Camille's Reviews > A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
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Feb 07, 2008

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** spoiler alert ** I am conflicted after reading this installment of "A Song of Ice and Fire". I don't think I have read a book where more main characters were killed off in one volume. Is there anyone left to cheer for, to despise? Who will be triumphant in the end? Do I care anymore? Can I realy bring myself to admit that I am starting to cling to Jaimie Lannister as a hero. I am tired of Sansa and Arya finding themselves in deeper and deeper trouble with every step they take. I do know that if Stannis and his Red Witch win the Iron throne I will be furious and if it is Danerys I will write a nasty letter to the Author for wasting my time. I am however more and more interested about what is going on beyond the wall. Jon Snow's storyline is never disapointing. Bran and his journey to find the 3 eyed crow is also invading my thoughts at random. Could Benjen somehow be involved here? We have never solved the mystery of his disappearance. I am begining to feel like all this game of thrones was just an unnecessary distraction to the real story at the wall.

I will stick with it and read the next book, but the end of this series had better be spectacular, and not in the direction it is currently heading.
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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Dick I threw the book after reading the wedding feast chapter. I couldnt read the book again for at least a week. A lot of good people die in this book. I really didnt like the fourth book but I have high hopes for the fifth. I love Bran's and John's stories.

Camille I have read that the next book only follows some storylines. Who is included in Feast of Crows and who do we have to wait for?

Dick The storylines in the feast of Crows are all the secondary charactors in my opinion. No John or Bran. Arya has only a couple. Most of the storylines are new charactors or ones that did not have their own storyline in previous books.

message 4: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Funny... I did exactly what Dick said he did after reading the wedding feast chapter. I haven't been able to pick the book back up since then and I'm not sure I want to continue. I think I came in search of the opinion of others on the rest of the series to see if it's really worth it.

It is a shame because up until that point, I thought this author was my new Robert Jordan. I love the complex characters and intricate plots that these authors create. Many get bored and impatient by such writing but it creates an even richer world for me.

The real disappointment here is that I invested so much into the rich stories of these characters only to see a number of them suddenly slaughtered. I was SO looking forward to Catelyn and Robb finally being reunited with Arya and seeing how much she has grown. I wanted Catelyn to see that BECAUSE Arya was not the fragile little flower that Sansa was, she survived on her own and has even killed others in order to survive. I thought that Catelyn's exposure to Brienne would soften her to the thought of her own daughter being a warrior in her own right instead of the little princess she had wanted her to be - content with sewing lessons and the prim and proper ways of a Lady. I wanted to see that payoff. Instead, all of it was snuffed out on one lousy page that left me screaming "what the @#$& just happened??!!!!"

Maybe that's life. Maybe it's "real life" pure and simple and Martin should be lauded as a genius for injecting that grim reality into his fantasy series: life sometimes sucks and on your way to glory, you just die. But that's not what I personally want to get out of something in which I invest countless hours of reading. I want the payoff. I want to see all the struggles and triumphs of the characters mean something. The Starks were the heroes in this world - they were a family and I wanted to see that family come back together again. I wanted them, as a family, to see how strong they've all individually become when shoved out into the cruel world on their own. Now, it's no longer about the family. It's just a bunch of individual characters on their own, scattered all over the lands and I don't really care anymore. I'll never get to see Jon Snow show Catelyn that he was "worthy" of the Stark legacy and have her eat her cruel words to him before he left for The Wall. I'll never get to cry for joy along with Catelyn when she learns that her two youngest sons were never really killed and that bother her daughters survive. All of those payoffs were tossed right down the privy. Catelyn, of all the characters in this series HAD to survive. Robb could die, fine, but not Catelyn.

I think there is a reason that Martin has not yet been able to deliver the 5th book in this series. I think he blew it and he knows it. I think this series died along with Catelyn on page 705 of A Storm of Swords. I've read nothing yet on here that compels me to finish A Storm of Swords much less pick up A Feast for Crows. Such a shame... I really had high hopes for both the series and the author. Certainly, a good book isn't always going to turn out the way you expect. I'll even say that a great book will NEVER do that. But you can't ask a reader to invest so much into the lives of certain players only to blithely destroy them and leave a big empty hole. Martin can't possibly expect me to trust him with the lives of Arya, Jon, Bran or even Sansa knowing he may just as easily do that again. Who is left? Daenerys? Whatever. She has an army of eunuch juggernauts and three dragons... who cares? At the beginning of this book Martin says "for Phyllis, who made me put the dragons in." He should have just told her to STFU. That probably became his new focus and for me, the ruin of the series.

Josh Regarding Kevin's comment, you should certainly finish reading ASOS, regarding Catelyn's eventual fate...

Dick Josh is right you should read it...I dont think you will like it but you should read it.

message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Yeah, I've been tempted to pick the book back up again. I just remember how much I thoroughly enjoyed the series until that chapter and then it felt like he flushed everything I had hoped for straight down the toilet. But I am curious to learn the fates of a few of the remaining major players. Maybe I'll at least try to get to the end of this book and be done with it. A few of my other favorite authors have some new books out now (Kevin J Anderson and Peter F. Hamilton) to step in for this loss if I don't continue.

Josh From my perspective, the Red Wedding had the effect of (1) making me hate the Freys and (2) getting, if anything, more emotionally involved in the series. There's always revenge, after all, and some other mysteries are cleared up by the end of the book. So, while George R. R. Martin has earned your ire over this, I'd say that his intent was to make you really feel the loss - and anger - over such an injustice.

Camille I am with out a doubt less emotionally attatched to the series after the Red Wedding, and the related events in a Feast for Crows, which I will not elaborate on for fear of spoilers. For me revenge is not possible, because who is left to exact it. Those who may be strong enough to seek revenge are busy following the path that leads to the true plot line of this book (ie Jon and Bran). Everything else seems to be a diversion.

message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin I'm now a couple of chapters back into it and the best way to describe my reading pace is... plodding forward. I'm only mildly interested in events at Kings Landing. I find myself skimming over a lot of Jon's stuff at Castle Black. Joffrey has been made out to be such a one-dimensional, hateful pr*ck that by the time he finally does get his comeuppance, unless he's flayed inch by inch and force fed to Cercei (by Sansa and Tyrion) while he's still alive, anything that happens to him and his mother won't be in any way satisfying; death is not enough. I don't care what happens to the Freys. The old Frey is walking death anyhow and half out of his gourd, so any consequences to him is one big "meh.". Argh... I don't know if I'll have enough doctor/dentist waiting room sessions in one decade to finish the last 400 pages because I find it hard to pick up the book now for anything less than being bored out of my mind.

message 11: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Alright, JUST now finally finished A Storm of Swords.


hmm...'s a bit of a mess. I'm somewhat intrigued by the fates of some of the Stark children again but I find myself both liking this series and despising it to even greater levels than before. But Catelyn... what was that? That just came from nowhere. She's south of the wall and I don't believe precedent has ever been established for even the possibility of that weirdness so it seemed a bizarre and foreign thing.

Perhaps it has something to do with ancient laws and breaking the oath of hospitality or whatever it's called but she prays to the seven gods, not the old ones that Eddard did so... it's a mess.

I have the next book, as I ended up buying the whole series after the first one seemed so promising so I'll likely continue reading. But honestly...

message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Made it through A Feast for Crows. It was a bit disappointing that some of our favorite characters were missing entirely from this book but Martin has a final comment chapter at the end called "Meanwhile back on the wall..." where he explains that he'd rather write 100% about half the characters than 50% on all of them. The shocking thing is that his comment is dated June 2005 as though "the other half" was just around the corner. Here we are exactly 3 years later and I expect that book is still at least half a year away, guessing by comments on his website. I came to the series rather late but I imagine early adopters have long since moved on.

I still don't know how I feel about this author and this series. Martin has won me back in many ways because the characters and the world he builds are so rich... and then he goes and flushes them down the toilet in a heartbeat. Worse, he sometimes reaches down in there and pulls them out again, all coated with slime and stinking of death.

Also, with as much killing that goes on in this series, I don't know who else will be left to die by the time Dany fires up her dragons and flies west.

I also have a feeling this series is going to go on and on like Robert Jordan did with his Wheel of Time novels. Sadly, that series will never have a proper ending now that Jordan has left us. At the rate at which the books now seem to be written for A Song of Ice and Fire, we may very well see the same thing happen here.

message 13: by Jeff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeff Camille, Dick, Kevin....I agree 100%! I loved reading these books until Robb and Catelyn and Grey Wind are I'm much less excited about my afternoon reading! One reason I liked the series was the plot was unpredictable....but the Red Wedding has gone too far! I suppose I will continue reading....but....
Now I'm wondering what i'll read next that will even come close to the enjoyment I experienced reading the first two and a half books! Any suggestions? (I've already read The Great Book of Amber and Lord of the Rings twice). I'm going to check out Robt Jordon...but seriously, has anyone found a writer like George Martin since Zelazny?
Thanks Camille, Kevin, Dick and Josh!

Camille Try "the Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss, I haven't been as amazed by a book in a long time. Now would be a great time to pick up Wheel of Time. The final book is going to be published in 3 volumes the first to be released in November, the 2nd and 3rd in yearly increments afterward. I love the books of Brandon Sanderson who is finishing the wheel of time project, so I am really looking forward to finally putting that series to rest, and it is always nice to dive into a series when the conclusion is imminent. Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series is also worth reading

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