Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin

Wow.  So good.  I definitely see now why my cousins said this one was their favorite (at least until the fifth book).  If the fifth book is better than this, I cannot wait to get to it!  A Storm of Swords picked up where #2, A Clash of Kings, left off.  After Kings, I had been feeling a little unsure.  The series is great, of course, but I thought that maybe Martin's sophomore slump would continue into Swords.  I could not have been more wrong.  He picked up the story with the same fervor and excitement that I loved in the first book.  Before you head over the break, here is your official SPOILER ALERT! 
The biggest struggle for me with Martin's story-telling style is the introduction of new characters or new perspectives.  It takes time to come to know them and care about their story lines.  I think this makes getting into each new book difficult.  I know the fourth book is going to be a challenge for me in this because of how many new characters I've heard there are.  But, Swords kept moving with such speed that I stayed interested long enough to come to care about Samwell and even Jamie.  It's a good thing, too, because Martin certainly has no qualms about killing off our favorites.  I saw that when Ned Stark died early in the series, but to see Robb and Catelyn killed.....I couldn't believe it.  I literally thought we were going to switch back to a Catelyn storyline at any moment and see how she had miraculously escaped.  Granted, if you read the epilogue there she is (I was practically giddy with excitement when I realized it was her).

The book as a whole is fantastic, but the last few hundred pages kept me absolutely riveted.  There were so many twists and surprises.  I love how unpredictable Martin's characters are.  He makes them complex, like real people, and I love that.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with Arya, with Jon's new position at the Wall, with Littlefinger's disgusting lust for Sansa, with Tommen on the throne, with Lady Catelyn in whatever undead form she is in now, with Jamie & Cersei, and with Dany and her dragons.  

I'm guessing it will be several months before I finish the next book.  Since there are only two more out right now, I want to take me time.  Also, I'm excited to delve into some other things for a little while.  I've been dying to reread The Hunger Games since I got them for Christmas and I promised myself I would finish Swords first.  So, those are next on the fiction docket.  They will be accompanied by some historical reads, some classic literature, and some books on marriage to help prepare me for the big event at the end of 2012.  I'm really enjoying taking the time to flesh out my thoughts on everything I read, especially when the books are as good as this one was.  I'm right on track to finish my 52 books in 2012 goal!  Hope you are enjoying this journey as much as I am.

Pages: 1128
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

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