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. . .
Review: 4 of 5 Stars
I know I’m only up to reviewing Book 3, but I just finished Book 5 so I’ll do my best to keep things straight. There is a lot going on in Book 3 and an entire host of people die. I’ll leave out their names due to spoilers for those who have not yet read the series, but Martin once again managed to kill off a bunch of characters I liked (I’m not griping, just saying). I do like that some of the favorites die along the way. It seems more real to me that way.
There is lots of action and fighting to keep the action-adventure sorts entertained and plenty of intrigue to go around. Thus far, my four favorite characters remain: Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister.
Martin is pretty long-winded, but if you are the type that was able to make it through Tolkien without ripping your eyeballs out from too much description then you ought to do fine here. If you read Silmarillion without trouble then this will be a cake walk. This book comes in under the 1,000 page usual for Martin, but don’t worry. He’ll make up for it in Book 4.
I’m completely into the story and have really enjoyed it. It is a complex project overall and I think Martin does a great job with it. Sometimes, though, he spends a lot of time on people he just kills later and I’m not sure why he devotes so much time to them. Some of the deaths seem more like a convenience to keep things moving along sometimes more so than that they really add to the overall plot. However, I can’t say for sure as we’re still waiting to see how the whole thing works out and ends.
On the whole the series is a good read and I would suggest it if you like intrigue, sword fighting and dragons. There’s so much more, but if those things interest you then this just might be up your alley. Happy reading.