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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – March 4, 2003


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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) + A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) + A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 1216 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055357342X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553573428
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,471 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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.



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Customer Reviews

A Storm of Swords is part 3 in George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire.
Hope Elizabeth
The plots of all the characters progressed in this instalment and similar to previous books I found the story lines of Arya and Tyrion to be the most interesting.
Sketchy
Amazing plot twists, fantastic character development, superb dialogue, and a story that moves.
Jeffrey J. Weber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

336 of 359 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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710 of 796 people found the following review helpful By MISTER SJEM TOP 1000 REVIEWER 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:
WHY TO READ GRRM
(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.
(3) YOU ARE A MEDIEVAL HISTORY BUFF: this story was influenced by the WARS OF THE ROSES and THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR.
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135 of 156 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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102 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Ilana Teitelbaum on January 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
George R.R. Martin is certainly one of the most skilled writers in the genre today, and "A Storm of Swords" unfailingly continues to uphold the rigorous standard he set for himself in "A Game of Thrones". The enormous cast of complex characters, combined with complicated intrigue and a riveting plot make the book almost impossible to put down.
The world of the Seven Kingdoms is richly detailed, but more impressive is Martin's facility to create an atmosphere through detail. From the way he writes, it would seem that he knows what every tankard in every inn looks like, and what every one of the thousands of warriors, knights, and aristocrats is wearing down to the last buckle, even if these details are not always included. In short, Martin clearly knows his world inside-out, and thus is able to convey even more than is usual an atmosphere of reality in a fantasy world. He also excels in scene-painting, and every sensual nuance comes alive--sometimes, in violent scenes, more than one might like.
Another feature that sets Martin apart is his unpredictability. Even the most jaded reader will be surprised by something in the plot, which hurtles along in a speeding fury, killing nearly everyone in its path. There are no indestructible characters, which is rare for any genre.
Martin is also unique in that there is very little good and evil; even the Lannisters, who were pure evil in the beginning, are starting to morph into more complex characters. The reverse is also true, and most of the sympathetic or neutral characters reveal traits that are downright nasty. Nice people don't last long in Martin's world, as Eddard was first to learn; and sometimes the cruelty of even the most sympathetic characters can be jarring.
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