Summary and book reviews of A Storm of Swords by George R Martin

A Storm of Swords

A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

By George R R. Martin

A Storm of Swords
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2000,
    800 pages.
    Paperback: May 2002,
    992 pages.

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Book Summary

Rarely has there been a tale as gripping, or one as likely to seize the minds and hearts of a generation, as George R. R. Martin's epic high fantasy series. In A Game of Thrones, an ancient kingdom was torn by the ambitions of ruthless men and women; in A Clash of Kings, war, sorcery, and madness swept over the kingdom like a voracious beast of prey. Now, as the brutal struggle for power nears its tumultuous climax, the battered and divided kingdom faces its most terrifying invasion--one that is being spearheaded from beyond the grave....

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. Filled with the stench of death and decay from the destructive dynastic war, Daenerys is gathering allies and strength for an assault on King's Landing, hoping to win back the crown she believes is rightfully hers. But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings bent on overwhelming the Seven Kingdoms 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. And as the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest in the quest for victory until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords....Brilliantly conceived and grand in scope, A Storm of Swords is the incredible tale of a world of harsh beauty and powerful magic, torn by treachery, ravaged by brutality, and consumed by greed and ambition. It portrays a war-torn landscape in which nobles and commoners, heroes and villains, the freeborn and the enslaved, all struggle to survive and to find their destinies...along with the dazzling bounty and wondrous enchantment that was once their birthright in the Seven Kingdoms.

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 ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Dallas Morning News

This medieval fantasy series stands as one of the best.

Kirkus Reviews

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.

Publisher's Weekly

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.

Reader Reviews
JoeRichard

A Storm of Swords is an example of a fantasy novel that gives the fantasy genre a good name (much like The Lord of the Rings). George R R Martin's writing style is gritty, dark, and realistic; the reader is challenged to say the least. The main ...   Read More

Daniel

It takes a lot of guts for a writer to develop great characters over hundreds of pages and then <<edited for potential plot spoiler content>>. Way to go Martin! Lucky for his readers, Martin actually understands that things don't always ...   Read More

Colin Doty

After reading to page 300 I have given up on this series as a meandering waste of time. This series started with characters of depth and fell into predictable characters. The "evil" guys got worse and the "good" guys started ...   Read More

David Polk

Can somebody introduce Mr Martin to an editor?

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