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on September 23, 2017
A Storm Of Swords is all the good qualities of the previous two books combined. The venomous political landscape in A Clash Of Kings is tempered with the action and sense of fantasy present in A Game Of Thrones.

The slow pace of the previous book is most definitely not an issue here; the plot is jampacked with weddings, funerals, trials by combat, skirmishes, battles, and major character deaths. If anything, for a book this size, the pace feels almost too rushed at some points, with no real time to let the developments and tragedies sink in before someone else is brutally murdered. Nevertheless, it makes for one hell of a ride from beginning to end.

I think the best aspect of this book over its predecessors is that every major character gets to actually *do* something. While in the last book, Dany mostly just wanders around listening to people tell her vague foreshadowing, we get to see her in her role as Khaleesi again, dealing with the conflicting issues of preparing for her return to Westeros, while taking care of the people she has now, as well as being mother to quickly growing dragons. But the real winner from the book's focus on action and characterization is Jaime Lannister; there is much more complexity behind the incestual Kingslayer than seen before, and he gives Tyrion a run for his money on which Lannister boy is the most morally gray.

And do not, under any circumstance, skip the epilogue. A Storm Of Swords ends with a very, very changed Westeros.
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on February 15, 2014
Before they get dispersed again in the next two novels. I fell in love with George RR Martin's epic A Song of Ice and Fire when I read Game of Thrones. The characters are explored with attention to moral choices and to emotional reactions to memories. Martin moves the story along at a slow pace (so it is amazing that only two years or so pass in the span of the first three books) but it really feels like you are living the action of the story along with the characters.

A Storm of Swords is the third installment of the Song of Ice and Fire epic, so in some ways it brings to conclusion some of the major story lines that began in the first book. The third book focuses mostly on the fallout of the War of the Five Kings. We see little of Danaerys or the dragons in this book, because most of the storyline stays in Westeros and near the Wall. The novel is definitely a bit faster paced than the second book, and I love the POV chapters with Jaime Lannister...what a change of feeling towards a character I always thought was a spoiled and dishonorable prick. Great book, and I cannot wait to see how Martin brings all of the characters back together in the sixth novel. Winter is coming!
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on July 11, 2017
I thought we'd see some down time I the third book, but not so. Martin gives this story more intrigue, creates more questions, and every single word in every single conversation is important. Characters evolve and change in this book. There are more surprises and twists. I've begun to love some characters I use to hate, and there is some sweet justice. There is also disappointment, and small triumphs. Great book.
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on August 16, 2017
Generally, I like the Game of Thrones stories. I haven't watched the series except Episode 1, because they're too graphic. The books are pretty graphic, too, but you can read fast over those parts. Mostly, though, since everybody dies --even the ones you think are good people and interesting characters-- there's a lot of sadness for the reader.
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on September 29, 2015
This is one of the most incredible books I've ever read. George R. R. Martin does fantasy like no one else.
The third volume in Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, this book is utterly captivating, suspenseful and heart-wrenching.
Never before has a book made me (literally) laugh, cry and gasp as much as this book has. Full of suspense and shock this book is a real heart-stopper. I recommend that when the book is published again as newer edition it come with WARNING label-WARNING: Might cause angina and at the worst heart failure.
First off, these characters are so complex and intriguing that its almost impossible not to love them, even the evil ones. Secondly, the way that the book is written, such careful attention to detail, sensual descriptions and the scope of the book, it's phenomenal.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me when reading the ASOIAF books, is the mystery that surrounds all these characters and almost everything the do. One character plots to kill another and you never even know it until they're dead and you're utterly shocked. Countless plans and plots one after the other, it really keeps you guessing, which is one of the many positives about this book.
Something else that really beguiles me is how deep we get to see inside of these characters minds. Their pain, grief, suffering, joy pleasure; it really is incredible.
Lastly, this book really pulls (no, jerks) on your heart strings. When a character dies it leaves you completely devastated and down-right shocked. Yet this is one of the many things that really keeps you reading. Just when you think someone is about to win the war, BAM, they're dead and you're left wondering how on earth you missed all the little details leading up to it.
This book has MANY major character weddings, alliances....and deaths. Again, I cannot express how incredible and fascinating and enjoyable that this book is.
Suspenseful, heart-wrenching, mysterious, gripping, shocking and completely amazing, "A Storm of Swords" is one of the best books you'll ever read, I promise you.
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on September 16, 2015
Here we go, the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The book that many, to date, refer to as "the best" of the series. It is also the largest of the series (at least through the first three books of the series that I have read).

I will agree, that so far, through three books it is the best, but this is coming from someone who found "A Clash of Kings" a bit mixed in terms of overall enjoyment and storylines, so it didn't take that much to make "A Storm of Swords" the best, but it certainly doesn't relent or barely win that crown.

I'm sure there are much better reviews out there and provide a much better overarching idea of the story, so I will focus more so on general feelings and impact of the massive 1,00+ page novel.

Main characters die - many of them. There are jaw dropping moments in this book, coming from someone who finds that to be an overused cliché term, but it is honestly what happens during "A Storm of Swords". There are many, many battles and many, many characters to contend with (as usual), but this novel ups the ante compared to the first two books.

I'll be curious to see where the story goes with so many deaths in this book taking place, but the novel begins to touch on that with spending a lot of time with Jamie Lannister, who constantly strikes me as the Sawyer from LOST for this series (most likely due to the actors both having long blonde hair in their respective shows).

One character I continue to have mixed feelings on is Bran... for three books now he has done very little besides wish about being like his former self and having weird dreams about crows. Yeah, he seems (as does Jon Snow) to have some type of ability and powers, but his story as a whole has so far has not been very engaging to me.

Along with being jaw dropping, "A Storm of Swords" is also a great example of a page turner. I believe I read this in about two weeks or so, devouring 200+ pages at a time before feeling like I needed a breather to catch up on what has all happened. That in my eyes, makes a book great when you can read so much at once and then sit back and reflect on it and still enjoy it.

Will this be the pinnacle of the series, or will something triumph over it? Who knows, but as far as action, fantasy and general story telling go, I don't think "A Storm of Swords" can be easily topped.
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on February 15, 2017
A Storms of Swords is a great read if you are into fantasy or war stories. It starts off a little slow, but picks up throughout. It really keeps you in suspense of what is happening with each character as new chapters are of other character's point of view. This is not, however exactly like show. The book is so much better! I would recommend this!
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on March 21, 2016
There's no one who hasn't heard of Game of Thrones, these days, but once upon a time, these books weren't nearly as popular as they are now! Back then... these were quite the read. Not for the faint of heart (not even for some of the braver at heart), these books cross over topics like incest, graphic war, execution, and dragons! ;D

Martin has a style that's uniquely his own. He will bore you with content when it comes to a meal, but wow you when he's describing an ice wall or a battle. For all that his editor chooses not to chop, the man can really create a character, and give it life in such a bold, new, creative way!

Read at your own risk, or watch the HBO series (though the series differs from the books), but beware! The subject matter isn't what I'd call pleasant all the time, or comfortable. It is, however, an interesting literary addition to modern novelizations.
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on December 1, 2013
Martin does not disappoint in this third installment of his series. The characters live their believable and complex lives, the action moves forward, and new characters have been introduced for the most part seamlessly. The Red Wedding merits its attention as both a gorefest and a major turning point. Did not, for example, see Roose Bolton's treachery tied to this, though the author deftly plants the evidence along the way.

However, there is a major danger sign. Point of view is becoming a weakness rather than a strength. The strength of multiple points of view is that the author can explore the same plot line through the perspective of multiple characters, adding or omitting information as needed to create tension. The weakness is that each new point of view character may launch his or her own subplot. It is in this second direction that I see the series progressing. The number of point-of-view characters seems to be expanding as the series goes along (I'm purposely restraining myself from looking ahead so that I won't see if I am correct or wrong in my guesses), and with some of these new characters, we are seeing new subplots and the creation of a whole new list of character names to memorize--a choice that invariably leads to uneven story development. Some of the storylines, such as Sansa's and Arya's, tend to go nowhere as a result. Some storylines, such as the fate of Theon Greyjoy and Rickon Stark, are completely ignored. Strange gaps in others, such as the omission of Samwell and Gilly's meeting with Coldhands, or Daenerys's capture of Meereen, develop as the narrative tries to bring itself back up to speed. These expansions and inconsistencies in the storytelling, if not curbed now, may lead to problems in the future books.

It's also disappointing that the characters seem to have have missed an obvious clue to one of the mysteries threaded through the story: the ongoing subplot of the attempted murder of Bran Stark in book 1. Why is it that no one has thought to tie Littlefinger to the attempt when it was his knife that the assassin used? No one believes any longer in Littlefinger's initial defense that the knife had passed to Tyrion Lannister, yet instead of suspecting the owner of the knife, Jaime, for example, actually entertains the idea that Joffrey, his nephew, may have been behind the attempt.

I am looking forward to book 4 to see how the storylines continue.
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on November 29, 2015
If you liked the TV Series, you'll love the books. Both have much to recommend them and reading the books will enrich your enjoyment of the series. Even if you never see the series though, you will still enjoy the books. The characters are finely drawn, the dialogue brilliant, the plot fascinating and full of surprises. It IS a fantasy, and as such there are elements of magic, dragons, etc. but nevertheless it is a very human tale and it is the relationships between the many characters that lifts the story into the realm of great literature.
There IS a great deal of death and violence which some may find troubling. Of course, no amount of words can shock and disturb quite like the TV series, with its special effects depictions of beheadings, burning at the stake and flayings, but Martin's written descriptions still do a great job of leaving one horrified. Perhaps the most horrifying thing is knowing that everything depicted has happened in the real world and still does in some places.
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