill them quiet, while they sleep. One scream and we're wormfood, every one of us." His boils were red with rage. "Just do your bit and see that your cousins do theirs. And Paul, try and remember, it's third watch, not second."

"Third watch," the big man said, through hair and frozen snot. "Me and Softfoot. I remember, Chett."

The moon would be black tonight, and they had jiggered the watches so as to have eight of their own standing sentry, with two more guarding the horses. It wasn't going to get much riper than that. Besides, the wildlings could be upon them any day now. Chett meant to be well away from here before that happened. He meant to live.

Three hundred sworn brothers of the Night's Watch had ridden north, two hundred from Castle Black and another hundred from the Shadow Tower. It was the biggest ranging in living memory, near a third of the Watch's strength. They meant to find Ben Stark, Ser Waymar Royce, and the other ran~.ers who'd gone missing, and discover why the wildlings were leaving their villages. Well, they were no closer to Stark and Royce than when they'd left the Wall, but they'd leamed where all the wildlings had gone - up into the icy heights of the godsforsaken Frostfangs. They could squat up there till the end of time and it wouldn't prick Chett's boils none.

But no. They were coming down. Down the Milkwater.

Chett raised his eyes and there it was. The river's stony banks were bearded by ice, lt’s pale milky waters flowing endlessly down out of the Frostfangs And now Mance Rayder and his wildlings were flowing down the same way. Thoren Smallwood had retumed in a lather three days past. While he was telling the Old Bear what his scouts had seen, his man Kedge Whiteye told the rest of them. "They're still well up the [oothills, but they're coming," Kedge said, warming his hands over the fire. "Harma the Dogshead has the van, the poxy bitch. Goady crept up Dn her camp and saw her plain by the fire. That fool Tumberjon wanted to pick her off with an arrow, but Smallwood had better sense."

Chett spat. "How many were there, could you tell?"

"Many and more. Twenty, thirty thousand, we didn't stay to count. Hamma had five hundred in the van, every one ahorse.~'

The men around the fire exchanged uneasy looks. It was a rare thing to find even a dozen mounted wildlings, and five hundred . . .

"Smallwood sent Bannen and me wide around the van to catch a peek at the main body," Kedge went on. "There was no end of them. They're moving slow as a frozen river, four, five miles a day, but they don't look like they mean to go back to their villages neither. More'n half were women and children, and they were driving their animals before them, goats, sheep, even aurochs dragging sledges. They'd loaded up with bales of fur and sides of meat, cages of chickens, butter chums and spinning wheels, every damn thing they own. The mules and garrons was so heavy laden you'd think their backs would break. The women as well."

"And they follow the Milkwater?" Lark the Sisterman asked.

"I said so, didn't I?"

The Milkwater would take them past the Fist of the First Men, the ancient ringfort where the Night's Watch had made its camp. Any man with a thimble of sense could see that it was time to pull up stakes and fall back on the Wall. The Old Bear had strengthened the Fist with spikes and pits and caltrops, but against such a host all that was pointless. If they stayed here, they would be engulfed and overwhelmed.

And Thoren Smallwood wanted to attack. Sweet Donnel Hill was squire to Ser Mallador Locke, and the night before last Smallwood had come to Locke's tent. Ser Mallador had been of the same mind as old Ser Ottyn Wythers, urging a retreat on the Wall, but Smallwood wanted to convince him otherwise. "This King-beyond-the-Wall will never look for us so far north," Sweet Donnel reported him saying. "And this great host of his is a shambling horde, full of useless mouths who won't know what end of a sword to hold. One blow will take all the fight out of them and send them howling back to their hovels for another fifty years."

Three hundred against thirty thousand. Chett called that rank madness, and what was madder still was that Ser Mallador had been persuaded' and the two of them together were on the point of persuading the Old Bear. "If we wait too long, this chance may be lost, never to come again," Smallwood was saying to anyone who would listen. Against that, Ser Ottyn Wythers said, "We are the shield that guards the realms of men. You do not throw away your shield for no good purpose," but to that Thoren Smallwood said, "In a swordfight, a man's surest defense is the swift stroke that slays his foe, not cringing behind a shield."

Neither Smallwood nor Wythers had the command, though. Lord Mormont did, and Mommont was waiting for his other scouts, for Jarman Buckwell and the men who'd climbed the Giant's Stair, and for Qhorin Halfhand and Jon Snow, who'd gone to probe the Skirling Pass. Buckwell and the Halfhand were late in retuming, though. Dead, most like. Chett pictured Jon Snow lying blue and frozen on some bleak mountaintop with a wildling spear up his bastard's arse. The thought made him smile. I hope they killed his bloody wolf as well.

"There's no bear here," he decided abruptly. "Just an old print, that's all. Back to the Fist." The dogs almost yanked him off his feet, as eager to get back as he was. Maybe they thought they were going to get fed. Chett had to laugh. He hadn't fed them for three days now, to turn them mean and hungry. Tonight, before slipping off into the dark, he'd tum them loose among the horse lines, after Sweet Donnel Hill and Clubfoot Karl cut the tethers. They'll have snarling hounds and panicked horses all over the Fist, running through fires, jumping the ringwall, and trampling down tents. With all the confusion, it might be hours before anyone noticed that fourteen brothers were missing.

Lark had wanted to bring in twice that number, but what could you expect from some stupid fishbreath Sisterman? Whisper a word in the wrong ear and before you knew it you'd be short a head. No, fourteen was a good number, enough to do what needed doing but not so many that they couldn't keep the secret. Chett had recruited most of them himself. Small Paul was one of his; the strongest man on the Wall, even if he was slower than a dead snail. He'd once broken a wildling's back with a hug. They had Dirk as well, named for his favorite weapon, and the little grey man the brothers called Softfoot, who'd taped a hundred women in his youth, and liked to boast how none had never seen nor heard him until he shoved it up inside them.

The plan was Chett's. He was the clever one; he'd been steward to old Maester Aemon for four good years before that bastard Jon Snow had done him out so his job could be handed to his fat pig of a friend. When he killed Sam Tarly tonight, he planned to whisper, "Give my love to Lord Snow," right in his ear before he sliced Ser Piggy's throat open to let the blood come bubbling out through all those layers of suet. Chett knew the ravens, so he wouldn't have no trouble there, no more than he would with Tarly.

One touch of the knife and that craven would piss his pants and start blubbering for his life. Let him beg, it won't do him no good. After he opened his throat, he'd open the cages and shoo the birds away, so no messages reached the Wall. Softfoot and Small Pau1 would kill the Old Bear, Dirk would do Blane, and Lark and his cousins would silence Bannen and old Dywen, to keep them from sniffing after their trail. They'd been caching food for a fortnight, and Sweet Donne1 and Clubfoot Karl would have the horses ready. With Mormont dead, command would pass to Ser Ottyn Wythers, an old done man, and failing. He'll be running for the Wall before sundown, and he won't waste no men sending them after us neither.

The dogs pulled at him as they made their way through the trees. Chett could see the Fist punching its way up through the green. The day was so dark that the Old Bear had the torches lit, a great circle of them buming all along the ringwall that crowned the top of the steep stony hill. The three of them waded across a brook. The water was icy cold, and patches of ice were spreading across its surface. "I'm going to make for the coast," Lark the Sisterman confided. "Me and my cousins. We'll build us a boat, sail back home to the Sisters."

And at home they'll know you for deserters and lop off your fool heads, thought Chett. There was no leaving the Night's Watch, once you said your words. Anywhere in the Seven Kingdoms, they'd take you and kill you.

Ollo Lophand now, he was talking about sailing back to Tyrosh, where he claimed men didn't lose their hands for a bit of honest thievery, nor get sent off to freeze their life away for being found in bed with some knight~s wife. Chett had weighed going with him, but he didn't speak their wet girly tongue. And what could he do in Tyrosh? He had no trade to speak of, growing up in Hag's Mire. His father had spent his life grubbing in other men's fields and collecting leeches. He'd strip down bare but for a thick leather clout, and go wading in the murky waters. When he climbed out he'd be covered from nipple to ankle. Sometimes he made Chett help pull the leeches off. One had attached itself to his palm once, and he'd smashed it against a wall in revulsion. His father beat him bloody for that. The maesters bought the leeches at twelve-for-apenny.

Lark could go home if he liked, and the damn Tyroshi too, but not Chett. If he never saw Hag's Mire again, it would be too bloody soon. He had liked the look of Craster's Keep, himself. Craster lived high as a lord there, so why shouldn't he do the same? That would be a laugh. Chett the 1eechman’s son, a lord with a keep. His banner could be a dozen leeches on a field of pink. But why stop at lord? Maybe he should be a king.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2013

    Have read all the books in this series to date and can't wait fo

    Have read all the books in this series to date and can't wait for the next one. You would think after all those pages George would be running out of steam but A Storm of Swords was every bit as delicious to read as the others. What a brilliant writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 13, 2014

    THIS IS WAY TOO LONG FOR A BOOK. I'm an avid reader. I have to s

    THIS IS WAY TOO LONG FOR A BOOK.
    I'm an avid reader. I have to say in reading these books it is such a task, just to get thru the next page.
     I'm on this book now and it has taken me almost six months to read it.
     just because it takes him 5 years to write these books, it shouldn't take the readers this long to digest what
    he's trying to pertray. Unless you are an Historical student, the text in these books are a bit hard to digest.
     Even the Bible is written in layman's term, why make it so difficult. It appears to me, the author just babbles.
    Take it from me don't bother, just watch the HBO series, which has verred from the books anyway.
     You're reading a storyline that no longer exist on the show.
     I have purchased book 4 & 5, they are going in a trunk to be given to a book store and/or cosignment shop.
     In the times it has taken me to read these books. I could have cleaned my book shelf out. Good bye Game of thornes.
     Hello other Great Authors!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2014

    Frightening and Exhilarating Writing reviews for this series is

    Frightening and Exhilarating

    Writing reviews for this series is most difficult. There is so much going on that wrapping my brain around it in a coherent manner seems laughable. From the few reviews I’ve read, others have found it just as difficult. One thing I can say is there are very few people reading George R. R. Martin’s series who walk the middle of the road. They either love it or hate it.

    In all honesty, I was moved to tears while reading this book. My emotional investment in the characters and their plights has been solidified. They have shocked me, angered me, pulled sympathy from me and coaxed me to remain by their sides.

    The fantasy elements that were heretofore shadowed and sparsely revealed burst into the plot of A Storm of Swords and they are equal parts creepy and intriguing. They explode from the structure erected in A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings and I sense the vibrations will reverberate through future books.

    While some plot lines come to staggering conclusions, others take bewildering turns. It’s like a roller-coaster ride, frightening and exhilarating. Each page whips you around and as soon as you regain your bearings you’re dropped from a great height or rushed through an upside down loop.

    As soon as I finished the book, I was ready to get back on the ride. I can hardly wait to get the next book in the series. Darn those book budgets!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    And here we have the bloodiest A Song of Ice and Fire novel thus

    And here we have the bloodiest A Song of Ice and Fire novel thus far in the series. Murder, assassination, mass slaughter, trial by battle ... and two weddings soaked in red (though only one will be named for it). Martin does not pull his punches, even with the main characters, the "good guys," the ones we have come to love and root for. It's true: Valar Morghulis. All men must die...

    The brilliance of Martin's skill at characterization has only deepened in this third installment. We continue to witness the growth and development of the various personalities whose POVs we hear the story from as they age, are involved in the unfolding events of a nation at war, and experience their own personal trials and sufferings. Each voice has become undeniably stronger, and the challenges they face draw the reader into the story more totally than the majority of other fictional novels I have read.

    A Storm of Swords is not only the bloodiest book so far, it is also the strongest. It has the most to offer and shows the promise of each of the characters to the fullest. As long as it is, this book just flies by. Martin has undoubtedly achieved something well-nigh incomparable in this work. Bravo!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)