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

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Overview

Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin's magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a ...
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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)

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Overview

Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin's magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin's stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

A Storm of Swords

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 SevenKingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . .
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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.

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.
Dallas Morning News
This medieval fantasy series stands as one of the best.
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.

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
From the Publisher
“A riveting continuation of a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle.”—Patriot News

“I always expect the best from George R. R. Martin, and he always delivers.”—Robert Jordan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553381702
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Series: Song of Ice and Fire Series , #3
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 1008
  • Sales rank: 32,475
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.72 (d)

Meet the Author

George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid ‘90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he’s allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.

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.

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    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

Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
A Storm of Swords
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 theSeven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . .
From the Paperback edition.

Author Biography:

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2683 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2711 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    35 out of 38 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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