Deborah Biancotti's Reviews > A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Mar 26, 2012

really liked it
Read from November 07, 2011 to March 26, 2012 — I own a copy

This is one of those tricky moments where you find yourself wanting to only rate it 3 stars, but that's because you're comparing it to the other books in the series - instead of comparing it to the wider group of books available in the world to be read. When I compare it to 'books in general', it still deserves a 4, not a 3.

I struggled with this book more than the first two, & I wonder if some of that had to do with the simple fact of reading it on an eReader. I'd chosen to go eReader this time because the tiny, tiny font in those other undersized volumes was giving me headaches right in the centre of my forehead. At least with an eReader I could make the font bigger. But what I also found in this particular case (since I've happily eRead my way through many books by now) is that I felt out of touch with the shape of the story. I couldn't flip back to the last section of Arya's, say, to remind myself what she'd been doing last time (I mean, I can, but it's a heck of a lot harder to navigate around a story like this one with the navigation of eReaders - no casual flipping though a hundred pages). I also couldn't flip to the back of the book to remind myself which house had the flowers on its banners. And I couldn't, finally, flip forward through the book to see if characters who appeared to have just died were really dead, or would pop up again with an eponymous chapter later on.

But, to the story: I did find this one more uneven than the previous two. And, just like the other two, I struggled to get into it (I must've read the first 2 chapters half a dozen times before managing to push myself forward enough to read the next one) but ending on a note that makes me desperate to start the next book. I admit I was far less interested in the politics of the Black Brothers' selection of a new Commander than I was in multiple life-threatening events being experienced by other characters. I also occasionally found myself wondering, 'but how does that character even KNOW about that event already?' I know, blah blah blah, ravens, blah. I also never gave a damn about the wildlings, so a lot of the tension of THAT particular storyline was lost to me. The remarkable Yvette with her amazing red hair felt like every other romanticised psychotic woman I've ever met fictionally - & I've hated all of them. (You know, that whole 'oh, she's such a FREE SPIRIT, she's so UNTAMED, I shall STEAL HER AWAY AND MAKE HER MINE', gah.) I also got a little lost in the extensive cast of characters, all of whom are wandering around in the great fog of war that comes when swords are, ahem, storming. (Which is why I blathered on about eReaders above: I figure if I could've skipped around a little more, I might've understood the whole Dondarrian thing that baffled me whenever he appeared. I kept thinking, 'and where the heck did THIS magic come from, & why does THIS guy have it?!' I know, I know, I'm gonna have to buy hardcopies & read it properly.)

The good: I admire the way Martin's turned heroes into villains & villains into heroes, & the way he never backs away from a really gory, horrible or sad moment. I love that he killed off those he killed off (some of whom desperately deserved it, some of whom had become IDIOTS who still deserved it, though not so desperately, & some of whom died rather tragically). Martin certainly knows how to create great human monsters, I must say. I also suffered terrible pangs of 'if only' when I saw characters passing each other or barely missing each other or heading in a direction that is just going to end up sucking for them. I chuckled when the good guys won a moment or two (especially when the moments came out of the machinations of bad guys - there's nothing like an undeserved win for the deserving, I say). I also loved what a nightmare both weddings turned into, & how poignant the occasional funeral was (since most people don't seem to be getting funerals).

For the next book: I think [spoiler] has set himself up for a right fall in the next book, & [spoiler] is going to have an excruciating time with her 'rescuer'. I can't get over that whole thing with [spoiler]'s hand! I mean, what's he gonna do in the next one?! And how apt, to see [spoiler] shot to death while on the [spoiler], oh what relief I felt when that happened! It is a shame that no one's killed [spoiler] yet, though. Also: All Powerful Women Appear to Be Evil. Can we have a GOOD powerful woman, please, who isn't a walking [spoiler] who can no longer speak on account of the fatal [spoiler] wound to her [spoiler]? Though I suspect after she experienced that wound, she may not be good anymore... Sometimes I think all the noble people died already, y'know.

Excelsior, Mr Martin! Excelsior!

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Sounds like the sort of books for which the Kindle X-Ray feature would be perfect. It only seems to be available for very popular or famous books, though.

Deborah Biancotti Barbara wrote: "Sounds like the sort of books for which the Kindle X-Ray feature would be perfect. It only seems to be available for very popular or famous books, though."

Well, I had to go & look up what the Kindle X-Ray was, but yes, that would definitely help in a book like this!

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