Max's Reviews > A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jun 11, 11

bookshelves: 2011, beasts, things-i-love
Read from May 20 to June 10, 2011

Worth the slog. And by "slog" I mean Book II of Fire and Ice, not the one at hand, which is rich with payoff, sadism and revelation. And if you happen to enjoy reading tragedies, Martin has poised Storm of Swords as the ultimate comedown. He annihilates all notions of heroism, nobility and romance from his medieval epic, leaving his beloved characters to fates of compromise, bitter sadness and loneliness. They are all alone, and that will make them stronger, seems to be the implication, as Martin brings his saga to its first period. After the breathless windup of the first two books, Storm of Swords is this story's Empire Strikes Back, though one wonders if redemption or joy or triumph will ever be in the cards for this particular set of characters.

It also must be said that Martin finally finds the rhythms of his "point of view" storytelling, clustering viewpoints around major events, shifting perspectives and using the lulls in plot to investigate the state of Westeros outside of King's Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, etc. More than anything, this world finally feels like a unified whole, rich with history and story. Especially in the "Arya" narrative strain, you can begin to see how places connect, and events ripple out. It really is a complex and staggeringly rendered universe Martin has created. In Storm of Swords it finally feels complete, as if events and things and people and places continue living off the page. Every tangent feels fleshy, every strand feels intricately woven.

This is one hell of a tapestry, let's hope Martin knows how to finish.
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05/26/2011 page 400
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