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For fans of: the HBO series, battles and very, very long books.
Blurb: Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. 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. And as opposing forces manoeuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by 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...
Spoilers ahead! (C'mon these books have been out since about forever and there's a TV show.)
Cover: The cover is simple, as it is on all other books of this series, and that's a good choice, in my opinion. Less is more, which doesn't apply to the content of the series (;
Content: Oh, where do I start? There's just so much going on. So many characters, so many story lines, so many battles and so much redundant stuff. I love most main characters, but when it comes to side characters I have no clue who they are. Mostly because they are a Ser Something or just some person that shows up once and then maybe 300 pages later and then you don't know who that was. This is why I prefer the TV series, because at least you see their faces there.
What surprised me the most is the amount of strong women there. High Fantasy novels written by male authors often feature women that are just pretty and/or sex objects. I mean, there's still a lot of sex happening here, but the ladies in the series really kick ass! Honestly, I can't decide who's my favourite. Cersei? Ygritte? Daenerys? Margaery? Arya? Brienne? I even started to like Sansa. In the first book she was this spoiled little brat and look at her now. She's been through a lot and has grown with it.
Of course there are awesome men, too. Jon and Tyrion might be the most relateable ones. The makers of the TV show definitely casted the perfect actors for each role, in my opinion. But a funny thing is Daario Naharis who is differently described in the book, he has blue hair and beard here. His character in the TV Show has been recast and even the second time around they didn't go for it. Not that I don't like Michiel Huisman, I would have just loved to see a blue haired Daario Naharis (;
And then there are characters I really hated and, honestly, I have to compliment George R. R. Martin on that, too. One word: Joffrey. Ugh.
What really broke my heart again was Jon and Ygritte. The situation was aweful on the show and has been even worse in the book. Their relationship was fun while it lasted and some part of me hoped that Ygritte would have survived for some reason.
Writing Style: The thing that makes this book so wordy is that everything is explained right down to the last detail. So many narrations just don't add to the process of the actual story and sometimes I didn't really get why these are in the book. I know that George R. R. Martin let himself be inspired by oral narration traditions, but here it is simply too much most of the time.
Besides that, Martin's writing style isn't too bad. I often read just one chapter and then read something else and that way it was really okay.
You can tell that he put a lot of effort into his characters and the world building. There's definitely a lot to explore in future books.
My conclusion: A Storm of Swords is my favourite book in this series so far. The previous book was quite tough, but here there's a lot of character developement going on. I can recommend it to everyone who has watched and liked the TV series. It's really worth it, especially for that surprise in the end.
My rating: 3/5 Buttons