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A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3 Audible – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 4,064 customer reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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18 Comments 723 of 814 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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6 Comments 139 of 160 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Comment 127 of 151 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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