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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) Kindle Edition

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Length: 1216 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

Is George R.R. Martin for real? Can a fantasy epic actually get better with each new installment? Fans of the genre have glumly come to expect go-nowhere sequels from other authors, so we're entitled to pinch ourselves over Martin's tightly crafted Song of Ice and Fire series. The reports are all true: this series is the real deal, and Martin deserves his crown as the rightful king of the epic. A Game of Thrones got things off to a rock-solid start, A Clash of Kings only exceeded expectations, but it's the Storm of Swords hat trick that cements Martin's rep as the most praiseworthy fantasy author to come along since that other R.R.

Like the first two books, A Storm of Swords could coast on the fundamentals: deftly detailed characters, convincing voices and dialogue, a robust back-story, and a satisfyingly unpredictable plot. But it's Martin's consistently bold choices that set the series apart. Every character is fair game for the headman's axe (sometimes literally), and not only do the good guys regularly lose out to the bad guys, you're never exactly sure who you should be cheering for in the first place.

Storm is full of admirable intricacies. Events that you thought Martin was setting up solidly for the first two books are exposed as complex feints; the field quickly narrows after the Battle of the Blackwater and once again, anything goes. Robb tries desperately to hold the North together, Jon returns from the wildling lands with a torn heart, Bran continues his quest for the three-eyed crow beyond the Wall, Catelyn struggles to save her fragile family, Arya becomes ever more wolflike in her wanderings, Daenerys comes into her own, and Joffrey's cruel rule from King's Landing continues, making even his fellow Lannisters uneasy. Martin tests all the major characters in A Storm of Swords: some fail the trial, while others--like Martin himself--seem to only get stronger. --Paul Hughes

From Publishers 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6499 KB
  • Print Length: 1216 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 034554398X
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 4, 2003)
  • Publication Date: March 4, 2003
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBFN1U
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,022 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

349 of 372 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J. Weber on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wow, does Martin play for keeps! By the third book in a six book series, you would think that you had the basic plotlines of the story mapped out, and that you could predict most of the major events. Not with A Storm of Swords. Amazing plot twists, fantastic character development, superb dialogue, and a story that moves. This is no unending saga where the story barely progresses from volume to volume. Major characters die, and others act in ways that are completely unexpected but always make sense. So much action is crammed into 900+ pages that I was emotionally drained upon finally finishing -- and reaching the shattering epilogue.
This series is not for the feint of heart. The good guys don't always win, and the bad guys don't always lose. One particular scene involves a series of horrific murders that are so well-written that the action seems to move in slow motion. I had to put down the book for a few minutes just to absorb what I had just read, and I know that I am not the only one to have had that reaction. Those are the moments you hope for when reading -- when the story grabs hold and sucks you in. Fortunately, its not all grim. Seeds of hope and hints of better things to come are there, and there are rousing moments when I couldn't stop the smile from spreading over my face. I've been reading fantasy for 22 years and this is unsurpassed. Get it, read it.
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723 of 813 people found the following review helpful By MISTER SJEM on April 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
First off, I'm a heavy duty fan of GRRM. I've read over a 100 different fantasy authors in my time (started at 12; I'm now 32). Took about 5 years off from the genre b/c I felt it was all getting too formulaic and cliched. Typical archetype character who turns out to be the missing heir or boy wonder who saves the world against the Dark Lord.
So, when I came back to fantasy at the end of 1999, I read the usual: Goodkind, Jordan, etc. and then someone told me about GRRM and man, that was the kicker!
Here are the reasons to choose GRRM. I've also listed the reasons not to choose him to make it fair b/c I know their are certain personalities who won't like this series:
(1) YOU ARE TIRED OF FORMULAIC FANTASY: good lad beats the dark lord against impossible odds; boy is the epitome of good; he and all his friends never die even though they go through great dangers . . . the good and noble king; the beautiful princess who falls in love with the commoner boy even though their stations are drastically different . . . the dark lord is very evil and almost one sided at times . . . you get the idea. After reading this over and over, it gets old.
(2) YOU ARE TIRED OF ALL THE HEROES STAYING ALIVE EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE UNDER CONSTANT DANGER: this gets even worse where the author kills a main hero off but that person comes back later in the story. Or, a hero does die but magic brings him back.
This sometimes carries to minor characters where even they may not die, but most fantasy authors like to kill them off to show that some risked the adventure and perished.
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139 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Michael Snyder on May 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
1) This is, BY FAR, the best fantasy I have ever read. Ever. Better than Donaldson, Jordan, Goodkind, Brooks, better than everyone.
2)This is, BY FAR, the best characterization I've ever come across in the fantasy genre. Never in my life have I at so many different times over the course of the three books written been so amazed (Daenerys from the fire, obtaining the Unsullied, choosing between the {better?} of two betrayels) stunned (Catelyn, Ser Barristan Selmy) grief-stricken (from deaths of beloved characters, of course only to realize by the end of the next chapter there are so many fantastic characters left). And of course these are just a few examples, there are so many more but don't want to mention at the risk of spoiling new readers.
Yes -- amazed, stunned, saddened. I spontaneously and literally yelled, gasped, cried, and cheered while reading these books. Never have I been so emotionally invested in such a large cast of characters. Memories of these books bring forth emotion in me even now, a month after I read this, his latest book.
3)Fabulously intricate plotting. I find it interesting that a common thread in the slightly more negative reviews of this book find Martin a bit ponderous -- that there's so much writing with not alot of action. This couldn't be further from the truth!
Yes, this is high, epic, cruel fantasy of the tallest order. Yes, this is a tall read for younger readers, or those weaned on Jordan, Goodkind, Brooks, etc. But there literally isn't a SINGLE CHAPTER in any of his books where some part of the plot isn't advanced in some way -- spanning over 2000 pages of hardcover text. That's how good the writing is.
4)Deftly understated magic. I remember reading the first book thinking to myself, 'where's the magic? isn't this supposed to be fantasy?
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127 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Elyon on October 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This series has evolved into a soap opera---a damn good one, but a melodrama nonetheless. Almost every chapter is a cliffhanger, and the ending is geared to keep you hanging in suspense while you wait for the next installment. Shifting and twisting from one character and plot thread to the next, many pass each other like ships in the night, and just when you think they might meet and provide some resolution, they sheer away again, following their own separate adventure, only the general upheaval of the book's background holding the multiple storylines together. This is not a series that appears anywhere near a conclusion, and with the author's ability to continuously create and weave together more and more credible subplots, don't expect an ending to this series any time soon: after all, as the text admits, Daenerys' dragons are years away from being able to be ridden.
The title for this installment is not as apt as the previous: no battle occurs equal to the Blackwater, nor do the many opponents---ironmen, wildlings, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, or Lannister, let alone the Others---ever come together to meet in a single climatic battle, as the title might imply. Instead, the political conspiracy, betrayal and murder of the previous two books continues to dominate the tale, liberally leavened with slaughter and skirmishes. Players come and go, the plots multiply and thicken, and even what is expected often takes an unanticipated turn. And it is the profusion and complexity of Martin's intrigues that arguably sets this series apart from the other prominent fat fantasists, Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan. They as well depend upon a profundancy of subplots and scheming to extend and carry their stories, but Martin arguably does it more tightly and with greater relish.
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Fave Characters
Tyrion's got a good head on his shoulders. His thoughts seem to be the most reasonable - he's not led by crazy things like blind love and loyalty. I tend to get mad at him the least. And his POV's are always so witty! So I guess he's one of my faves too!

It seems like we're all talking about... Read More
Aug 20, 2009 by A. Chakrabarti |  See all 18 posts
Does A Song of Ice and Fire Ever Get Less Depressing?
I can assure you that if found "A Clash of Kings" depressing, "A Storm of Swords" will make you want to cut your wrists or jump off a tall building. Martin is a sadist. Real life Everett? Come on. If my family got screwed as much as the Starks do, I probably really would... Read More
Jan 24, 2012 by Whitey Fords |  See all 7 posts
Who were the two? (spoiler?)
The text explicitly states that they were the two sons of the miller and his wife. Remember Reek showing Theon the wolf brooch that had belonged to Bran? Reek told Theon, quietly, about the mill. Theon remembered that he'd had some fun with the miller's wife, and that the family had two boys... Read More
Dec 7, 2011 by Holly Short |  See all 5 posts
Price of "A Storm of Swords" by George R.R. Martin ISBN: 1596060522
This Book is so expensive because it has been fully illustrated.
Jul 3, 2006 by R. VandenBosch |  See all 8 posts
Spaces between paragraphs
Ugh. I have this problem with the 2nd book, on Kindle. It's driving me CRAZY.
Aug 15, 2012 by Dusty |  See all 3 posts
Longclaw, sword of Jon Snow, now available on Amazon Be the first to reply
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