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A Storm of Swords (ASoIaF #3) by George R.R. Martin

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world....

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . ."

My Review:
I'm actually quite speechless! So many ups and downs in this book, from the beginning to the epilogue, it's amazing! If you haven't started on the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series yet, start, because reading to get to this book alone is reward in itself. It starts off really tame as the characters just go through the motions of travel, but advances a little over halfway through, dramatically. There were several times when I had to stop because I felt all the emotions between sadness, bitterness and, well, angry. GRRM plays with his readers like kids play with toys, as he directs us to believe things one way, and then jerks us to believe the opposite. A Storm of Swords could really be alternatively titles A Mock of Marriages, as there are so many in the book. The development of his characters in this book are astounding and in depth as he delves forward to releasing more of the truth of their souls.

Thoughts on A Storm of Swords main characters:

Arya: Arya is all over the place. Once people find out what she may be worth she unknowingly starts moving all over Westoros, when all she wants to do is go home; that is if her mom will take her. This seems to be her constant worry, that her mother and Brother Robb won’t accept her if they knew all the sins she’s committed. I believe she’ll be alright in that aspect... she’s only trying to survive after all. She seems to be well in control of her life choices and actions. I have loved seeing Arya’s character grow within the last two books, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, and her adventures in this book didn’t fail to astonish me as well.

Davos: I didn’t care for him in A Clash of Kings, and I don’t care for him in this book either. I assume he’s being introduced into this series because he later has a large part in everything, other than being GRRM’s puppet to show what’s going on in the realm of Stannis Baratheon and Melissandre.

Sansa: If Arya’s trying to survive with sins (as she believes), Sansa’s trying to survive with good deeds. Also, in contrast to her sister, Sansa seems to have no control over her life whatsoever. She’s grown on me so much within these last two books, and I admire her for her strength and pity her for her constant downfalls. I was a bit peeved at her character for being so stuck up in A Game of Thrones, but I’ve now come to the realization “What would I do if I were in her position?” Honestly, I can’t see myself pulling an Arya and daring to escape the walls of King’s Landing, so I’m sure I’d end up in Sansa’s position. I do, however, feel she’s a bit superficial in her daydreams of love and being a wife and should mature in that factor, but upon further thinking: she’s young, and being in her hostage situation daydreams are all she really have.

Tyrion: Tyrion is always an interesting character, and puts himself in interesting, if not compromising, situations. Having to follow the orders of his Father, Lord Tywin, and knowing more of his familial back history, I sympathize with him. With all he’s been through he’s seem to lost a lot of his power in the realm as well as, dare I say it, his wit. I somehow feel he’s getting a bit depressed, and not just because he’s an ‘imp’. I’m really quite glad that he’s appearing in all the books so far, because I’d feel quite lost in the book without him.

Catelyn: A strong mother who keeps taking hit after hit. Everybody is leaving her, whether through death, war, shunning or maturing. All of her faith in this book lies in hands of Brienne, but even she has no contact with the gallant woman. She cares for her son, Robb, but knows she must let him make his own decisions, and obey him as he tries to find a way to win the war. Although she witnesses the mistakes of her loved ones, Catelyn tries to go for the positive and inwardly think of solutions to mend the situations. Everything Catelyn does and thinks of is out of an act of love and vengeance for the family she has left, although there are situations that even she cannot mend.

Bran: Bran is searching for a three eyed crow. As absurd as this sounds, I see the symbolism in that Bran is actually looking for himself; learning more and more about himself as the journey continues. His gift is very useful in the survival of Jojen, Meera, Hodor, and himself, as he channels his inner wolf, among other things.

Jon: Apparently Jon Snow doesn’t know anything, still. As it is repeated over and over and over again in this book. Perhaps Jon is still clearheaded on his goals, which leads him to temptation and deception. I do believe Jon wants to be an honorable man of the Night's Watch but in reality, if he wasn’t so caught up on him being bastard-born, he would like to have a wife and family one day. Towards the ending of his storyline I was thinking, wow, this is like Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire lol! But I'm sure Jon will get it together.

Daenerys: I feel Daenerys is becoming very arrogant, although I do love seeing the display of Women Power. I think she feels she can do whatever she pleases, even if it means hurting those most loyal to her to obtain her prize. More so, I feel that she should think more before she acts. Going off of the visions other’s have set for her are not enough; she needs to have visions of her own.

Jaime: Seeing things from his perspective has brought me to really like Jaime. What goes through his mind, and how he evaluates situations are interesting and can be quite endearing. I’ve started to see him as sort of an emotional wreck when it comes to Cersie, as she just uses him like a pawn in her game. Strip The Kingslayer of his walls and you’ll find a man of heart, yearning and family pride.

Samwell: I believe he can be courageous, he’s just afraid of bravery. I can see that he can be quite smart, when it comes to things unrelated to fighting, and if he could stop and think once in a while instead of surviving off anxiety, he can be somewhat of a leader. He needs to put the past abuse of his father behind him to find his courage and strive. There are more than just the physical type of brave, there’s mental as well.

"'Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.'" (50)

"'A fat man always sits comfortably, I am thinking for he takes his pillow with him wherever he goes.'" (112)

"Gendry looked almost a man grown, and dangerous. Hot Pie looked like Hot Pie." (145)

"'Old stories are like old friends, she used to say. You have to visit them from time to time.'" (279)

"'Sometimes I think everyone is just pretending to be brave, and none of us really are. Maybe pretending is how you get brave, I don't know.'" (370)

"'Wedding have become more perilous than battles, it would seem.'" (711)

"Robb had become a hero king; if Jon was remembered at all, it would be as a turncloak, an oathbreaker, and a murderer." (830)

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