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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on November 4, 2002
After the suprising events in this book, I could only find myself saying one word when finished, "Wow". "A Storm of Swords" is full of so many plot twists that just when one thinks they know what is going on, something completely different happens and takes the reader by suprise. I will give Martin kudos for the fact that I only predicted a few events beforehand that actually happened. Many books nowdays are full of predictable work that is almost boring to read. The same can not be said for this book, or this series.
"A Storm of Swords" finally brings into play more of the life of the Black Brothers and the Wildlings. But don't be fooled, that isn't all that the book covers. Troubles in the Kingdoms are still being brought into play. We see more from Dany and learn everything there isn't what meets the eye. The Kings are all still fighting for control.
Deaths aplenty happen in this book, some more suprising than others. But that does not take away from the appeal of the book. There are a few characters that have died in the past books that I would rather not have been killed off, and this book is no exception. That is really the only problem I have with the book. But, I am willing to accept the deaths as part of the plot that is keeping this wonderful story moving along.
I was a little hesitant when I picked this series up first. It started off a little slow. But me there is never a dull moment. The chapters flow together smoothly, and never once have I been bored. The action is incredible. The plots/subplots/subsubplots are simply amazing and intriguing. This book really brings to play many of the main characters. Finally we see more from Jaime's point of view. Samwell is another character that gets a POV in this book.
Since starting this series, I can probably rate it up to one of the best of all time in my opinion. It blows every other series I have read out of the water. George R.R. Martin is a great author and I look forward to his next book, which hopefully comes out soon. If "A Feast for Crows" (Supposedly the next book's title) is as good as this one and the ones before it, I will not hesitate to spend the money to add it to my collection.
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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.

Your [favourite] characters die and others live, but you never know which or how they'll do it. Your most hated character become your most loved characters and then they also die. Or maybe not. Maybe they become hated again.


This is the story after the happily ever after. The story of the brave warrior who becomes king but is unable to rule, he doesn't know how. Of course he doesn't, he's a boy who knows how to fight, why would he be equipped to rule a kingdom?
This is the story after the king marries a famous beauty.
They're not happy 20 years later, they resent each other and each grows to hate the other more and more. The king drinks and has his way with whore while the queen does the same with her brother.

They are human. They do not live happily ever after. The nice honourable man dies, children die, the scheming betrayer lives. In fact he thrives.
This is the story for those who want to know what happens after the "... and they lived happily ever after". Love, loss, anger, hatred, life and death. No linear storyline with predictable outcomes. No more of that.

If any of that sounds appealing to you then read the books, watch the show, immerse yourself in this world and watch what happens when people have to go through life with real problems and real consequences.
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on July 7, 2004
I have tried to read other fantasy novels and just couldn't get into them, but I checked this out at the library on a fluke & was hooked!! I have read each book at least twice, and this last book is by far my favorite of the 3. I actually had the jaw drop thing going on in a few places! It is so well written, with attention to details & descriptions, that the characters become endearing to you. I love Tyrions wit, Aryas spunk, and Jons quiet resolve, and a favorite of mine in this last book was Jamie & Brienne. I cannot wait until The Feast for Crows comes out. I am already on the waiting list at the library, and its on my Christmas wish list!! If you want a good read, please try this one, the series is so popular at our house we give them as gifts!!
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on March 22, 2015
“A Storm of Swords” is the third book in George R. R. Martin’s series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. A seamless continuation of the story, this so far is my favourite one, the one wherein the drama unfolds at a breathless pace. In the prologue itself three horns are blown, signifying the advent of the ‘Others’, and the ride launches! Each and every chapter has an event - sometimes dramatic, sometimes tragic, and sometimes horrific, and always moving the story rapidly forward. Covert meetings, secret arrangements, unlikely relationships, tragic endings and shocking twists abound in this book.

There is immense character development in this book. Catelyn Stark’s decision regarding Jaime Lannister, Samwell Tarly emerging from the shadow of cowardice that he has been under all his life, Petyr Baelish and his emergence as a ‘player’ were some of the more memorable developments. Through an exemplary show of heroism and leadership Daenerys Targaryen was one of the brightest stars of this tale.

The other remarkable feature about this story was the ground it covers, literally. We travel along with the principal characters and see how much the world has turned! One of the more memorable trips was along with Jon Snow as his ploy now takes us beyond the Wall for the first time where we meet such fascinating characters as Mance Ryder the King-Beyond-The-Wall and Ygritte the wildling spearwife.

This storm of swords leaves in its brutal wake a trail of death and destruction. As Melisandre tells Davos, there has always been a choice between only two, not a multitude of contenders - “R’hllor, the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire” and the “Great Other whose name may not be spoken, the Lord of Darkness, the Soul of Ice”.
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on May 17, 2014
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. Don't let the size of this book put you off from reading it! There's so much that happens that time flies by while reading it.

3. I'd say the pacing was very comfortable for the majority of the book but it especially picked up near the end (with a double cliffhanger!). There was never a dull moment in the book, it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time!

4. This book was such a roller-coaster ride in that I never expected any of the twists in the plot. It had me speechless (and cursing at GRRM) and kept wanting to read more.


6. I loved how the author added Jaime and Samwell's POVs in this book. Jaime's character development was amazing; you definitely see a different side to him and you understand why the does the things he does.

7. All of the cunning strategies and schemes made in the second book finally comes into play and people are being betrayed, people betraying others, and making unexpected alliances. I LOVE IT!!
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on December 26, 2012
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. If you liked the first two, you won't be disappointed with the third. No surprise that so many give this book such a high rating. As the two first books the story continues to hold your interest at every chapter....every page. You end a chapter only to find yourself reading "just one more". The use of names for titles is very powerful. You see the name and you want to learn more. The intrigue just does not stop. Unlike most serial books that seem to repeat issues from the previous books to "fill in" pages, the author provides just enough information to keep you in context. Plots never seem to repeat. There is always another surprise death, surprise escape, surprise change in character. But all plausible and you learn why a few chapters latter. These books contain about 3 times the number of pages as regular books. It is absolutely worth the money. Got to go....I want to start book 4!
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on April 9, 2012
George Martin is a master story teller. His ability to develop sophisticated plots in such a way that they are believable is unrivaled by any other modern writer. A Storm of Swords is a master class in fiction writing.

Dispite the great structure I found this segment of the epic, Song of Ice and Fire very difficult to read. For the first 900 pages of the book the characters most readers are interested in experience agonizing pain and suffering. So much so that I was hesitant to pick the book up each evening. I knew that every chapter would lead to another heartbreaking tragedy for one of these people.

This trend eases up a little over the final 200 pages or so and provides the reader with some relief. But, on the whole this was not an enjoyable segment to plow through.

I will give the fourth book a try only to satisfy my curiosity. I want to know where George Martin is going with this latest sequence of events. He is a gifted writer. It's the tragic nature of his style that gives me pause and has me questioning how much of this I can take.

If you are already caught up in this series by all means read this book. Like me you're probably already hooked. This is not the place to start reading this series and if you've read the first two books but were not completely drawn into this world your time is better off spent elsewhere.

Check out my other reviews of the Song of Ice and Fire series.
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on August 28, 2011
I have already written two reviews for this series (A Song of Ice and Fire), and won't stop until I've reviewed A Dance with Dragons. This series is the best modern fantasy series I've read, and it's quickly becoming the overall best series I've ever read. The level of detail put into each and every character, the simple and extravagant shocks and surprises are nothing short of astonishing.

A Storm of Swords picks up right where A Clash of Kings left off. Not all characters return (notably absent is Theon), but otherwise everyone is back in superb form. Daenerys, in particular, is back with a vengeance. For all those slightly disappointed with what GRRM did with her character in ACoK, take note that you will not be disappointed here. All the others are just as wonderfully written. Arya, Tyrion, Jon, Davos, and even Sansa are so fleshed out that you won't be able to put the book down until it's complete. That's good to know because you must remain devoted in order to finish the 900+ page tome.

Once again GRRM has introduced new point of view characters, but they remain easy to follow and strengthen the story by showing that not all villains are as evil as you think, and not all heroes are as honourable as you believe. The bottom line is that GRRM doesn't create characters that are black and white, he creates them all equally grey. This makes it so the reader has no idea what anyone is going to do at any point in time. That makes for sensational storytelling.

Shocking, surprising, depressing, illuminating, incredible! I didn't want the book to end, but when it did, I picked up A Feast for Crows immediately. I'm still in awe over the Epilogue. I strongly believe you will be shocked as well, and will rush to pick up A Feast for Crows as well. With three books down and only two to go in order for me to be completely caught up, I can already tell you that this is one series no one should be without. Don't hesitate, buy it now!
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on July 19, 2004
I finished reading book 3 in April and I'm sitting here typing out my review and I still get chills JUST THINKING ABOUT what has happened in this book, the previous books and the future books to come. Book 3 continues on where book 2 left off.
The character development is amazing. As others said, the beginning is a tad bit slow, but once you get through it, its a roller coaster ride up to the top and you're left weightless at the climax with disbelief. Actually, I should say climaxes - because each thread ends in its own shocking way - especially Tyrion's.
Another example of his mastery of character development is the Jaime story line. I used to *hate* Jaime and now I understand his point of view and I've come to love him. I was always excited to see a Jaime chapter. Hell, I was happy to see ANY chapter because each one snowballed into the next.
This is hands down the best lit. series I've ever read. You wont regret reading it. I somehow managed to read through the first 3 books in 3 months while going to school full time and working full time. Yes, it is that engrossing.
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on July 17, 2004
Judging by the brick-size of 'A Storm of Swords', I was momentarily afraid that Martin had began the 'Jordanization' of his awesome series. The first 800 pages did nothing to alleviate my fears. Although the novel was a fun ride through the first two thirds, I got the feeling that not much was moving. I was afraid the novel would leave me with no discernable change by the time it was over.
Boy... Was I ever wrong!! If you pick this novel and are slightly put off by the slow (although well-written) pace of the beginning, trust me: get through it. By the end of the novel, things have picked up so much, I was wishing Martin would slow down a little and let me catch my breath.
To put it as plainly as I can without giving away anything, a LOT happens in the last third of 'A Storm of Swords'. A lot of it is characterized by Martin's implaccable 'logic is stronger than fairy tales' brand of storytelling. A lot of it, also, is so daring, so unpredictable, that I had to stop many times in shock to digest what I had just read.
If you liked the first two books in the series, don't hesitate one second to pick up this one. Chances are the fine writing and your beloved characters will get you through the first 800 pages without a problem, but if you ever tire of the slow pace, rest assured: by the end, you'll wish things weren't so darn fast.
For its daring, fine writing and excellent political scheming, 'A Storm of Swords' is actually better than its precedessors. I really can't wait for 'A Feast for Crows'.
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