Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #3
Edition: Paperback, 1128 Pages
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage, 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 evil 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 left in the world. And as opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mystical 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…
So after the events of Clash of Kings, where it became the beginning of the aptly named “clash of kings” and an all out war for the throne…many of our main characters are still trying to find some solid ground to stand on. Solid ground which honestly doesn’t exist, unless you’re Daenerys…in which case all you have to do is command things to go your way and they basically do. We learn that weddings are events full fantastic food (seriously, what’s up with all the food?!), baudy bedding traditions, and things bad for ones health. In fact I’m trying to think if there was a wedding in this book that didn’t turn out to be awful for at least one person…and I think their are like 5(ish) weddings or something similar in this one. There is even more intrigue and outright deceit, some new friendships, new romances…and new magic!
We are also treated to two new points of view, Jaime Lannister and Samwell Tarly..I actually appreciated getting to know Jaime despite the internal groaning when I saw the first chapter. I figured Jaime for a brilliant soldier, but a rather weak minded individual that just does what he’s told. But once I finished the book i can honestly say I like him, he’s got gross tastes in women (namely the only woman he has eyes for), but he’s actually rather smart and has a lot more to his story than I thought he had to offer. We get his account of what happened the day everyone named him Kingslayer and we get more on his relationship with Cersei, for better or for worse. We get to see more of Melisandre, who has gone from slightly scary to sort of weirdly pathetic. I mean she’s still terrifying in what she’s capable of, but I don’t have a mind for prophecy so anytime she conveniently changed her tone about something I just sort of snorted. Arya continues to be a badass, and if at all possible has become more so. Jon Snow is coming into his own at the Wall and beyond, and I’m super excited to find out just how his story progress because it has HUGE potential. Catelyn is still irritating as hell and still among my most hated characters. Joffery is at his most Joffery-est…which basically left me seething or wishing someone would strangle him with his own crown. Sansa’s chapters were also a pleasant surprise, as she slowly becomes more of a player in the game and less of a pawn. That being said, by the end of the book she’s still very much terrified of everything and everyone like she is at the beginning, she’s just a bit more aware of what’s going on and how to react. Tyrion is another favorite that remains where he is. These books would be a rather serious if not for his witty quips and insults, and over all cynical nature about the world and his family.
And last but not least Dany…my lovely Kahleesi, the Mother of Dragons, the unburnt, the….why the hell does she have so many titles? Dany’s chapters are some of my favorite parts of these books. She’s in her teens and she’s already striking fear into the hearts of men (mostly men anyway) over the Narrow Sea. There were some new developments that I didn’t expect, and some that hint that her story might slow down for a bit in the future.
At this point my list of people I want dead has gotten longer, even with a few crossed out. I feel like Arya when she whisper each name before she goes to sleep. The fact remains that even a book this huge can still be a ton of fun read. It might take me a while, and there might be a few chapters I could careless about but I still appreciated all of it. The warring points of view lend a full view of events as they happen, you also get to see ‘bad’ characters as good people and vice versa. I look forward to getting into A Feast of Crows!