7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable
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...
Published on Oct. 27 2004 by Curio
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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. Some writers, it seems, just don't know when to quit. As I slogged through the last half of Storm of Swords, I found myself becoming more and more annoyed and started skimming whole pages. I will not be buying any more in this...
Published 7 months ago by Fran
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5.0 out of 5 stars The epic battle between Darkness and Light,
For the first time ever in the fantasy literature I have read, the reader is poleaxed - book after book. I was tripped up repeatedly by the devious maneuvring of Mr. Martin. Most of the cliches and conventions of the fantasy genre appear in this series. But only to morph into something far more sinister and complex anyone could expect.
The traps and pitfalls most readers will fall into are perfectly visible in hindsight - each time the groundwork has been laid so carefully that nobody can claim that the twists in the storyline are too abrupt or unlikely. The ton of mediocre fantasy tripe published during the last two decades is what kept me guessing what Martin can or can't do.
Apparently he can do anything. He breaks all the rules of the genre and makes this seem like the only possible way to write. He makes the reader like the characters they thought they hated and see the flaws in the characters they thought they should be cheering. Bit players become pivotal - larger-than-life central characaters turn out to be only a set-up for something even grander.
And every twist and turn seems predestined and unavoidable after the shock of the unexpected wears off.
Jordan and company - read these books and despair. After decades have passed, the only current fantasy work guaranteed to survive for generations to come is this series. Not only is the plotting best I have ever encountered - the world-building with a dozen cultures and half a dozen religions is both byzantine and crystal clear.
Not only is the prose evocative, both brutal and poetic; but the dialogue is razor-sharp. Each character speaks with a voice uniquely his or her own. Dany, Cersei, Catelyn, Ygritte, Arya, Sansa, Melisandre - never has this genre been able to juggle half a dozen female characters that don't blend into each other or flatten into charicatures. You may recognize the archetypes - but these chicks pop out of the page with personalities of their own.
Read the series and sink into the dark maelstrom of addiction - from now on, some malevolent force will compell you buy the pricy hardcover edition the day it is published for every future issue. It's worth the pain.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Days Of Our Lives,
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.
One might detect a note of criticism in my preceding comments. There is a suspicion that this nine hundred odd page volume could easily have been reduced by a couple hundred pages. Many of the subplots and episodes in this book appear to exist for their own sake, contributing little to advance the overall storyline---There is a noticeable shift of tempo between the first and second half of the book. And at times the author's obvious manipulation of the reader's interest becomes wearisome and frustrating. However, there is little question as to the author's ability to spin a story, juggling so many without once losing control, and for most, I suspect, the plethora of plots and intrigues---even the repetitive cliffhangers---will prove appealing. Martin writes with a vividness of detail and characterization that never pauses, and has created a diverse cast of characters in which one feels invested. And the author could never be faulted for his imagery or a lack of imagination. Certainly one of the best books of the year.
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favour and get reading!,
What also impresses me about the series are the names,both of people and places. "Stark", "Lannister","Riverrun", "Ser Gerold Hightower", "CasterlyRock", "The Blackfish", "Crannogmen" just toname a few. They indicate to me the effort Martin has gone to inorder to produce the easily the best fantasy written in the last 25years.
The language is rather strong in places, this latest volumein particular. For me it makes the story and characters all the morereal (and earthy), but others may be a little put off.
To sum up:George R. R. Martin has raised the bar in the genre to heights I fearwill be difficult to match. I think that in 20 years time people willbe saying that this series was as influential both within and outsidethe genre as The Lord of the Rings.
So what are you doing here? Gobuy them and read them NOW!
4.0 out of 5 stars A realistic fantasy of the first order,
My second reason is that although I enjoy my sword and sorcery stories with a healthy dose of reality, the politics, backstabbing (quite literally!) and the gut-wrenching deaths of major characters certainly does take its toll. Readers should be warned that this book is much darker that his previous two novels, and by the end, he leaves few characters that we can wholeheartedly root for.
Regardless of my reservations, I am still very impressed by Martin's storytelling and his ability to transport you to a real world full of magic, mystery, and danger. I will be eagerly awaiting his next book. I hope that publishers will take note of the "Harry Potter" release timing and get the book out on the same day on both continents...
5.0 out of 5 stars This series is brilliant!,
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Song yet,
Each character is unique and has his/her own merits, motives and story. The world is rich in detail, the scenes are gritty and real, and the impact can be haunting. you will giggle, you may even cry, and you will cheer for and yell. Prepare to be pulled in and engrossed.
If you read one fantasy novel this year, go into Song of Ice and Fire. Excellent work George.
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't wait...,
5.0 out of 5 stars GRRM has done it again,
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Book 3 does not reach expectation,
This review is from: A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)I had as many other readers great expectations regarding the development of the plot. Only I have come to realize that besides more murder and hopelessness there has been little advance in the story considering the large amount of pages!
I fear the author started with a great idea that could have made a true piece of literature but that finally has become a product.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Sweeping Tapestry, entirely in gray, black, and brown.,
This review is from: A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)Oh, gods... I'm not sure how Martin has bagged such critical acclaim with these books. His stories progress at a glacial pace. This would not be so bad if these were enjoyable characters to follow. They arent. Or rather, the majority of them aren't. If he picked a single character, that might make for interesting reading (Tyrion for example). Or if the characters were effective, that would be alright. The characters are too often like pieces of flotsam tossed on rough seas. Life is like that sometimes. But it doesnt make for good storytelling.
The books I'm reminded of most to compare these to are Brin's Galactic Civilization books. He also split the story among many characters. But he did it in cliff-hanger serials with scrappy characters you wanted to like. Martin's characters are an often luckless assorment of not very interesing or fun people with lives that manage to be somehow boring against grand spectacle.
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A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three by George R.R. Martin (Mass Market Paperback - March 4 2003)
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