Alex 's Reviews > A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jan 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy

I don't have the first idea how to start reviewing this book. Well, I do, but I'm quite physically and mentally exhuasted from the reading of this book to feel inclined to dissect the matter contained within. So instead, I'm going to write an emotive review.


It's really a continuation of the ideas and themes from the first two novels. If there's a difference, though, it's that Martin clearly felt he'd done a lot of grandiose stuff with the Battle at King's Landing and decided to slow things up even more and take even more time (you didn't believe that was possible, did you?) building up the separate plot strands, weaving them into an intricate web in which little incidents and character motivations are interconnected, playing off of each other in ways you couldn't dream of, until they happen and you're convinced that YOU TOTALLY SAW THAT COMING!! Despite the achingly slow pace of the narrative, Storm of Swords is probably the most popular entry in the series and that's because of the continual narrative bombshells that blow the poor unsuspecting reader to smithereens in this second section of the book. If the world and people of Westeros seemed fragile enough beforehand, once you're at the end of this volume the entire political landscape has changed yet again, thanks to the scheming and conniving present in this volume. It's amazing because - despite the constant claims from some detractors that this is a "soap-opera" - it's all planned out and signalled right from the first book "Game of Thrones" which for me makes each and every colossal, world changing, head-spinning, rage inducing plot twist here so ridiculously satisfying.

I could write something interesting about the themes of this book. How every character has their own idea about honour and how that affects their standing within the so-called Game of Thrones, how they're undone by their loves and passions, or how feasts and hospitality is used as a motif. But dammit, reading this book has destroyed my ability to write in sentences. I don't know what else it's destroyed.

To sum up: I liked it.

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Reading Progress

January 9, 2012 – Started Reading
January 9, 2012 – Shelved
January 17, 2012 –
20.0% "Oh, holy fuck."
January 18, 2012 –
40.0% "Oh, it's on bitches."
January 19, 2012 –
70.0% "This is exhausting. Reading books is supposed to be relaxing, dammit."
January 20, 2012 –
82.0% "He didn't just do that did he? Well, son of a gun, I certainly didn't expect that or that to happen. How many more insane revelations does this book have left in it?"
January 20, 2012 – Finished Reading
January 23, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Swensen If you make it past this book, you will have "beat" me in terms of Ice and Fire. I lost interest in the series midway through this volume.

Alex I'm sorry that this series didn't turn out to be for you. I'm not really sure why it was at this point that you'd had enough, especially as this one seems to be a fan-favourite. The pace is a lot slower and I guess that could make it feel a little frim and relentless - but that's absolutely fine by me, it's delivering exactly what I want from it ... it's been a while since I've been so engrossed by a story set on such a massive scale since these things are so rarely written with such skill.

message 3: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Swensen I think it was mostly that the more characters Martin added, the less interested I became, especially when the existing plots didn't seem to be moving as fast as I would like. But it's been years.

Alex They're very, very dense but I guess that's one thing that I like about them. There have definitely been times when I'm overwhelmed by the number of characters, or realised that someone was incredibly important who had previously been mentioned in one line 500 pages ago that I'd forgotten about. But, yeah, it's that level of detail and planning that makes everything matter and feel important to me.

Not that you can't criticise them at all. I think that the biggest problem I have is the structure of the novels only allows for a chapter at a time on each story-strand and sometimes the book can spend far too long away from characters and events that are intriguing you only to shift to something else. Added to that the plotlines move achingly s-l-o-w-l-y, which I like, but I guess I understand that this could be frustrating.

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