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A Song of Ice and Fire (1-in-2) #5

A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow

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An alternate cover edition of this ISBN can be found here and here.

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A STORM OF SWORDS: STEEL AND SNOW is the FIRST part of the third volume in the series. Winter approaches Westeros like an angry beast. The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud. In the northern wastes, a horde of hungry, savage people steeped in the dark magic of the wilderness is poised to invade the Kingdom of the North where Robb Stark wears his new-forged crown. And Robb's defences are ranged against the South, the land of the cunning and cruel Lannisters, who have his younger sisters in their power. Throughout Westeros, the war for the Iron Throne rages more fiercely than ever, but if the Wall is breached, no king will live to claim it.

688 pages, Paperback

First published August 8, 2000

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About the author

George R.R. Martin

1,375 books108k followers
George Raymond Richard "R.R." Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included. Later he became a comic book fan and collector in high school, and began to write fiction for comic fanzines (amateur fan magazines). Martin's first professional sale was made in 1970 at age 21: The Hero, sold to Galaxy, published in February, 1971 issue. Other sales followed.

In 1970 Martin received a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, graduating summa cum laude. He went on to complete a M.S. in Journalism in 1971, also from Northwestern.

As a conscientious objector, Martin did alternative service 1972-1974 with VISTA, attached to Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation. He also directed chess tournaments for the Continental Chess Association from 1973-1976, and was a Journalism instructor at Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa, from 1976-1978. He wrote part-time throughout the 1970s while working as a VISTA Volunteer, chess director, and teacher.

In 1975 he married Gale Burnick. They divorced in 1979, with no children. Martin became a full-time writer in 1979. He was writer-in-residence at Clarke College from 1978-79.

Moving on to Hollywood, Martin signed on as a story editor for Twilight Zone at CBS Television in 1986. In 1987 Martin became an Executive Story Consultant for Beauty and the Beast at CBS. In 1988 he became a Producer for Beauty and the Beast, then in 1989 moved up to Co-Supervising Producer. He was Executive Producer for Doorways, a pilot which he wrote for Columbia Pictures Television, which was filmed during 1992-93.

Martin's present home is Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (he was South-Central Regional Director 1977-1979, and Vice President 1996-1998), and of Writers' Guild of America, West.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,425 reviews
Profile Image for Col.
40 reviews4 followers
February 9, 2014
I'm seeing a lot of negative reviews about this book: people complaining about a slow story line and a ridiculously cruel world where anyone can be killed off without a second thought. My response is: if you want a quick, happy clappy mushy book, you need to get yourself to the romance section. Or even better, the young adult section.

My biggest pet peeve in books is feeling that characters are safe. I want people to die. I want people to be miserable. It tells me that the author is serious and that shit is going to get real. Sure, a happy moment every now and then would be nice, but the harsh realities in the world George Martin has created is a breath of fresh air. The character development is fantastic and I almost feel as if I've known these characters all my life. The story line can be slow at times, but that is what fantasy authors just tend to do, so get over it (LOTR, anyone?). Climactic events have me sitting on the proverbial edge of my seat because I know that it can go either way. Predictability has gone out the window, and although I like to believe I know where the story is going, George Martin proves time and time again that I just don't.

Now let me stop waffling and get on with the next book!
Profile Image for Baba.
3,619 reviews985 followers
August 28, 2022
Book 3 of the 'Game of Thrones' series. As Winter continues to make its unstoppable approach we catch up with the ongoing saga of many Kings, Queens and the Houses of Lannister, Stark, Baratheon, Arryn, Frey, Martell, Tully, Florent etc. and the the Wildings, Night's Watch and introducing the Outlaws in this wonderfully absorbing saga, which whether your a fan of the plotting or not, is one of the most detailed constructed realities ever created, albeit strongly borrowing from the European Dark Ages and other pre-Middle Ages' eras. 9 out of 12

2015 read; 2012 read
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
December 6, 2017
"Night falls for all of us in the end, and too soon for some.”

Part 1 of A Storm of Swords was less exciting than it's companions. I grew tired of most of the character's plot lines and couldn't get enough of others. I especially love that we finally get introduced to the Tyrells and the Dornish people. They definitely belong to my favourite characters and make all the events in King's Landing even more exciting.

While I really like Brienne I don't care much for yet another long journey with unexpected (parts annoying) turns through Westeros. They stumble and get dragged through places and by characters that I do not have any interest in - same goes for Arya. And I don't like Jaime very much. Catelyn's story is pretty much the same every time, a lot of mourning and sorrow. While I like her and Robb very much, it's still unnerving. Davos and Stannis would be extremely boring as well if it weren't for the Red Lady.

So here are the many POVs, starting with the chapters I liked the most down to the ones I didn't:


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Profile Image for Anniebananie.
552 reviews398 followers
January 10, 2019
Ich bewundere George R. R. Martin von Band zu Band mehr. Das Worldbuilding ist grandios und detailverliebt. Der Schreibstil gewohnt fesselnd. Die Charaktere so einzigartig und echt. Und vor allem wird es einfach nicht langweilig mehr über alles und jeden zu lesen. Ich bin einfach verliebt in diese Geschichte, in unsere Helden und Antihelden (die witzigerweise für jeden anders liegen) und auch in die Art und Weise wie einem die Geschichte erzählt wird. Ich bin absoluter Fan von den vielen Erzählsträngen sowie von den damit einhergehenden Erzählperspektiven. Absolut bewundernswert finde ich auch wie Martin das alles irgendwie zeitlich und für den Leser logisch miteinander verwebt um diesen Epos zu erzählen.
Meine Entscheidung dieses Buch als erstes des Jahres 2019 zu lesen war goldrichtig!
Profile Image for Kristin.
27 reviews
May 4, 2011
Better than the last book, not as good as the first. Altogether an interesting story, but the pace of the series is very slow and if GRRM mentions one more banner/sigil, I'm gonna lose it...
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,115 followers
October 3, 2017
"The world grows a little darker each day."

Still plowing my way through A Song of Ice and Fire! Book 3 part 1 completed! The plots thicken and intermix, a rising host of new characters to cause a stir are introduced and the battles between kings rages on!

Catelyn: with Robb - the King in the North fighting battle after battle. Reeling from the knowledge concerning Winterfell and her two youngest sons, she makes a reckless decision that she hopes will protect her two daughters.

"It was different when there was a Stark in Winterfell. But the old wolf's dead and young ones gone south to play the game of thrones, and all that's left us is the ghosts."

Sansa: No longer betrothed to King Joffrey but imprisoned in Kings Landing all the same. Another marriage is arranged for her that none are happy about.

Arya: Still on the run with Hot Pie and Gendry, they come across a band of outlaws following the Lord of Light who have sworn to return her to Robb.

Bran: Heading North with Meera and Jojen, his Warg powers growing ever stronger.

Jon: After his ranging mission gone wrong, he hides out with Ygritte planning his next move. While the Wildlings plot their attack on the wall.

"The north is hard and cold, and has no mercy."

Samwell: I was so pleased Sam got a POV in this book. I love him! He remains with the Nights Watch and the Lord Commander. Awaiting any further news concerning the Wildlings, while fear of the Others grows more and more palpable.

Tyrion: Still one of my faves! Living in the nest of vipers that is Kings Landing. Keeping his secrets and plots.

Jaime: Another one who gets his own POV in this book! Thrown together with Brienne of Tarth to cross the country with Kings Landing as the ultimate goal. But of course things don't go according to plan.

Davos: My other favourite! I love Davos, the underdog that he is! Still loyal to Stannis Baratheon, and recovering from the battle of the black water. He helps Stannis plan his next move, keeping his hatred of the red priestess Melisandre to himself.

Daenerys: Last but absolutely not least! Dany is growing in her power and becoming more Queen-like every day! Her army is growing and she is as ruthless as ever.

Still absolutely captivated by this world and it's characters! Let's keep going!

"Old stories are like old friends...you have to visit them from time to time."
Profile Image for William Gwynne.
376 reviews1,706 followers
December 10, 2022
I have finished part 1 of A Storm of Swords! It won the vote on The Brothers Gwynne (a channel I run with my brother), so I am reading it this month! Absolutely loved the first two instalments, and I hear that this is most peoples favourite instalment of the series.... A high bar has been set, and so far it is reaching it! The constant tension is fantastic. I love the character interactions, and the longer I spend in this world the fresher and more unique and entrancing it becomes.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
May 29, 2017
A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire #3, Part 1 of 2), George R.R. Martin
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: از بیست و ششم آوریل سال 2015 تا 12 می سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: طوفان شمشیرها کتاب 1 از جلد 3 (نغمه آتش و یخ، #3)؛ نویسنده: جورج آر. آر. مارتین؛ مترجم: رویا خادم الرضا؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، ویدا، 1393، در 737 ص و شش صفحه نقشه، شابک: 9786002910745؛
طوفان شمشیرها سومین کتاب از مجموعه رمان فانتزی حماسی ترانه یخ و آتش، اثر نویسنده آمریکایی جرج آر. آر. مارتین است. در حال حاضر این کتاب طولانی‌ترین کتاب مجموعه است. با توجه به طولانی بودن کتاب در برخی کشورها این کتاب به دو بخش تقسیم شده و به چاپ رسیده است. داستان طوفان شمشیرها کمی پیش از داستان کتاب پیشین است. هفت پادشاهی هنوز درگیر جنگ پنج شاه هستند. شاه‌های باقی‌مانده: راب استارک، بالون گری‌ جوی، جوفری باراتئون، و استانیس باراتئون، برای حفظ قدرت و موقعیت خودشان هستند. جنگ داخلی مردم عادی را از بین می‌برد. داستان از دید ده شخصیت اصلی روایت می‌شود و یک پیش‌ مقدمه و یک شخصیت پس مقدمه هم دارد که در کل دوازده گوینده داستان حضور دارد: پیش مقدمه چت برادر و نگهدارنده سگها؛ سر جیمی لنیستر پسر بزرگ تایوین لنیستر برادر تیریون لنیستر؛ جان اسنو پسر نامشروع ادارد استارک؛ بانو کتلین استارک؛ تیریون لنیستر؛ سانسا استارک؛ آریا استارک؛ برن استارک؛ سموئل تارلی؛ سر داووس سی‌ورس؛ ملکه دنریس تارگرین؛ پس مقدمه: مرت فری؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Exitgirl05.
151 reviews67 followers
May 18, 2019
Ne znam ja ništa, Džone Snežni! Ali svidja mi se pravac u kom jašeš... :)
Profile Image for Zoe Artemis Spencer Reid.
512 reviews108 followers
June 19, 2017
There is no way I would ever not love any of A Song of Ice and Fire 's book. Once I got obsessed with the first book and love the characters with all my heart, it will goes the same for all its successor. But I have to admit that Part 1 of A Storm of Swords is a bit of slow paced even for a High Fantasy. There are a lot of unnecessary chapters in which the POV dragged in pointless story line, and encounter all these bunch of insignificant characters. Apart from that, this book is fantastic, those characters we love are going through great development and growth in their lives, and the possibilities of twist and turn of this series drive me crazy. I hope the second part will be more fast paced and I expect it will be more blood curling.
May 12, 2023
This is one of the highest rated books ever - people all over the world love it and then there is me. So…yes this is a well written book but I really don’t understand what all the hype is about. I have no doubt that George R.R Martin is an amazing writer but I think he might get a little carried away sometimes with his character building and just doesn’t move the story along fast enough. I do like books with character building but I prefer it when the character building is pushing the plot along. Plus, because there is so many characters this book just really dragged for me.

I do understand that this is an epic so I wasn't expecting to to be really fast paced or anything but there were a lot of chapters in this book where I general felt bored out of my mind! I can’t believe so little happened in such a big book, yes you could argue that a lot happened in terms of character growth but that just wasn't enough for me. I could have gotten the same amount of a book half it's size. I think if you aren't willing to re-read this book over and over again it won't work because there are so many intricacies that are just too small to take in, in just one read.

I felt like I could feel George R R Martin was getting lost in his own writing but as a reader I didn't need all of his thoughts on every little thing. I honestly don’t have much more to say about this book other than I don’t think it will be on my re-read list!
28 reviews61 followers
August 27, 2021
Dark Wings, Dark Words.

This is probably the most less action book in the series by far. But by the end, a lot is happening. Steel and Snow is the first half of A Storm of Swords, the third volume in the series. So its end is just the middle of the book. I am not going to deny, the story-line starts out really boring and slow-paced, but it will pick up its pace soon enough. George R.R. Martin said in a note at the beginning of the book that the opening chapters do not follow the the closing chapters in the second volume as much as they overlap them.

As usual, there are new perspective chapters to replace those who were gone or dead. The first one is Ser Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer. The book opens up with Jaime and Brienne while they are on their way to King's Landing, in order to exchange him with Sansa Stark. It was not good to be in his mind as much as it was interesting and important, in a way. For the first time, one can understand his motives and his seamy behaviors, and a little bit of his complex, incestuous relation with his sister Cersei. The presence with Brienne alongside him all over their journey made her take the role of the reader who knows nothing of him except what he would've heard. Despite that, she judged him and called him "Oathbreaker" a dozen of times through their dialogues. He was not very polite with her, too. For he is an arrogant man, he mocked her all the time and called her "Wench." His last chapter, in which contains the Bath part, is certainly the best. This is when Jaime confesses to Brienne about his past, and told her why he slew the king he has swore to protect. He was good and brave, but now he's not. Not evil, but not good all the same.

When Robb returned to Riverrun and discovered his mother's so-called treason, he forgave her and told her that he understands her reason. He did not blame her, maybe because he is a good son, but maybe also not to give her the chance to blame him for what he did. "I have won every battle, yet somehow I'm losing the war." And from scourge to torment and torment to scourge, Catelyn Stark is still the most strong and miserable mother in the Seven Kingdoms.

Afterwards, came my favorite character's chapter, Arya Stark's. She is still on her way to her parents at Riverrun in company of Gendry and Hot Pie. Her story-line has a lot of events earlier, in comparison to the other characters'. She meets Thoros of Myr, from the "Brotherhood Without Banners" who is serving no king, but rather aiming to save the world, and worshiping the one true God, The Lord of Light, R'hallor. The most thrilling chapter, when Lord Beric Dondarrion is introduced and fought. He is really one of the most characters I liked and one of of the main reasons I liked this book although he is probably a minor character and didn't appear that much.

This is only the beginning of a dire time for Tyrion. After the Battle at Blackwater, and Lannister's thunderous victory on Stannis, Lord Tywin Lannister returned at King's Landing and took Tyrion's place. Tyrion's end at A Clash of Kings was depressing, yet fair in my opinion. He was very idiot in Book Two, spending his whole time with a whore. Now that he woke up and returned to his wits with a scar on his face which made him look more monstrous than he already was, he discovers he is now nothing. He sees treason in every one he's known, even Bronn. Until he met his father, this part was truly rough for Tyrion and very cruel from his father. We understand how his father mistreats and persecutes him and why, and how he feels towards this. His tracending rage and the winds of anger were very convincing and credible.

One of my favorite characters, too, is Ser Davos. The loyal man who was though to be dead at the Battle, but he lived. When he returned, he found out that Stannis is now completely charmed by Melisandre, and was thinking that Davos is the reason behind his defeat against the Lannisters, for he was the man who convinced him not to take the Red Woman. And Davos was convinced that she is the one behind it. After a lot of suffering until the last chapter of the book, he was finally able to advise his Lord on the next move, and thought it would be wiser not to insist on keeping Melisandre away. "For the night is dark and full of terrors."

Sansa, however, is still at King's Landing, no longer betrothed to Joffrey. After her father's execution and all the stuff that happened, she finally realized there is a game to be played. Book Two was her best, I think, she was wise, choosing her words carefully and not trusting anybody in this realm of malicious vipers. Yet somehow, in this book, she is back to her stupid Book One character. The Tyrells are cunningly approaching her through Margeary, Loras, and the very funny Lady Olena. Sansa still imagines herself being wed to a Prince and have his babies...

Jon Snow has now one of the best story-lines which is definitely better than A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. He went with this wildling young, beautiful girl Ygritte, who is kissed by fire, and the other wildlings beyond the Wall. He met their king and their people and knew many things about them. But to make them certain that he is one of them and no longer a crow of the Night's Watch, he must break the oaths he took... Will he? We all must admire the writer for turning the most boring story-line to be the richier one.

I almost hated Daenerys' chapters in the previous volumes, she is a very good character and a strong Queen but she hadn't get the chance to actually do something! She just gave birth to her Dragons, which was great but not enough for two massive books of almost a thousand pages each. In this book, she travels to Astapor in order to buy an army for her. She faces a lot of hardships in her way, of course, but she did what she aimed for because she is a very strong woman. Her "Dracarys" scene is a mind-blowing part in the book and a point where the path of events totally changes.

Bran also didn't do anything but few in this book. He is still on his way to Jon at the Wall with Osha and Hodor. He has his visions. He meets someone alike. That's almost everything, that's why many get disappointed. But I think it was good, I started to like Bran a lot. Being with him while nothing so important is happening makes the reader know him more and predict his deeds in the moments of tension.

Finally, the second character who gets his own POV chapters is Samwell Tarly, Jon Snow's fat friend from the Night's Watch. I was not pleased at all by his mere presence in the books. He's a good person but I don't really think he's even useful. His chapters were so boring, to be honest.

I've missed Theon, I hated him but I now realize he was interesting...
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
680 reviews3,951 followers
July 20, 2019
“Why would the stars want to look down on such as me?”

A Storm of Swords is definitely a lot slower than it's predecessors. In this book, there's a sense everything is just on the verge of falling apart, like everyone is moving into position and soon there will be utter chaos. So I enjoyed the scheming, the political machinations, the set-ups and the lore that we get throughout this book - but I also found parts of it quite slow.

My favourite part of this book was definitely the backstory and history we get about the characters and the world. A lot if about Rhaegar, Aerys and Roberts Rebellion. I always find worldbuilding and history really interesting and engaging in fantasies so these bits really drew me in. While I did know a bit of it from the TV show, getting more was nice. And I really like how much George RR Martin has actually thought out this world and the histories and backstories of the characters. He reveals just enough to transform our perceptions of them without defining them - like Jaime for example, and I think that's fun.

I also noticed George R.R Martins writing a lot more in this. It was a little more poetic than the past two books which I appreciated.

My least favourite bit is how much TRAVELLING there is. Arya and Jaime's chapters are pretty much just them walking around and it was definitely boring. I think there was too many POVs in this with not enough for each of them to do, because although we hear from each character a few times, most of them don't actually have much to do.

My favourite to least favourite POVs are as follows:


“The world grows a little darker every day.”

Yes, unpopular opinion but I love Catelyn's chapters. I feel her pain! And I think the entire Stark camp is the one that has the most happening. Also I know whats about to happen and I want to appreciate them while I can.

Daenerys is one of my least favourite characters (another unpopular opinion) but I liked her scenes in this book especially in Qarth. Truly epic and iconic. Also I liked the reflection on Rhaegar/Aerys and the Targaryens reign in Westeros.

Sansa is MY GIRL and I like all the Kings Landing politics. Same reason I liked Tyrion's chapters.

I like Bran. I like Jojen and Meera. Their travel chapters were just more interesting to me than the others and also Bran had Summer with him and I'm just a sucker for those good boy wolves

“I'm not a lady, Arya wanted to tell her, I'm a wolf.”

Anyway, Game of Thrones is like a friendly warm fantasy world to return to. Which, I know sounds weird since it's brutal, but since I know the characters and the world and the majority of the story from the show it's such an easy and fun thing to return to and experience in a new way.

ANYWAYS I'm not sure when I'll get to A Storm of Swords part II. I'll be slowly making my way through this series since I want to catch up and be ready for the new release (when it's hopefully actually coming.)
Profile Image for Paul.
1,218 reviews1,962 followers
January 16, 2023
“The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.”
Martin continues to manage multiple plot lines and lots of plates spinning at once. I am reading a historical book about the women around the Norman Conquest and to be honest there is a certain similarity and it’s just as bloody and treacherous.
Gradually there seem to be fewer surprises and some characters have become a bit predictable, but I’m sure Martin is just lulling into a false sense of security. It’s as much a chess game as anything and the dragons are growing.
It’s all escapist nonsense, but sometimes it’s what I need.
Profile Image for Beks Counsell.
29 reviews40 followers
September 29, 2018
4.5 stars.

"Old stories are like old friends, she used to say. You have to visit them from time to time."

A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire #3 Part 1 of 2) was a very enjoyable albeit not very eventful book. Despite this it was very riveting and set the perfect stage for the events taking place in the next book. It's so expertly written that it felt as though I was experiencing everything for the first time even after watching the show. I was constantly on edge and cautious through-out the whole time reading, waiting for the next death or scheme to reveal itself.

What I admire about Martin's writing skill is his ability to write in several POVs and yet keep the story going without confusing or upsetting the reader's rhythm which makes it a comfortable, easy read. I never wanted to stop reading! I was surprised to find myself liking Sansa and enjoying her chapters as I didn't particularly like her in the show, which I also believe is to the credit of George R R Martin's writing ability.

"All men must die, Jon Snow. But first, we'll live."

Whilst this series is best known for its carnage and violence, I felt that this one was surprisingly tame which is what made it feel like it was somewhat lacking were the other books were not.

The only other negative I have to say about the book is that the under age wedding and intercourse is quite off putting, but is expected as they are present in the other books. I understand that this is the norm for the setting of the story and doesn't hinder the reading experience very much. That being said, if such subjects are sensitive to you I wouldn't recommend this series to you as it is present in many of the books.

"My sister has mistaken me for a mushroom. She keeps me in the dark and feeds me shit."

Something I love very much about these books is that whilst there is a lot of death, violence and gore there is also amazing humour. Tyrion Lannister's wit is one of the most note worthy things to take away from this series. His ability to use sarcasm as a weapon is amazing and inspiring. His sass has no bounds!

So whilst George R R Martin is busy killing, scheming against, maiming and planning revenge against our most beloved characters, at least we'll have a laugh whilst enduring it!

"Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens."

All in all this is another brilliant masterpiece, beautifully written. I cannot wait to continue the series which will no doubt emotionally ruin me but I'll enjoy every second of it! This series does contain sensitive subjects of a sexual nature/abuse so you may wish not to read it.
Profile Image for John.
1,201 reviews95 followers
August 1, 2023
Really enjoying this series. Jamie now has his own chapters. Tyrion and his intrigue. Robb betraying the Frey’s. Bran on his journey. Jon meets the red haired Ygritte. The Hound appears and survives. Arya an angry young girl. Hodor, Catelyn, Brianne are all great characters. Look forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Josh.
1,649 reviews155 followers
May 18, 2012
George R R Martin had fun with this instalment – the evidence is in the dialogue and actions of the characters who manage to find moments of jocularity amidst the chaos of war. Tyrion Lannister is his usual swashbuckling self with a sharper sense of violence honed through bloody battle and everyday dealing with his treacherous domesticated life. Robb Stark breaks an oath and gains comfort of the flesh – a choice sure to have ramifications on the war effort. While King Joffrey continues to echo the sentiments of a mad King – perhaps his fate will mirror that of Arrys (one can but hope)? Fan favourites continue to evolve (Arya, Jon, Robb Stark, Sansa, Cersei. Davos the Onion Knight etc.) while newer faces begin their slow rise to prominence (such as The Red Viper, Lady in Red, Stannis, Samwell etc.) through an intrinsically finely weaved web of violence, betrayal, magic, love, and duty.

Continuing the series evolution, the fantastical elements are becoming paramount to the core plot with a heavy emphasis on the unnatural and the mythic tales of wet nurses springing true from storybook to reality. There is a subtle beauty to the way Martin sneaks in these creatures of man and monster alike. So gentle is the hand that caresses their introduction that I had to reread certain passages as to ensure I didn’t misinterpret or skim over what was happening (this was not a chore and further enhanced Martins storytelling ability – this book is loaded with worthwhile double-takes). A particular interest of mine is the mysterious landscape over the Wall. Thankfully, the Brothers of the Black, Wildlings, and Others feature relatively frequently in this instalment.

Martin did have a tendency to exhaust the readers’ ability to follow the detailed and elaborate history of his well defined world and complex cast of characters by devoting generous passages to the multitude of back-stories. That said; I did enjoy reading the Kingslayers tale of how is moniker was attained and retained and the perception of his honour that both curses and praises him.

Dubbed as more a companion piece to ‘A Clash of Kings’ rather than a true sequel (as per the author intro) with chapters detailing events amidst the feverish battles of the previous book, I felt ‘A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow’ actually worked well as a sequel as many of its entries were a direct result of the preceding books outcomes. Much like the previous instalments, if not more so, ‘A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow’ has left me craving more of this world and its deep and violent history – 4 stars.
Profile Image for Νόρα.
256 reviews19 followers
July 11, 2016
Εξαιρετική πλοκή,μοναδικοί χαρακτήρες,υπέροχες εικόνες,πάρα πολύ δράση και διάσπαρτες ανατροπές που κρατούν το ενδιαφέρον αμείωτο και την αδρεναλίνη συνεχώς σε ψηλά επίπεδα.Ζοφερό και πιο σκοτεινό από τα προηγούμενα.Σε αυτό τον τόμο κυριαρχεί αυτή η αίσθηση του πεπρωμένου που κρέμεται από μια κλωστή,ακόμα και η πιο μικροσκοπική αλλαγή που μπορεί να κατακτήσει θρόνους και να συντρίψει στρατούς.Μιλάμε ίσως για το καλύτερο βιβλίο της σειράς μέχρι στιγμής.Δεν ξέρω τι άλλο να γράψω.Νομίζω πως έχω επεκταθεί πολύ στα προηγούμενα βιβλία που νιώθω ότι επαναλαμβάνομαι.
Ελπίζω το δεύτερο μέρος του τρίτου βιβλίου να είναι ακόμα καλύτερο.
Profile Image for Marko Jovanović.
248 reviews25 followers
May 10, 2020
Ne mogu još uvek da dam kompletan utisak dok ne pročitam i drugi tom, ali mogu da prokomentarišem neke pojedinosti. Osveženje je pripovedanje iz ugla nekih novih likova čije priče nisam čitao u prethodna dva dela... to su Sem Tarli i Džejms Lanister. Sem tu i tamo, ali Džejmi je izuzetno zanimljiv lik, sa svojim promišljenim sarkazmom, šalama na tuđ račun (naročito Brijenin) i redovnim podsmehom bukvalno svakome ko mu da ispiraciju za to.
Nisam napomenuo u recenzijama prethodna dva dela, ali ovde hoću, da mi je ubedljivo najdosadniji lik Ketlin Stark. Njeni monolozi mi uopšte ne prijaju jer ponekad umeju biti izuzetno patetični. I dalje mi ostaje najslabiji među glavnim likovima Igre prestola.
Ima puno dešavanja, ne u smislu konkretnih borbi, već u spletkama i perfidnim "zabijanjima noževa u leđa". Neki likovi su nakon bitke kod Crnobujice profitirali, neki izgubili, neki bili kolateralna šteta, a nad nekima je počinjena strahovita nepravda.
Mada navikao sam na to, ipak je u pitanju Martin.
Zanimljiv je prvi tom Oluje mačeva, mada očekujem da me u drugom tomu tek čekaju sočna dešavanja 😏
Profile Image for Kirstine.
459 reviews569 followers
November 14, 2015
It is a good book.
Rationally I know this. And I did enjoy it. There are some great characters, great stories and great writing. It's a very imaginative and epic tale. And it has tons of things I love, like dragons and sword fighting and magic and a huge wall of ice AND WILDLINGS. Rationally I know this.

But.. My emotional response?
Too many characters.
Too many storylines.
Too many things happening in different places.
AHHH. My poor head.

The things is, I care about too few of the PoV characters in these books to make any of them a quick read. I'm sorry, but the individual chapters are simply too short for me to properly bond with anyone who doesn't possess a personality that naturally resonates with me.

And it's so frustrating, because I find most of the storylines (and characters) exciting and compelling, I'm just not getting enough of any of them to really get into it. They're like sub-stories, with some a vague (or not so vague) relation to a main story that's hinted at (ALL THE TIME), but won't be revealed till the final book AND IT IS SO ANNOYING.
Because am I supposed to read each chapter, because I care about said character and want to know what happens to them? Because I don't. You can't give me 10 pages for every 100 I read and expect me to emotionally bond with ALL (or any) of them. I'll hand it to Martin that he writes all of the characters well, despite them all being so different. They all have their own voices, and that is the mark of a great writer. It's not that the chapters are bad (although some are more exciting than others) it's that they're too short.

It's a matter of personal taste, of course. I'd simply prefer fewer PoV characters and longer PoV chapters, and if that lessens the epic scale of the series, then I'm okay with it.
I'll keep reading though, because Martin is an incredible writer, and I know hanging on will pay of a hundred times in the end, but right now I am very frustrated.

I have hopes that things change with A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, what with having to split the PoV's up - so more time for each character! - but perhaps things will already get better in the second half. Let's see!
Profile Image for Paul.
2,143 reviews
December 1, 2014
Westeros is still in the grip of the War. Joffrey Baratheon holds the Iron Throne, but Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Stannis Baratheon, jostle for their claim with blood and steel. Catelyn Stark has released Jaime Lannister as an exchange for her daughters, Sansa and Arya, who she still believes are at King's Landing. Having been victorious until now, Robb Stark suffers setbacks, and learns that Winterfell has been taken, and his other brothers are now presumed dead.

In the North the Wildlings are marching on the wall, with a pitiful small force of Night's Watch to counteract them. With the wights also attacking them, they realise the odds are so far stacked against until they realise that there is a possible way to defeat these creatures of the night. In the east Daenerys Targaryen is trying to raising forces to retake the Iron throne, which she sees as her divine right. She encounters slave trading, and makes plans to release these people from they captors.

As the players in the game of thrones move their pieces, the stakes are raised higher and higher. In this world you win; or you die.

Martin has managed to continue this epic tale of the land of Westeros in the same vain as before. There is not so much action in this one, but you get a full realisation that he is setting the scenes for the next books as the characters develop and grow, rise and fall, win and die. He is not afraid to eliminate characters as you get to know them, and occasionally even like them. This world that he has created is tough and brutal, and I like that way that the underlying magic, adds a little zing to all that is happening.

But what makes this series so good is the political manoeuvring and intrigue that he has infused into this land. As alliances are forged and broken, loyalties are tested beyond all measure.
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
1,015 reviews529 followers
July 5, 2021
We’re beginning to drift a bit from what I remember of the tv series; but I’m still absolutely obsessed and loving it.
Profile Image for Chris.
503 reviews80 followers
March 31, 2019
After finishing A Clash Of Kings I couldn't contain myself: I had to pick up the first part in The Song of Ice and Fire-series immediately. And... I finished this bad boy in seven days. I loved A Clash Of Kings, but o my god. I can't even begin to explain how much shit goes down in this first volume of the third book (A Storm of Swords is split in two books (in most editions at least), namely: Steel and Snow and Blood and Gold).

"The night is dark and full of terrors, the day bright and beautiful and full of hope. One is black, the other white. There is ice and there is fire. Hate and love. Bitter and sweet. Male and female. Pain and pleasure. Winter and summer. Evil and good. Death and life."

A Storm Of Swords continues right where A Clash Of Kings ended. The war between the Five Kings continues (well, at this moment four, to be honest; Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Joffrey Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy; Renly sadly didn't make it through a dark night full of terrors...). Stannis tried to take King's Landing, but failed miserably. It was an intense fight and I must admit that I was kind of team-Stannis, although I would have hated it if Sansa didn't make it. Speaking of Sansa, her life is changing for the better. Although, so it seemed. The Small Council decided that an alliance with House Tyrell would be good, so King Joffrey is to be married to Margaery Tyrell, widow of Renly Baratheon. Sansa is free of the cruel boy and Margaery and her grandmother Olenna, "The Queen of Torns", treat her very well. Yet, her luck changes too quickly: she is to be married to Tyrion Lannister, who she sees as an ugly dwarf.

"Love’s not always wise, I’ve learned. It can lead us to great folly, but we follow our hearts ... wherever they take us."

I might have been team-Stannis in the fight for Kings Landing; in the ultimate war for the throne I am team-Stark. In A Storm Of Swords we read about Robb's fight through his mothers eyes. And Robb is not making the best decisions. He might be winning a lot of battles, he is not making friends: while being engaged to one of the daughters of Walder Frey, he marries another girl he fell in love with. All very sweet, but incredibly dumb. His younger sister Ayra is on an adventure of her own and becomes quite tough on the way.

"Old stories are like old friends. You have to visit them from time to time."

The Night's Watch have a confrontation with the White Walkers on the Fist of the First Men. The person who seems most unlikely to shine on a moment like this, actually does: Sam Tarly kills a White Walker, using a blade of dragonglass. Jon Snow is on his own expedition without The Night's Watch, joining the wildings north of the Wall. He is constantly in a fight with himself; to which camp does he belong? Definitely since he seems to be falling in love with the wilding Ygritte (loved her in the tv-series, but love her even more in the book) You know nothing, Jon Snow. Jon's "brother" Bran is also on his way to the other side of the Wall. He is able to live through his wolves eyes and his companion Jojen can see certain aspects of the future. I am definitely very curious where this story line is heading. I can feel Bran will become extremely important in later books.

Tyrion: "You hide behind courtesy as if it were a castle wall." Sansa: "Courtesy is a lady's armor."

Finally, let's talk about Daenerys. If you've seen the tv-series, there are several epic parts you just want to read about, one being the one with the Unsullied, her dragons and Daenerys saying "Dracarys". All I can say is that that scene is extremely awesome. When I finished the chapter I had to reread it right away. Which was the same when I saw the episode for the first time; I just re-watched that bit over and over. Daenerys is one extremely bad-ass lady.

Olenna: "Margaery, you're clever, be a dear and tell your poor old half-daft grandmother the name of that queer fish from the Summer Isles that puffs up to ten times its own size when you poke it." Margaery: "They call them puff fish, Grandmother." Olenna: "Of course they do, Summer Islanders have no imagination."

I loved this book. I think this is my favorite so far. Just so much things happen. So much even, that sometimes I returned to a character after several chapters and completely forgot about that epic cliffhanger which connected to him or her. I would like to say I will take my time again and that I will not pick up the next book too soon, but who am kidding: I don't have that kind of power over myself.
Profile Image for Sam.
24 reviews3 followers
June 29, 2018
This series is amazing. There are still some character's chapters that I dred every time I flip the page. Catelyn and Bran especially. It is still great to see the writing style change between different points of view but knowing how long the chapters are, it is an effort to start every chapter with one of their character names at the beginning. But Jamie, Tyrion, Arya, Samwell and Jon were all constantly exciting. The introduction of two of my favourite characters from the show which is Bad-ass Dany after she frees the slaves of Astapor and Prince Oberyn made for epic moments. Reading the subtle changes between the show and the books is always fun. I really struggled to read this book because of the sheer size. 10 pages of Game of Thrones equals over 50 of another book. There is so much stack onto every page, it really takes it out of the reader. AND THAT WAS ONLY HALF. But its all worth it in the end.

P.S whoever read this book all at once is a God!
Profile Image for Evripidis Gousiaris.
229 reviews100 followers
August 11, 2016
Δεν ξέρω αν είναι όντως τόσο ωραίο ή αν οφείλεται στο ότι είμαι λίγο "nerd" αλλά ανυπομονώ για την συνέχεια :)
Profile Image for Ashton Jade Gibbs.
33 reviews201 followers
October 27, 2014
A Storm of Sword: Steel and Snow (Part One) – George R.R. Martin

“Martin has captured the imagination of millions.” - Guardian

The above quote which is featured on the front of the book holds so so true. George R.R. Martin is sheer brilliance when it comes to creating an exciting world for readers. Even now, after reading over 2,000 pages of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin is adding details that deepen our knowledge of the land, the history and the people of this spectacular world, and he does so without overwhelming us. He clearly puts an immense amount of work into his art, allowing us to really construct Westeros in our mind and form connections with the characters we love whilst being utterly repulsed by the characters we loathe. *cough* Joffrey *cough* Cersei.

Yet again, character development in this book is just magnificent. Arya Stark is slowly becoming one of my favourite fictional characters, and I love reading scenes with her and Gendry. (I totally want them to get together and grow old and have little warrior babies together). Tyrion is another favourite of mine, as from the start. He’s witty, amusing and exciting and it’s a joy to read his chapters, even just for his dialogue.

So far I have enjoyed the addition of the Tyrells, and they’re pretty high in my estimation for now simply because they try to help Sansa. My feelings towards Sansa Stark have changed the most out of anyone. I’ve gone from considering her a bratty, little snob of a girl, to feeling for her as a victim, and finally to admiring the clever, young woman she is becoming.

My favourite addition to this book, however, are the chapters involving Brienne and Jaime. I need not say much for Brienne, simply that she’s awesome. She’s loyal, kind, innocent and brave. I want a friend like Brienne. Now, on to Jaime. Previously, Jaime wasn’t exactly a strong contender for “Top Character I Feel For” in ASOIAF. What he did to Bran, how he helped Ned’s downfall, and his relationship with Cersei (that s**t seriously just makes my skin crawl, ew.) are a strong recipe for dislike. We are, however, beginning to see the better side and the true depth of this character in A Storm of Swords Part One, and I can’t wait to see more. And I want him and Brienne to fall in love at some point... (Does anyone else agree?)

Finally, I want to discuss one more person – Daenerys. I haven’t exactly been shy in the past about how I think she’s a whiny, moaning bitch. This still stands, and I’m gonna add cruel bitch to the list too because I think she’s a meanie moo to Jorah, but... I actually really enjoyed reading her chapters in this book, woooo! Of everything that has been included in her chapters, the Unsullied have been the best. I love how she handled the whole affair, and I can’t wait to see how things unfold with them in the future.

I’ve seen people comment on how this book drags, or is uninteresting in comparison to the first two. People need to remember that this began as a hell of a long book and it’s been chopped in half for the ease of some readers. Treated as a lone book it could be pretty disappointing, but as the first half of a larger book, it’s a great run up to bigger and better things. Predictability is currently standing at zero, and I’m expecting lots of drama in the next book, and have been foretold by my brother that the next one is amazing...

Profile Image for Janani(ஜனனி)⁷.
597 reviews229 followers
February 28, 2017
Thanks to my friends. I need to appreciate their works for trying to spoil me. They watched the series and I'm planning to watch it after reading the books. So you know now, how they threatened to fire the spoilers at me. Sometimes I would be so shocked that I need to know what will happen next immediately as the characters have alternate POVs we won't know until their next. In that case, I will ask them, they will explain so nicely and when I tried to relieve my breath in sigh they would drop the spoiler too. And then I was like "Screw me for asking". So after a lot of battling with them, I finished it finally.

-- One part down. One more to go.
-- I like the book sure, but I just couldn’t understand the hype about it.
-- The plot was not enough fast-paced when compared to the first two books.
-- As always, the writing was appealing.
-- For God’s sake, I’m having A LOT OF trouble with remembering their names.
-- The world is quite complex.
-- I definitely had some moments with this book.

Profile Image for Chris C.
122 reviews7 followers
August 4, 2019
*UPDATE: I said I would have to come back to this review and sure enough, having just finished the second part of this story, I can confirm this is without a DOUBT a 5 star book as a whole and probably my favouritebook in the series so far.*

I'm probably going to have to come back to this rating once I've finished the second part of this book. I'm rating this 4 stars for now as I'm basing it purely on what I've read so far, however, it would obviously be unfair to not rate this in line with how I felt about the book in its' entirety.

So far though, still really enjoying this series. If I had any issue is that is seems to have almost halted the pace I felt the first two books had. It's no surprise the book set I have split this book into two because it is just stuffed with information, sometimes interesting, sometimes not.
Profile Image for Elena.
570 reviews181 followers
June 26, 2015
Yes yes yes! Oh how I love this series!
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