A Storm of Swords: A Song Of Ice And Fire: Book Three

A Storm of Swords: A Song Of Ice And Fire: Book Three

Mass Market Paperback | March 4, 2003

byGeorge R. R. Martin

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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. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is 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 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. . . .

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A Storm of Swords: A Song Of Ice And Fire: Book Three

Mass Market Paperback | March 4, 2003
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From the Publisher

THE BOOK BEHIND THE THIRD SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, AN ORIGINAL SERIES NOW ON HBO.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. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to off...

From the Jacket

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. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport...

George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tutt...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:1216 pages, 6.9 × 4.2 × 1.7 inPublished:March 4, 2003Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:055357342X

ISBN - 13:9780553573428

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best of the series This one is by far the best one.
Date published: 2015-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from G.O.T Excellent. Better than the TV series by far. Very detailed and its nice to know what the characters think of themselves.
Date published: 2015-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read... but need some stark rekindling Great read as usual. Just waiting for some Starks to meet up and start getting the North back in order and some ensuing battles.
Date published: 2015-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Literary masterpiece This book continues the masterpiece which is a song of Ice and Fire. The depth of the stories, the sheer number of characters, all of which are real people with failings and flaws, yet are capable of heroic deeds. This is the greatest story of our time.
Date published: 2015-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! Fantastic from start to finish, the red wedding and trial were highlights. Jaw dropping ending!
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST BOOK IN THE SERIES! Westeros-changing events goes down in this book. Without giving anything away, this book will take your heart, chew it, spit it back out, and then break your jaw.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good book I really enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great installment Another amazing book
Date published: 2014-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to start the next one
Date published: 2014-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Imma spoil I'm gonna spoil every episode of the new season now. This is the best book in the series so far, but too little of Arya.
Date published: 2014-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EPIC Even after thousands of pages and the deaths of several favourite characters, George R. R. Martin reels you in, and leaves you begging for more!
Date published: 2014-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Action packed! I didn't want to put this book down! I was really excited to get into this book after watching season three of the HBO series. I was not disappointed! This book is by far the most intense of the series I have read so far, with many twists and turns, and unseen surprises. I can't wait to get started on A Feast for Crows.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Software Training Amazing book. Loved it from the first page to the last. Unpredictable, action packed and so captivating. I cant wait to get back to it everytime I have to out it diwn. The series is good but don't watch it before you've had a chance to read the books.
Date published: 2013-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than volume 2 Much more action and less banal dialog than the 2nd book. Lots of deceipt and harrowing moments.
Date published: 2013-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Enjoyed it from start to finish!
Date published: 2013-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The title says it all What a roller coaster ride. Martin does not disappoint. Th narratives of the first and second books reach their climax in this third instalment of the series. If you watch the show and are contemplating reading the books, stop reading this review and go buy them all. Now.
Date published: 2013-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another wild ride from George Martin Anyone who likes books where the main characters remain untouched by death and injury would do best to stay away from this series. In Lord of the Rings, only Boromir falls amongst the nine characters of the Fellowship. If Mr. Martin wrote LOTR, I think only Sam would have made it through the book. This is not criticism but rather I am amazed at his audacity. Be warned - this book will remove MANY of the main characters from this storyline. Like all the Game of Thrones novels, this book is large (~1000 pages) and starts off slow. By the halfway mark, you will be hooked. I dawdled my way through the first half and then raced my way through the remainder. I am already anticipating the next book (I have already bought it but I am finishing off some other stuff first). This book and series is highly recommended - even better than the show!!
Date published: 2013-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic Novel...Outstanding Read If you've read the first 2 novels in this series (Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings) and haven't read this 3rd on yet, you're in for a treat. You will not be let down as this is an amazing read. It is truly one of the greatest Fantasy books written. What I love about this series is that it is not a case of 'good guys beat the bad guys'. Martin makes the world a believable one where you really don't know what's gonna happen next or who will live and who will die. This is one of the longer books I've read at over a 1000 pages but it is an outstanding book and leaves you wishing for more. Definitely get your money's worth from it. Wish I could give it more than 5 stars.
Date published: 2013-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Long, and dragged at times but overall an exciting read.
Date published: 2013-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Holy. Love the twists and turns and actually gasped at the end!
Date published: 2013-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Storm of Swords I'm loving this series - lots of surprises, like about 5 great stories all happening at the same time....at least. The plot lines weave together, characters continue to evolve and deepen. It's like nothing I've ever read before.
Date published: 2013-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just live axing main characters The same to be expected from our wonderful author :-P
Date published: 2013-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! I have loved every book in the series. Well worth the read.
Date published: 2013-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome and gripping Best so far!!
Date published: 2013-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Storm of Swords Love these books.
Date published: 2013-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best "Fire & Ice" book yet. The third novel in Mr. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" series is filled with political intrigue, dastardly betrayals, unexpected twists,, and gore splattered action. Fans of Martin's writing have long indicated this book to be the best in the series, and I can't more strongly agree. The chapters, each told by a variety of characters in a myriad of different situations, keeps everything fresh; rather than follow the same person throughout the adventure, the reader jumps from the political intrigue that the dwarf Tyrion is always embroiled in to the defense of the North by Jon Snow and the men of the Night's Watch. Daenarys Targaryen slowly makes here way back to Westeros with her dragons to claim her "rightful" throne, and Arya Stark befriends some unusual companions on her way North to her home in Winterfell. You may think that this sounds a lot like books 1 & 2, but again Martin infuses so many untimely deaths and/or sticky situations for his characters that the writing never becomes boring, and the 1100+ pages fly by quickly.
Date published: 2013-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book So Far This was the longest book and I read it in a couple of days. I was really engaged all the way through. A lot of things come together nicely. Martin does a good job of moving the story along as well as vividly describing everything in such detail. From what characters are thinking and why. Real human responses. To the setting of a chapter. I can't wait to start the next book.
Date published: 2013-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from NO COOKIE CUTTER PROBS WITH THIS SERIES 59. A STORM OF SWORDS by George R.R. Martin. The battle for the seven Kingdoms continues in this, the third in the Game of Throne series. We visit with John and finally come to understand who, or what, the Wildlings are and Castle Black is under siege. Tyrion is again embroiled in espionage against the throne, and the Starks are trying to make amends for damaged allegiances. All of the main characters in the story have been separated by various circumstances and as they begin to draw achingly close to each other again the battles continue and the intrigue deepens. I’ve mentioned in other reviews that series books have habit of becoming a little “pat” and overly comfortable. Not so with Mr. Martin’s Game of Thrones. No “cookie cutter” in this series! He has the ability to keep the reader interested and the action moving along at a breathtaking pace. Every page seems to bring new intrigue to the story, and this book is no exception. There were several times when I was shocked and totally devastated by what happened to the characters. These books would definitely appeal to a large audience of readers … not just lovers of fantasy fiction.
Date published: 2012-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book may be good but Indigo service is definitely off I just finished reading book 1 of 5 (Game of Thrones - Fantastic book !) when I decided to order books 3 & 4. (I was in a hurry to get book 2 so I bought it, paying more for the book at the retail outlet) I just got an e-mail where Indigo.ca cancelled (wtf??) book 3 but is shipping book 4. I tried finding a phone number to call them but no such thing exists anymore. I guess customer service is dead? How do I go about explaining to a book seller that Book 4 of a 5 book series is useless if I haven't got Book 3 of 5??? Seriously? Indigo.ca could have done a number of things: 1) Contact me and explain the situation. Put one of both on hold until the entire order is ready and then ship 2) Ship book 4 and put book 3 on back-order so that I'll get both, just not right away. Posting this as a warning to anyone ordering the book PS - It still shows that Book 3(Trade Paperback) is in-stock!! (that was the reason for their cancellation)
Date published: 2012-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really excellent Twists and turns, shifts of power and unexpected demises. This book has all those things and more. Read it.
Date published: 2012-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Does not disapoint Add 5 more leaves, gets even more exciting as it goes, I couldn't put it down, doesn't even feel like 920 pages.
Date published: 2012-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Which Thrones Will Topple The third book of seven planned in the fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. This book is intense, a lot of things happen. This is the biggest book in the series so far. If you think you thought you knew what was going to happen in book three, you would be surely mistaken. Life is definitely unruly in the seven kingdoms. Nothing works out for any of the characters like they expected it to. You can start to see all the various spider webs come together to find our that its just a smaller strain of an evening bigger story. All I can say is that when this book is developed for the HBO series, Game of Thrones. It's going to be epic. A great shake up in an already great story. I really enjoyed this book. I think this is my favourite one so far.
Date published: 2012-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nothing predictable about book #3 This series continues to impress! Book 3 was full of unexpected twists and turns and has once again, left me eager to dive into the next book in the series. As the title aptly predicts, this book is largely about war, and the strategies and their strategists. Some reviewers have complained that there are too many characters (new and old) to keep track of, but I think the author does a nice job of reintroducing the characters and their relevance upon revisiting them, so I never felt at a loss regarding who meant what to whom. You won't get bogged down - just enjoy! Cannot wait for book 4!
Date published: 2012-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best in the series so far This book is absolutely mind blowing. The author waits until you're good and comfortable and then turns your world upside down. Characters you thought you'd love, you hate and vice versa. If Ned's death shocked you in book 1, prepared to freak out. Having read the next two books in the series I can say this one really is a chreshendo. The first two build up and then the next two are the follow up and after math. The changing perspectives always keeps it fresh, the character development is amazing. You'll really enjoy this book, if the series hasnt grabbed you yet this book will do it for you.
Date published: 2012-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Storm of Swords Amazing! So much better than Clash of Kings! Interesting/sad/well written/ captivating all in one!
Date published: 2012-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Swords and shocks And again George R.R. Martin proves why he has the best fantasy series on his hands. It just gets better and better! While it can be confusing with its bloated expansion in the characters, you will not be completely lost because the narrative moves you along in such a way that you do get a sense of the different factions in play. Religion has a heavy presence as part of the sparring between the various Kings, magic of the old and new are further explored here, and similarly, the storyline is expanded to include lands beyond Westeros, adding another dimension of mysticism and intrigue. Martin does a brilliant job in describing fights and battles, and the inner turmoils of characters. What's more, unexpected events will shock you till your jaw drops. I definitely was blown away by the twists and turns so much so that I exclaimed out loud in sadness, or smiled and clapped in admiration of Martin's brilliant mind and wit. My plan of spacing out reading the books is out the window and I'm quickly moving on with the fourth, regardless of when Martin finally decides to publish the fifth book.
Date published: 2010-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow, he's really outdone himself! This has got to be one of the best fantasy books ever. This series has the potential to become one of the most well-known, well- written series' ever. George R.R Martin has plenty of violence, love, intrigue to keep a reader going until they finish it. If a Dance with Dragons will be as good as the first four books, I'll be speechless. All hail George!
Date published: 2009-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...wait, what? George RR Martin is amazing. This guy's characterization and literary skills (did I mention characterization?) just continue to amaze me. Man, the plot twists he makes - he has like, plot twists within his plot twists. Yes, he twists his plot twists. I'm serious. Read it. He's amazing.
Date published: 2008-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Continuation of a Remarkable Series Martin never fails to deliver. Your heart will race at these pages, right before its torn apart. This latest folume is action packed, intense, heart wrenching and suspensful. It's a pure page turner and a triumph in fantasy literature. The slips, tricks and twists are unbelieveable and it was a hard wait for the next book after the startling epilogue. Read it!
Date published: 2006-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Storm of Adventure!!!!!!!!! What started out as A Game of Thrones then turned into A Clash of Kings has now exploded into A Storm of Swords. Picking up where A Clash of Kings left off, Geoge R.R. Martin continues to lead us, along with his beloved characters, down the path of adventure which is filled with the twists and turns of deception, betrayal, conquest, and death. There isn't much that can be said about this book without giving away the plot summary, except that Martin continues to outdo himself with each subsequent novel. We are left yearning for more. Luckily, we have the course of A Feast for Crows waiting to be devoured, with A Dance with Dragons as the promised dessert. One flaw of Martin's, however is that he provides no synopsis of the storyline prior to what he is currently writing, so be sure to read the first two books (A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings) before you delve into A Storm of Swords.
Date published: 2006-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantistorical. It isn't particularly easy to review this book without falling into comperatives and superlatives. Still less so to describe it without confusion and spoilers. Yet if you've read the perivious two, be ready to read about more trecheries than you can count; more injustice than you can take; and more blood than you can stomach. And you'll still cry out loud, like thus: ENCORE! Luckily, a Feast is almost upon us.
Date published: 2005-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow i like them. I have to admit i am now hooked on fantasy books. This series has many things that the other major ones are missing. DEATH. Series like the wheel of time are good but come on someone die. This author is not afriad to kill of his characters, although they are my favourite ones that get the axe. And unlike my review this story seems to be going places.
Date published: 2005-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An excellent fantasy read It is rare to find a fantasy novel where adults act like real adults with intrigue, murder, incest, and love. The only issue I have is that the author has a bad habit of developing likable / interesting characters and then klling them off.
Date published: 2005-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Storm The best fantasy book on the shelves. Enough said!
Date published: 2005-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A tremendous fantasy epic. This series and this book has it all; terrific characters to love and hate, intrigue, action, magic - the list goes on. Most importantly the characters evolve and develope, a real treat to read and totally addictive.
Date published: 2004-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This whole series was edge-of-your-seat amazing. All three books were superbly written and the characters very well developed. To read this story is to step out of the present day and into these lives. I felt as though I were right there beside each character with every word in every book.George R.R. Martin is the Stephen King of the fantasy realm. I anxiously await book four.
Date published: 2004-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding! One of the best books I've ever read. This has to be one of the greatest stories ever written. I've read all the books in the series more than once, and each one has been better than the last. Buy this book, you won't regret it.
Date published: 2004-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MORE we have read all three books and found them excellent for the immagination. characters are well developed and you can see them in the minds eye. we are waiting for book four.
Date published: 2002-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply amazing How can a series get better and better with each installment? I just love the unpredictability of the storylines and the realness of the characters. It certainly will be hard now to find any books to read that will compare to Martin's epic saga. And the wait for the next one will be agony.
Date published: 2001-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from keeps getting better ... Martin's engaging series continues. With each book we are introduced to more and more characters and interesting settings. One thing I love is the pace - Robert Jordan could learn a thing or too from Martin! Plus no one is smoothing their skirts and pulling their braids every ten pages! The only regret I have is having read all three books back to back, I must now wait for the next installment! Please George, hurry it up!!!!
Date published: 2001-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Stunning Martin grabbed my imagination with A Game of Thrones and hasn't let go since.A Storm of Swords doesn't miss a step as it takes its place in this epic series. The passion and feeling flows from the pages and grabs hold of you completely. Martin pulls no punches as he crafts this masterpiece and gives his all to make this book absolutely stunning. I have read fantasy for years and this series is truely impressive. I recommend it to all readers who want a story they'll truely can care about and become lost in.
Date published: 2001-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Pageturner! This book is a great follow up on his previous ones in the series. It is full of surprises. I couldn't put it down, I absolutely had to find out what was going to happen next, and what surprises were in store.
Date published: 2001-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!!!! This is even better than Martin's last effort. Anything is possbile in this book. Many of the main characters get killed off, which is unusual but nice for a change. It's nice to see that sometimes the goods guys can lose too. This is definitely a must have if you have read the first two novels!!!!
Date published: 2001-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superior in every way I have read many reviews of fantasy fiction and wondered at the enthusiasm granted some books/authors. It seems that many reviewers are too ready to elevate very average fiction to that of truly great writing. I enjoy authors such as Goodkind, Modesitt and even better Donaldson. When you compare their books to this series however the former works are generally inferior. This is the first time I have granted a 5 star rating for a book. I believe such praise should be reserved for those titles that are superior in measure to other GOOD books. Martin has succeeded in creating a gritty, dark and unpredictable story that will leave the most experienced reader wondering. Is it perfect? No. On occasion the characters seem a bit shallow and too predictable. Most however are rich and hard to classify. The characters are coloured in shades of grey rather than black/white. This alone puts Martin's work above the easy predictablility of Goodkind's. This is adult fantasy with adult situations. Fantasy can rightly be described as literary escapism much like McDonald's serves "junk food." Tastes good but doesn't offer a lot for you. Storm of Swords is a finer example of the genre. It is literary fantasy worthy of being placed on the short list of the best of the type. Can't wait for #4
Date published: 2001-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthralling! The daring approach taken in the first two books is surpassed in this, the third novel of A song of Ice and Fire, Storm of Swords. This is a book that evokes much emotion; feeling compassion towards some characters, hating others, and in some cases both. Another 'brick in the wall' for Martin, Storm of Swords is a perfect addition to an already legendary series.
Date published: 2001-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still reeling... I've just finished reading A Storm of Swords, and my head is still spinning... I loved the previous books for the unpredictability of the plotlines, the amazing characters and the incredible imagination of the writer. A Storm of Swords not only delivers, it raises the stakes even higher. This series isn't for the faint of heart, and this book is no exception. A lot of people die, some you expect, and a lot you don't. (One chapter's ending I read three times to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. Those who read the book will know which...) The plot is still deliciously convoluted, with alliances made and unmade, promises kept and broken, enemies and friends ever changing. If you have paranoid tendencies, this book will push you over the edge. The characters were already far from black and white in the previous novels, but Martin blurs the line even further here, especially for some of the bad guys. There's still a few really good guys and a few really bad guys, but the rest gets murkier than ever. We finally get a lot of answers, and even a form of closure at the end. But rest assured, a lot of these answer are quite surprising, and Martin gives us a fresh and large provision of new questions, and I'm sure the closure we get is just to allow us to catch our breath before the next wave hits. To sum up: Get it, read it, be amazed. And better hurry, winter is coming...
Date published: 2001-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Martin can be MY king. Incredible!... Never have I read a book as unpredictable as this. The depth of Martin's characters is unsurpassed, with some priceless dialogue. Never have I had to put a book down out of sheer anger and frustration at the outcome of events.. And I loved every minute!
Date published: 2001-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Whoa Its another great entry in George R.R. Martins lineup, a beautiful and harsh world with very similar characters, an excellent effort but if you have the money spend it on Robert Jordans Wheel of Time first, though theyre nice to read to pass the time before Roberts next book
Date published: 2001-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Buy This Book There's not much else to say except to buy this book and see it (read it) for yourself. I think this is the best of the series to date and I can't wait for the next instalment. This book had me sitting in stunned silence as the plot twists and turns started to take place. Each journey through the eyes of the characters had me wondering "What next?" I just put this book down after several nights of little or no sleep but it was well worth it. My only criticism is that I will have to wait a year or more for the next instalment!
Date published: 2001-01-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Storm of Swords Once again, George RR Martin delivers stunningly in his third novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords. Martin uses language and symbols to bring his characters to blazing life. His no-holds-barred approach is a refreshing change from many novels which hint at darkness but do not allow it. The only reservations about this book are the way in which Martin can unexpectedly change the way a reader thought the storyline was going- but this may also be regarded as a strength. Even so, this IS a series and even devout followers can lose patience and money waiting for the next long installment to hit the stands-some may not live long enough to see the storyline finally draw to a close. Having said this, I fervently hope that I will still be around when chapter 4 comes out, hopefully bringing this excellent storyline to an end. If Martin loves his characters as much as the fans do, he should consider writing sequels.
Date published: 2001-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eh Not bad at all. Way better then the second book but far from being as good as the first. The fact that the author is not afraid to kill off main players is refreshing and shocking. The only thing i hated about this book it tries to follow a bunch of stories at once and interrupts one with the other. Each chapter is interrupted by the next one which has nothing to do with the previous one.
Date published: 2000-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intensely Satisfying This book, as well as it's predesessors are simply some of the best books I have ever read, and I have read a lot of fantasy. It's fantastic realism and depth keep you totally engrossed in the story. You laugh, you cry, you really feel as though you get to know the characters. Of course Martin as no problems with having a character killed but it just intensifies the realism, good guys aren't always invincible. An amazing read!!
Date published: 2000-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Ongoing Series To Date... I'd always felt that George Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" was the best fantasy series on-going right now, and this wonderful third volume firmly cements this belief. In a genre where so many of the authors follow the same patterns of story structure laid out by Tolkien or demean our intelligence with immature and insipid characters (like Goodkind and Jordan), Martin manages to keep us constantly on our toes. There are no immortal heroes here, nor are there the so-easily defined "good guys" and "bad guys". Yet the characters are well-defined, behave logically like normal people with various flaws (the litmus test of good characterization has always been if they behave more-or-less like you or I would under those situations, with a little extra bravery added in, I suppose. It is amazing how many characters in fantasy novels fail this test). Yet, Martin's strength is his story. It is refreshing to read a fantasy series where I genuinely have no idea what will happen next, whether it be two pages later or even two books later.
Date published: 2000-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My God... Just like the first two parts of this series I was stunned. Wow. What a good book. These books are good, but at the same time they are horrible. But what i mean by horrible is by what happens to the main characters! My God! After reading the epilogue, I can not wait for the next one! Martin's books are amazing! But Horrible!!! But in a good way...
Date published: 2000-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow. It is hard to sum up all of the feelings and amazing highs and lows that this wonderful book provides. Having read the first two installments, the third, A Storm of Swords, was anticipated to be another masterful example of Martin's dynamic and fluent style of fantasy writing. I am pleased to say that he did not disappoint me one iota. Not only does George R.R. Martin have the style and ability to create deep character portraits, he also has the audacity and courage to end their lives right before us. As sudden and breathtakingly painful as real life would have had done. The other fantasy writers are stuck in the rut of "Heroes alway win". Much to my enjoyment, Martin is above this old and boring template. A Storm of Swords is truly one of the best fantasy novels I have ever had the joy and pleasure of reading.
Date published: 2000-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant and Staggering In this third volume, George Martin makes all fantasy novelists pale in comparison. The complex but thrilling plot line reveals manoeuvres from A Clash of Kings to be complex feints before an unanticipated level of catastrophe ensues. The pattern of betrayal reaches to the highest levels, and he well develops the characters, especially Samwell and the cruel Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer. Daeneyrs and Jon come into their own while the destinies of others are partially revealed. With more twists and suspenseful episodes than most thrillers, the entire narrative remains logical and internally consistent. Readers will be shocked by the horrific 'Red Wedding,' by the fates of Joffrey and Tyrion, and by an epilogue that brings the first half of the series to a stunning conclusion.
Date published: 2000-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Non-stop intrigue! More and more, Martin's characters come alive in this third book of the series. Surprising twists and startling character motivations make this a true page turner. Leaves the reader panting for more. The best fantasy series I have read in years. Can't wait for the next entry!
Date published: 2000-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another Winner Yet another winner from Martin. This book is much darker than the first two books of the series and, with major characters dying left and right, Martin keeps you turning each page thinking the worst of your favourite characters. Unlike many authors of this genre, Martin has provided us with characters that are well thought out and with ambiguous motivations. I recommend this book (and the other two of the series!) to anyone who is tired of the same old sword and sorcery dreck out there (i.e., Robert Jordan) and who enjoy good old fashioned story telling.
Date published: 2000-11-15

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PrologueThe day was grey and bitter cold, and the dogs would not take the scent. The big black bitch had taken one sniff at the bear tracks, backed off, and skulked back to the pack with her tail between her legs. The dogs huddled together miserably on the riverbank as the wind snapped at them. Chett felt it too, biting through his layers of black wool and boiled leather. It was too bloody cold for man or beast, but here they were. His mouth twisted, and he could almost feel the boils that covered his cheeks and neck growing red and angry. I should be safe back at the Wall, tending the bloody ravens and making fires for old Maester Aemon. It was the bastard Jon Snow who had taken that from him, him and his fat friend Sam Tarly. It was their fault he was here, freezing his bloody balls off with a pack of hounds deep in the haunted forest. "Seven hells.” He gave the leashes a hard yank to get the dogs' attention. "Track, you bastards. That's a bear print. You want some meat or no? Find!" But the hounds only huddled closer, whining. Chett snapped his short lash above their heads, and the black bitch snarled at him. "Dog meat would taste as good as bear," he warned her, his breath frosting with every word. Lark the Sisterman stood with his arms crossed over his chest and his hands tucked up into his armpits. He wore black wool gloves, but he was always complaining how his fingers were frozen. "It's too bloody cold to hunt,'' he said. "Bugger this bear, he's not worth freezing over." We can’t go back emptyhand, Lark," rumbled Small Paul through the brown whiskers that covered most of his face. "The Lord Commander wouldn’t like that.” There was ice under the big man’s squashed pug nose, where his snot had frozen. A huge hand in a thick fur glove clenched tight around the shaft of a spear. "Bugger that Old Bear too," said the Sisterman, a thin man with sharp features and nervous eyes. "Mormont will be dead before daybreak, remember? Who cares what he likes?" Small Paul blinked his black little eyes. Maybe he had forgotten, Chett thought; he was stupid enough to forget most anything. "Why do we have to kill the Old Bear? Why don't we just go off and let him be?" "You think he'll let us be?" said Lark. "He'll hunt us down. You want to be hunted, you great muttonhead?" "No," said Small Paul. "I don't want that. I don't." "So you'll kill him?" said Lark. "Yes." The huge man stamped the butt of his spear on the frozen riverbank. "I will. He shouldn't hunt us." The Sisterman took his hands from his armpits and tumed to Chett. "We need to kill all the officers, I say." Chett was sick of hearing it. "We been over this. The Old Bear dies, and Blane from the Shadow Tower. Grubbs and Aethan as well, their ill luck for drawing the watch, Dywen and Bannen for their tracking, and Ser Piggy for the ravens. That's all. We kill them quiet, while they sleep. One scream and we're wormfood, every one of us." His boils were red with rage. "Just do your bit and see that your cousins do theirs. And Paul, try and remember, it's third watch, not second." "Third watch," the big man said, through hair and frozen snot. "Me and Softfoot. I remember, Chett." The moon would be black tonight, and they had jiggered the watches so as to have eight of their own standing sentry, with two more guarding the horses. It wasn't going to get much riper than that. Besides, the wildlings could be upon them any day now. Chett meant to be well away from here before that happened. He meant to live. Three hundred sworn brothers of the Night's Watch had ridden north, two hundred from Castle Black and another hundred from the Shadow Tower. It was the biggest ranging in living memory, near a third of the Watch's strength. They meant to find Ben Stark, Ser Waymar Royce, and the other ran~.ers who'd gone missing, and discover why the wildlings were leaving their villages. Well, they were no closer to Stark and Royce than when they'd left the Wall, but they'd leamed where all the wildlings had gone - up into the icy heights of the godsforsaken Frostfangs. They could squat up there till the end of time and it wouldn't prick Chett's boils none. But no. They were coming down. Down the Milkwater. Chett raised his eyes and there it was. The river's stony banks were bearded by ice, lt’s pale milky waters flowing endlessly down out of the Frostfangs And now Mance Rayder and his wildlings were flowing down the same way. Thoren Smallwood had retumed in a lather three days past. While he was telling the Old Bear what his scouts had seen, his man Kedge Whiteye told the rest of them. "They're still well up the [oothills, but they're coming," Kedge said, warming his hands over the fire. "Harma the Dogshead has the van, the poxy bitch. Goady crept up Dn her camp and saw her plain by the fire. That fool Tumberjon wanted to pick her off with an arrow, but Smallwood had better sense." Chett spat. "How many were there, could you tell?" "Many and more. Twenty, thirty thousand, we didn't stay to count. Hamma had five hundred in the van, every one ahorse.~' The men around the fire exchanged uneasy looks. It was a rare thing to find even a dozen mounted wildlings, and five hundred . . . "Smallwood sent Bannen and me wide around the van to catch a peek at the main body," Kedge went on. "There was no end of them. They're moving slow as a frozen river, four, five miles a day, but they don't look like they mean to go back to their villages neither. More'n half were women and children, and they were driving their animals before them, goats, sheep, even aurochs dragging sledges. They'd loaded up with bales of fur and sides of meat, cages of chickens, butter chums and spinning wheels, every damn thing they own. The mules and garrons was so heavy laden you'd think their backs would break. The women as well." "And they follow the Milkwater?" Lark the Sisterman asked. "I said so, didn't I?" The Milkwater would take them past the Fist of the First Men, the ancient ringfort where the Night's Watch had made its camp. Any man with a thimble of sense could see that it was time to pull up stakes and fall back on the Wall. The Old Bear had strengthened the Fist with spikes and pits and caltrops, but against such a host all that was pointless. If they stayed here, they would be engulfed and overwhelmed. And Thoren Smallwood wanted to attack. Sweet Donnel Hill was squire to Ser Mallador Locke, and the night before last Smallwood had come to Locke's tent. Ser Mallador had been of the same mind as old Ser Ottyn Wythers, urging a retreat on the Wall, but Smallwood wanted to convince him otherwise. "This King-beyond-the-Wall will never look for us so far north," Sweet Donnel reported him saying. "And this great host of his is a shambling horde, full of useless mouths who won't know what end of a sword to hold. One blow will take all the fight out of them and send them howling back to their hovels for another fifty years." Three hundred against thirty thousand. Chett called that rank madness, and what was madder still was that Ser Mallador had been persuaded' and the two of them together were on the point of persuading the Old Bear. "If we wait too long, this chance may be lost, never to come again," Smallwood was saying to anyone who would listen. Against that, Ser Ottyn Wythers said, "We are the shield that guards the realms of men. You do not throw away your shield for no good purpose," but to that Thoren Smallwood said, "In a swordfight, a man's surest defense is the swift stroke that slays his foe, not cringing behind a shield." Neither Smallwood nor Wythers had the command, though. Lord Mormont did, and Mommont was waiting for his other scouts, for Jarman Buckwell and the men who'd climbed the Giant's Stair, and for Qhorin Halfhand and Jon Snow, who'd gone to probe the Skirling Pass. Buckwell and the Halfhand were late in retuming, though. Dead, most like. Chett pictured Jon Snow lying blue and frozen on some bleak mountaintop with a wildling spear up his bastard's arse. The thought made him smile. I hope they killed his bloody wolf as well. "There's no bear here," he decided abruptly. "Just an old print, that's all. Back to the Fist." The dogs almost yanked him off his feet, as eager to get back as he was. Maybe they thought they were going to get fed. Chett had to laugh. He hadn't fed them for three days now, to turn them mean and hungry. Tonight, before slipping off into the dark, he'd tum them loose among the horse lines, after Sweet Donnel Hill and Clubfoot Karl cut the tethers. They'll have snarling hounds and panicked horses all over the Fist, running through fires, jumping the ringwall, and trampling down tents. With all the confusion, it might be hours before anyone noticed that fourteen brothers were missing. Lark had wanted to bring in twice that number, but what could you expect from some stupid fishbreath Sisterman? Whisper a word in the wrong ear and before you knew it you'd be short a head. No, fourteen was a good number, enough to do what needed doing but not so many that they couldn't keep the secret. Chett had recruited most of them himself. Small Paul was one of his; the strongest man on the Wall, even if he was slower than a dead snail. He'd once broken a wildling's back with a hug. They had Dirk as well, named for his favorite weapon, and the little grey man the brothers called Softfoot, who'd taped a hundred women in his youth, and liked to boast how none had never seen nor heard him until he shoved it up inside them. The plan was Chett's. He was the clever one; he'd been steward to old Maester Aemon for four good years before that bastard Jon Snow had done him out so his job could be handed to his fat pig of a friend. When he killed Sam Tarly tonight, he planned to whisper, "Give my love to Lord Snow," right in his ear before he sliced Ser Piggy's throat open to let the blood come bubbling out through all those layers of suet. Chett knew the ravens, so he wouldn't have no trouble there, no more than he would with Tarly. One touch of the knife and that craven would piss his pants and start blubbering for his life. Let him beg, it won't do him no good. After he opened his throat, he'd open the cages and shoo the birds away, so no messages reached the Wall. Softfoot and Small Pau1 would kill the Old Bear, Dirk would do Blane, and Lark and his cousins would silence Bannen and old Dywen, to keep them from sniffing after their trail. They'd been caching food for a fortnight, and Sweet Donne1 and Clubfoot Karl would have the horses ready. With Mormont dead, command would pass to Ser Ottyn Wythers, an old done man, and failing. He'll be running for the Wall before sundown, and he won't waste no men sending them after us neither. The dogs pulled at him as they made their way through the trees. Chett could see the Fist punching its way up through the green. The day was so dark that the Old Bear had the torches lit, a great circle of them buming all along the ringwall that crowned the top of the steep stony hill. The three of them waded across a brook. The water was icy cold, and patches of ice were spreading across its surface. "I'm going to make for the coast," Lark the Sisterman confided. "Me and my cousins. We'll build us a boat, sail back home to the Sisters." And at home they'll know you for deserters and lop off your fool heads, thought Chett. There was no leaving the Night's Watch, once you said your words. Anywhere in the Seven Kingdoms, they'd take you and kill you. Ollo Lophand now, he was talking about sailing back to Tyrosh, where he claimed men didn't lose their hands for a bit of honest thievery, nor get sent off to freeze their life away for being found in bed with some knight~s wife. Chett had weighed going with him, but he didn't speak their wet girly tongue. And what could he do in Tyrosh? He had no trade to speak of, growing up in Hag's Mire. His father had spent his life grubbing in other men's fields and collecting leeches. He'd strip down bare but for a thick leather clout, and go wading in the murky waters. When he climbed out he'd be covered from nipple to ankle. Sometimes he made Chett help pull the leeches off. One had attached itself to his palm once, and he'd smashed it against a wall in revulsion. His father beat him bloody for that. The maesters bought the leeches at twelve-for-apenny. Lark could go home if he liked, and the damn Tyroshi too, but not Chett. If he never saw Hag's Mire again, it would be too bloody soon. He had liked the look of Craster's Keep, himself. Craster lived high as a lord there, so why shouldn't he do the same? That would be a laugh. Chett the 1eechman’s son, a lord with a keep. His banner could be a dozen leeches on a field of pink. But why stop at lord? Maybe he should be a king.

Editorial Reviews

“A riveting continuation of a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle.”—Patriot News

“I always expect the best from George R. R. Martin, and he always delivers.”—Robert Jordan