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A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three [Hardcover]

George R.R. Martin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (634 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 31 2000 A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 3)

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. . . .


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.

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A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three + A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two + A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
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From Amazon

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Oct. 27 2004
By Curio
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This one takes the cake! However excellent readers found his previous volumes, Martin's A Storm of Swords surpasses them all by leaps and bounds (as impossible as that may seem)!
This is truly epic stuff--I always stayed up too late to read this, so had to force myself to bed for health's sake...but I found I had trouble sleeping, because quite frankly, the novel's storyline and characters kept flip-flopping through my head. Will Arya ever find her way back? What is Dany doing? How the hell will Robb get out of this one? The suspense this series oozes will become as a drug...the trials that each character faces becomes truly personal...you just want things to work out so bad!
Just looking back, I would that if there were a list of the top 10 scenes thus far, 7 alone would come from this book. "Jaw-dropping" does not even begin to describe some of the things that come to pass.
As a last note, perhaps most interesting is the new Jaime POV. Readers have come to despise this character, but Martin really humanizes him, proving with a certainty that it is difficult to hate someone after at last seeing things the other way around. A wonderful change in perspective, and expertly done.
Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough already! June 18 2001
By A Customer
I surrender - I couldn't get through this volume. After devouring Books 1 & 2, I was eager to immerse myself in Book 3. But the death, misery, horror, cruelty, despair, and mercilessness is too much. I love you George, but there's no escapism here, not a scintilla. I know escapism is "out" these days, but have some pity on your readers!
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By Andres Consumer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Quick Review (TL;DR)
These books are great. Expansive well described settings and extremely complex and detailed characters. You'll find yourself loving character you hated in a previous books and feeling compassion for psychopathic torturers.
Nothing happens the way you think it'll happen and no one you want to live lives. Everyone dies except for the ones you expect to.
I would highly recommend reading this series as long as you don't mind waiting 1-2 decades as the following books are released.

Full-er Review:

--If you want to support a story you enjoy and get the entire series at the same time you should buy this. --

All my life I've been waiting for something like this story. Every time I watched a movie where the good guy had some kind of distress or trouble and the bad guy seemed ahead, I still always knew who would win. As I am sure you all did. (granted this applies more to shows/movies than to books)

Every time a fairy tale ending occurred with the action hero walking into the sunset with his girl, I got tired. Every. Single. Time.

Good guy wins, bad guy loses/gets away and everyone is happily ever after. Sure there are some exceptions, but not really. Either everyone dies at the end or some other trope occurs. But the bad guy never wins over. Not at the end. Like some horribly boring, predictable formula.

This is the show I've been waiting for. Everything you think will happen doesn't happen. Or it does and then does a complete 180. No predictability at all. I absolutely love it.
You hate the character who paralyzes kids and then you grow to like them and empathize with their flaws as they grow into their character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love George RR Martin Jan. 24 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I based my rating on the overall layout of the book and me wanting to know what's going to happen with the character after the chapter ends . Great suspense and one of my favorites.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply fantastic! Nov. 2 2002
The superlatives used by the majority of reviewers almost can't describe the overwhelming excellence of George R.R. Martin's groundbreaking fantasy epic, which reaches yet another level of greatness with this third book of a fantasy series, which will be the ultimate measure for the next decade of novels of this genre.
After taking us into a world of intricate political machinations, breathtaking heroics, fatal betrayals, foredoomed affairs of the heart and blood, and an awakening magic about to return to a world at the eve of eternal chaos with the first two books of the 'Song of Ice and Fire' series, Martin manages to capture the readers attention once again. Additionally he succeeds in raising the suspense and the fascination for the stunned reader to yet another new level. The moment you start reading 'Storm of Swords' you won't be able take a break from reading this astonishing masterpiece of contemporary fantasy literature.
So, what's it about?
After the Lannisters have fend off the assault on King's Landing by Stannis Baratheon, their ascent to undisputed dominance over Westeros appears to be only threatened by young Robb Stark, King of the North. The Baratheon line has been decimated to the last stronghold of Lord Stannis, the Starks are under pressure from an unexpected foe threatening their heart lands, and the remaining political and military powers seem to flock together under the banners of juvenile, but cruel and ungoverned King Joffrey Lannister. But the Lannister's reign is shadowed by the unpredictable fate of the brothers Jaime - still under captivity by Catelyn Stark, and Tyrion - severly wounded since the fight at King's Landing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant series! George R.R. Martin doesn't disappoint when it...
My Thoughts:

1. I don't know why I keep hoping for a happy ending when I should know by now that GRRM is never nice to the characters.

2. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandra L
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent book. So far, the best of a Song Of Ice And Fire serie. Just hasten to read the others books.
Published 2 months ago by Jean Guy Duchesne
5.0 out of 5 stars A great continuation of the saga
A great continuation of the saga that is George R. Martin has started, and further fuels the need to continue reading deeply.
Published 9 months ago by Tara Seehra
5.0 out of 5 stars the american LOTR
Excellent, even if you don't read much fantasy. The third book had the most action. The major narrative within the overall story arch comes to its climax in this book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Robert Pluto
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in the series
So much craziness happens in this book..... the 3rd season of the show missed the boat a little by skipping some of the details, but you know it`s because they intend to setup the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by decius01
1.0 out of 5 stars Enough Already
I am a lifelong avid reader and it is not often that I give up on a book or series but this one is an exception. This has become really tiresome. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Fran
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is awesome!
If you like fantasy type stories with medieval thrown in, then you will probably enjoy this book.The novel just sucks you right in, the detail and imagination that George R. Read more
Published 17 months ago by veggiegal
5.0 out of 5 stars On to book 4
Couldn't put it down. The element of surprise is nice, kept me guessing for the most part. Looking forward to seeing the series on HBO.
Published 18 months ago by Charlene Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
The writing style was amazing and had alot of detail which completely engulfs you in to the world in the novel. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading
Many other critics have given some clues as to what is happening in this book. I just would like to add a few comments in general to say that the series still continues strong. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Maurice
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