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GoodReads Synopsis:

The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud, and winter approaches like an angry beast. Beyond the Northern borders, wildlings leave their villages to gather in the ice and stone wasteland of the Frostfangs. From there, the renegade Brother Mance Rayder will lead them South towards the Wall. Robb Stark wears his new-forged crown in the Kingdom of the North, but his defences are ranged against attack from the South, the land of House Stark’s enemies the Lannisters. His sisters are trapped there, dead or likely yet to die, at the whim of the Lannister boy-king Joffrey or his depraved mother Cersei, regent of the Iron Throne. And Daenerys Stormborn will return to the land of her birth to avenge the murder of her father, the last Dragon King on the Iron Throne.

[The GoodReads Synopsis was much better than Amazon in this instance].

The Plot:

Continuing on from the first part of the book, my thoughts on which can be found here, absolutely everything is stepped up a notch. From the word go the second part of the “Storm of Swords” book is just immense. There little that I can say that has not been said before about the series, and the book. I loved how this developed, that there were quite a few answers and plotlines wrapped up from the first book – such as who really killed Jon Arryn, who sent the person to murder Bran Stark, and who really could be pinpointed on starting the civil war in the first place.

Alongside these finally answered questions there are new and even more interesting happenings going on… Jon Snow in the Wall – the conclusion to his time with the Wildings, and how heartbreakingly close to Bran he was, the coming of the Others and what a certain other King has to do with it all.

If you happen to be greatly attached to any of the characters so far, it is probably wise to lose the emotional attachment as Martin, in true Martin style, ruthlessly kills of various characters throughout [I have to wonder if one of those deaths was simply because he had to potential to win and culminate the main plot a bit faster…]. There are certainly those that I wasn’t to upset about, but the big one, the “Red Wedding” was a huge surprise.

There is still the occasional character that does tickle me into annoyance. Sansa Stark. She seriously needs to grow a backbone and to stop being so bloody meek and mild all the time! I think she’s the character that I have main issue with in this regard; she has allowed herself to become the damsel in distress, to need rescuing all the time, and when she is… she’s just in yet more danger, and for the most part she doesn’t even seem to realise it.

Arya is awesome – I love her character, she had got to be my favourite, and I am looking forward to where her character is going and what she is going to achieve [assuming that Martin doesn’t kill her off before her time has come…].

Daenerys is still one of my favourite characters, but her actions in capturing the slave cities weren’t as interesting in this book as they were in the first. And, in fact, considering that it has been a while since I have read the first part of the book I had forgotten a lot of what she had been accomplishing in trying to raise her army. I was surprised at the revelations regarding her knights; I seriously didn’t see that coming.

I think the other main character to mention from this half of “A Storm of Swords” is Jaime Lannister. Somewhere along the way he’s been developing a conscience, and realising his duties in his new role. Of course, it would have been better if he’d realised his morals before his hand was cut off, but there you go – it may have made life much easier for him!

In all, I think that this is probably the strongest installation of the series so far – I didn’t enjoy “A Clash of Kings” as I thought it was tedious, and mostly filler, and in part one of this book there was a little too much of the filler material as well; Martin had truly raised the stakes with this one, and I cannot wait to find out what will happen in the next book, although there is already that nagging sensation at the back of my mind that it just won’t compare to this one.

What did you think of this installation readers? Did you like it more than the others like myself? Or is there another that you prefer?

Take it easy folks,

Kialtho

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