Book Review: A Storm of Swords
Author: George R.R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book #3)
Length: 973 Pages
My Rating: ★★★★★ (Can I give this more stars?)
Let me just warn you that this review is basically going to be me fangirling about this book. If you are into that, keep on reading.
After finishing up A Clash of Kings, I was a little worried going into this book. The length was intimidating and I read a few reviews on Goodreads saying that some parts were slow. I fully expected to have a hard time getting into some of the PoV's and maintaining interest through the whole thing. I WAS SO WRONG. I have almost nothing negative to say about this book, so instead I'm going to tell you 5 reasons why I loved A Storm of Swords.
(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK)
Here, have a gif as well
The Addition of Jaime into the PoV's
Throughout this book we see Jaime's journey from being a cocky kingslayer that was captured to a very broken down prisoner. His storyline was one of my favorites, as I just loved the development we saw and how he changed throughout book #3. The way Brienne and Jaime’s relationship progressed was also great to read. I loved the banter between the two and how they grew to care about each other, just by experiencing utter shit together. It was a really slow and subtle evolution, and I loved how Martin showed this change through words, actions, and thoughts.
The Magical Elements
There are so many more mysterious and magical pieces to this world than I (we) realized. I loved everything about Coldhands and the black gate, both of which have been excluded from the TV show thus far. Although, maybe they will still get to that later...? We also learn some interesting things about The Wall in general in terms of how The Wall protects the realm not only with it’s physical presence, but also with spells woven through the structure. It was great to get more of the magical side of this fantasy story, since thus far it's been pretty limited to the dragons and white walkers. I can't wait to see what else exists in this world!
Key Events Galore
From about the middle of the book to the end, there is just non-stop action, with nearly every storyline containing some sort of major event. That's not to say that the beginning half was boring in any way, but OMG the number of things that happen in the second half of this book... It's crazy. Let me just give you a quick list:
- Red & Purple Wedding (maybe we should stay away from weddings...)
- Tyrion's Trial & Escape (including Oberyn, Shae, and Tywin's deaths)
- Arya's journey with The Hound and escape to Braavos (Valar Morghulis)
- Battle at The Wall (and Yrgritte's death) & Jon becoming Lord Commander
- Undead Lady Catelyn (!!!)
Basically, this book has a ton of events that spanned multiple seasons on the show AND some that we haven't seen yet, all in about 500 pages. It is masterfully written and even though so much happens, it never feels rushed.
Amazing Character and Relationship Development
The way that George R.R. Martin develops his characters and how they interact with others is something that continually impresses me with this series. A Storm of Swords continues on that trend and I really enjoyed learning more about the characters I had already grown to love in books 1 and 2 (Tyrion, Sansa, and Arya), but also I found myself growing far too attached to other characters that I thought I hated (Jaime, The Hound, and Petyr Baelish). In some other cases, I started to care about characters I felt pretty neutral about in previous books, such as Brienne, Samwell, and Davos. Along with this, Martin also excelled at making sure you see the good and bad sides of each character, which makes them all that much more realistic.
And yes, it was necessary to use all caps. I won't say much about this, because if you are reading this then you have probably experienced reading this book (we should form a support group). Let's just say that this book made me feel ALL of the feelings and I love George R.R. Martin for it!
By now it's obvious that I LOVED A Storm of Swords. It is my favorite book of the series so far and probably the best fantasy book I've ever read. I apologize for how long this review is, but I had a LOT to rave about. What was your favorite part of this book?