A Storm of Swords

The gods made the earth for all men t’ share. Only when the kings come with their crowns and steel swords, they claimed it was all theirs. My trees, they said, you can’t eat them apples. My stream, you can’t fish here. My wood, you’re not t’ hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I’ll chop ‘em off, but maybe if you kneel t’ me I’ll let you have a sniff. You call us thieves, but at least a thief has t’ be brave and clever and quick. A kneeler only has t’ kneel.

A Storm of Swords book cover.

I thought A Game of Thrones was good. I thought A Clash of Kings was good. I rated both 5 stars.

But, after reading A Storm of Swords, I feel like George R. R. Martin was holding back on us. This third installment is in every way a masterpiece.

I’ve seen all the seasons of the TV series aside from the final season that’s currently airing. I know where this story is going. But, taking the journey via written form was all the much sweeter.

Book #3 was all about character development. Many of the cast began to show more shades of gray. Characters previously thought evil showed another side of themselves. Some good characters took morally-questionable actions.

This is where Martin delivers. In so much of fantasy, good and/or evil come from external sources. But, Martin knows that deep down we all have a little good and evil within us. We all have the potential to be heroes. And, we all have the potential to be villains. A leader can set aside his personal struggle to do what’s right for a kingdom. A brother may betray the oath to his family to survive. And, an chained man can somehow find his humanity.

A Storm of Swords comes with the best death scene and the worst death scene in the entire series so far. It very much makes for a love/hate relationship between the reader and author. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. Martin handles this gritty reality better than anyone.

I’m simply in awe.

This novel was so good that I had to step away from the series for a bit. I know that there’s only two more books currently released. It’s not fitting to devour it all at once. Each book must be savored as you drink in every word of this epic story.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars