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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) (original 2000; edition 2003)

by George R.R. Martin

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15,477324118 (4.46)418
Member:arkhadius
Title:A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Bantam (2003), Mass Market Paperback, 1216 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin (2000)

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English (312)  Spanish (4)  German (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (322)
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
By far my favourite...so far. ( )
  Kristin_Curdie_Cook | Apr 29, 2016 |
GRRM finally, almost grudgingly, earns four stars from me.

Things I liked: Jon's story in the second half of the book, SAM, Jaime's story because it was entertaining, Joffrey's big day , Hodor Hodor-ing, Davos, some of the Daenerys stuff (surprisingly, given she's been one of my least favourite characters until now).

Things I didn't like so much: Catelyn (STOP MEDDLING IT NEVER TURNS OUT WELL), Sansa (I DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU ANYMORE), how Arya seemed to keep just getting shifted about all over the place and nothing of any real value happened in her storyline because I love her, the Red Wedding (which was good but telegraphed completely), Jaime's story because it did feel a bit like GRRM was just going SURPRISE HE WAS GOOD ALL ALONG for no real reason except that he felt like it, Robb's continuing lack of personality, everything with Jon and the Wildlings (but that was mostly because doublecross stories always make me feel uncomfortable and sad).

I DID like more than I disliked, despite the list. These books are hugely flawed, and there's a lot not to like, but I did enjoy them. However, I'm stopping here, at least until the last two are published. I've been well enough warned that this is a good time to get out, and frankly, given that there's every chance we'd be waiting another six years or so just to see Winds of Winter, I don't want to get to invested in something that, in the opinions of anyone I trust about books, declines pretty badly over books four and five. I have too many other things to read. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Mar 13, 2016 |
The most engaging and in depth book I have ever read. ( )
  HungryMonster | Mar 10, 2016 |
The most engaging and in depth book I have ever read. ( )
  HungryMonster | Mar 10, 2016 |
Plot summaryA Storm of Swords picks up the story slightly before the end of its predecessor, A Clash of Kings. The Seven Kingdoms are still in the grip of the War of the Five Kings, with the remaining Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, Joffrey Baratheon, and Stannis Baratheon fighting to secure their crowns. Stannis Baratheon's attempt to take King's Landing has been defeated by the new alliance between House Lannister (backing Joffrey) and House Tyrell. House Martell has also pledged its support to the Lannisters though the forces of Dorne have yet to take the field. Meanwhile, a large host of wildlings is marching toward the Wall under Mance Rayder, with only the tiny force of the Night's Watch in its path; and in the distant east, Daenerys Targaryen is on her way back to Pentos, hoping to raise forces to retake the Iron Throne.

The novel begins in the final months of 299 After the Landing and carries on into the year 300 AL.

Note the UK edition of Storm of Swords was split into two books, and the French edition in four. The plot summary below contains information on the original US edition.

[edit] In the Seven Kingdoms[edit] The North / The RiverlandsAt Riverrun, Catelyn Stark strikes an unauthorized deal with her captive Jaime Lannister: his freedom in return for that of Catelyn's daughters. Jaime agrees, and is sent south, escorted by Brienne of Tarth.

Jaime and Brienne are waylaid by mercenaries known as The Brave Companions (now in the service of Roose Bolton) and taken to Harrenhal. Their vicious leader, Vargo Hoat, chops off Jaime's sword hand, and Jaime is sent back to King's Landing. Brienne, having little value as a hostage, is left to Hoat's mercies, but Jaime returns to rescue her. Roose sees no alternative but to let them both go.

Robb's army returns to Riverrun, having smashed Lannister forces in the Westerlands. Robb reveals that he has married Jeyne Westerling of the Crag, invalidating his betrothal to a House Frey daughter, thus risking losing their support. Robb's forces are dwindling when his soldiers were caught between Lord Randyll Tarly and Ser Gregor Clegane. The Greyjoys now hold Robb's home territory of Winterfell. Nevertheless, Robb has a plan to take Moat Cailin from the Greyjoys, but it hinges on winning the support of the Freys, which they are now unlikely to give. When Lord Hoster Tully dies, Catelyn's brother Edmure becomes Lord of Riverrun.

Arya Stark and her friends encounter a group of men known as the Brotherhood Without Banners, led by Lord Beric Dondarrion and the red priest Thoros of Myr. Beric's group, originally sent to put down the Lannister raids, has devolved into defending the smallfolk of the war-torn Riverlands. The group encounters Sandor Clegane and offers him trial by battle, which he wins by killing Lord Beric. Thoros is able to resurrect Beric using what he calls a gift from his god R'hllor. Arya abandons the Brotherhood, but is captured by a lurking Sandor Clegane. Clegane decides to take her back to her family to collect her ransom, and they head north.

Robb Stark's army reaches The Twins. Frey agrees to forgive Robb on the condition that Lord Edmure Tully weds a Frey daughter in Robb's place. The wedding celebration takes place, disguised musicians produce crossbows and fire at the Stark supporters. The Boltons and Freys kill many of the Stark bannermen. Catelyn is seized, her throat cut, and her body dumped into the river. Robb is beheaded and the head of his direwolf sewn into its place. Many of the northern lords are either killed or captured.

Arya and Sandor arrive at the outskirts of the castle as the "Red Wedding" is taking place. Soon realizing something is dreadfully wrong, Arya attempts to enter the castle, but Sandor knocks her unconscious and takes her downriver. Arya dreams, seeing through the eyes of her long-missing direwolf, Nymeria. In the dream, Nymeria finds the corpse of a woman floating. Arya tells Sandor that Catelyn is dead.

Arya and Sandor encounter his brother Gregor Clegane's men. They fight free, but Sandor is wounded. His wound becomes infected, but Arya refuses him mercy and leaves him. She finds a ship from the Free City of Braavos, but the captain refuses her passage until she offers him a coin that Jaqen H'ghar gave her. They set sail for Braavos.

[edit] The South / King's LandingDavos Seaworth washes ashore on a rocky island after the epic Battle of the Blackwater. He is found by Stannis's men and taken to Dragonstone. Davos blames the red priestess Melisandre for Stannis' defeat, but he is immediately locked up for treason. Melisandre asks for Davos simply to be true to his king. Stannis releases Davos and asks him to serve as his Hand.

King's Landing welcomes the Tyrells as liberators. King Joffrey agrees to set aside his betrothal to Sansa Stark and marry Lady Margaery Tyrell instead. Sansa is soon compelled to marry Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion treats Sansa gently and refuses to consummate the marriage against her will. Tywin has become Hand, and Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands offers an alliance, but Tywin spurns it.

Melisandre has performed blood rituals to awaken 'stone dragons,' which she thinks are the great statues that guard the castle with Stannis' cooperation. (Chronologically, this happens shortly before the Red Wedding.)

Word reaches King's Landing of the death of Robb Stark, followed by news that Balon Greyjoy has died as well. Margaery and Joffrey's wedding is held, but Joffrey suddenly starts choking and dies. Tyrion suspects poison, but his sister Cersei has him arrested as the poisoner and put on trial. Sansa is smuggled out of the castle and taken to Littlefinger, who admits responsibility for Joffrey's death to her. Littlefinger departs King's Landing for the Eyrie with a new scheme: to woo Lady Lysa Arryn into marriage and support of the Lannisters. The pair go to the Eyrie.

Davos Seaworth receives a message from the Night's Watch, begging for aid against Mance Rayder and the wights. Melisandre convinces Stannis to sacrifice Edric Storm to the flames to wake the dragons, but Davos smuggles Edric to safety. Stannis prepares to execute Davos for treason.

Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth reach King's Landing to find that Prince Tommen has inherited the throne but is not yet crowned, Tyrion is on trial for Joffrey's murder, and the Tyrell bannermen blame Brienne for King Renly's death. Jaime becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard but refuses his father's offer to make him heir to Casterly Rock. He also refuses to believe Cersei's claims that Tyrion killed Joffrey. After a quarrel, Jaime rejects her advances.

Tyrion is seemingly doomed, as Cersei has recruited many people to give evidence against him, including Varys (the head of intelligence) and Shae (Tyrion's whore). Tyrion is approached by Lord Oberyn Martell of Dorne, who offers to fight for him in a trial of combat against Cersei's champion, Ser Gregor Clegane, "the Mountain that Rides". Oberyn nearly emerges victorious, but a mortally wounded Gregor kills him. Tyrion is again condemned to death. Tyrion escapes from his dungeon with the help of his brother Jaime and Varys. Jaime reveals that Tyrion's beloved first wife had not been a prostitute as their father Tywin had told him, but had actually been a crofter's daughter. Tyrion sees this as unforgivable betrayal and swears vengeance. Entering Tywin's chamber, he discovers Shae and kills her. He confronts Tywin as he sits on the privy. When taunted, Tyrion shoots Tywin through the bowels and leaves.

Jaime frees Brienne, and gives her a sword reforged from Ned Stark's sword of Valyrian steel. He tells her keep her oath to Lady Catelyn, to find Arya and Sansa and return them home. He also tells her that the real reason he betrayed his oath and murdered King Aerys many years back was that Aerys had planned to destroy the city. He carried out his most infamous act to save the innocent.

At the Eyrie, Sansa lives in fear of her increasingly psychotic aunt Lysa. Littlefinger intervenes, unceremoniously pushing Lysa out the 'moon door' to her death. Sansa learned that Littlefinger instructed Lysa to poison Jon Arryn and blame the Lannisters.

[edit] On the WallA detachment of the Night's Watch awaits word from Qhorin Halfhand and Jon Snow. The Watch comes under attack by wights, but manages to withdraw. Samwell Tarly kills one of the Others with a strange blade of obsidian, or "dragonglass". Some of the men of the Watch mutiny and kill Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. Sam escapes with the help of one of Craster's daughter-wives, Gilly, and they make their way south towards the Wall. They are helped by a strange figure riding an elk, who Sam calls 'Coldhands'.

Jon Snow is taken to Mance Rayder and is able to convince him that he is a deserter. He learns that the Others are driving the wildlings south towards the Wall. Mance seeks the legendary Horn of Winter which will shatter the Wall when sounded, but has been unable to find it. Jon escapes from the wildlings and reaches Castle Black. Jon leads a skeleton defense and successfully repels the wildlings.

Bran Stark and Jojen and Meera Reed, fleeing the ruins of Winterfell, are guided north by Bran's strange dreams of a three-eyed crow. They reach the Wall and meet Samwell Tarly and Gilly. Sam guides them to Coldhands, who will take them north, whilst Sam returns to Castle Black, agreeing to keep the truth of Bran's survival a secret.

The wildling army, over forty thousand strong, reaches Castle Black and assaults the Wall. Jon leads a tenacious defense but it seems that the Watch must be overrun. Rayder now has the Horn of Winter, but would rather climb the Wall with it than melt it: with the Wall gone, what will stop the Others? The surviving army of King Stannis Baratheon arrives, and Rayder is imprisoned. Stannis reveals that he received word of the Wall's dire straits. Melisandre believes the wildling invasion to be the forerunner of the return of The Great Other, the sworn foe of her red god R'hllor. Jon is chosen by the Night's Watch as its new Lord Commander by the cleverness of Samwell Tarly.

[edit] In the EastHeading for Pentos by sea, Daenerys Targaryen learns that large slave armies can be bought in the cities of Slaver's Bay. Daenerys agrees to give up one of her beloved infant dragons to entice the Slavers to sell her the entire host of the Unsullied, the feared warrior-eunuchs of Astapor. After Daenerys is declared their new master, the dragon promised to the Slavers burns them alive, and Daenerys sacks the city. She then frees all the slaves of Astapor. Daenerys' combined Dothraki/Dragon/Unsullied horde then advances on the slaver city of Yunkai. Many Yunkai mercenaries are killed, the remainder switch sides to Daenerys' growing horde, and Yunkai easily falls. However, the lords of Meereen antagonise Daenerys by killing child slaves to deny her resources. Daenerys besieges the city to no avail.

Daenerys discovers two false persons in her camp, but the natures of their deceptions are very different. Ser Jorah Mormont was spying for Robert Baratheon; Arstan Whitebeard is actually an alias of Ser Barristan Selmy, humiliated former Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard seeking the true Targaryen. Daenerys offers both men the chance to make amends: by sneaking into Meereen to free the slaves and start an uprising. Meereen soon falls. She forgives Barristan Selmy and makes him Lord Commander of her Queensguard. However, Mormont still insists that he did nothing wrong, and thus she banishes him for his betrayal. Daenerys decides to remain in Meereen and learn to be the queen that Westeros needs.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
Could we be heading for an ultimate conflict in which both sides are wrong and the right answer is being human and choosing the excluded middle? Wouldn’t that be cool if it were the case?
added by Shortride | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Sep 14, 2009)
 
With the end of A Storm of Swords, Martin is half finished his epic. However, so little has been revealed that we have only begun to glimpse what the true saga really is. It's as if you are peering through a dirty window, cleaning small portions of it -- one square inch at a time -- so more and more of the room beyond is slowly revealed. Each glimpse uncovers a new wonder, but you can never be sure of exactly what you are seeing.
added by Shortride | editSF Site, Wayne MacLaurin (Jan 1, 2001)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dotrice, RoyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Phyllis

who made me put the dragons in
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The day was grey and bitter cold, and the dogs would not take the scent.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Bk 3 A Song of Fire and Ice: A Storm of Swords has also been published as a two volume edition - Bk 3 - Prt 1:Steel and Snow / Bk 3 - Prt 2: Blood and Gold.
Please do not combine the two individual volumes of book 3 with the single editions of 'A Storm of Swords'
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 055357342X, Mass Market Paperback)

Is George R.R. Martin for real? Can a fantasy epic actually get better with each new installment? Fans of the genre have glumly come to expect go-nowhere sequels from other authors, so we're entitled to pinch ourselves over Martin's tightly crafted Song of Ice and Fire series. The reports are all true: this series is the real deal, and Martin deserves his crown as the rightful king of the epic. A Game of Thrones got things off to a rock-solid start, A Clash of Kings only exceeded expectations, but it's the Storm of Swords hat trick that cements Martin's rep as the most praiseworthy fantasy author to come along since that other R.R.

Like the first two books, A Storm of Swords could coast on the fundamentals: deftly detailed characters, convincing voices and dialogue, a robust back-story, and a satisfyingly unpredictable plot. But it's Martin's consistently bold choices that set the series apart. Every character is fair game for the headman's axe (sometimes literally), and not only do the good guys regularly lose out to the bad guys, you're never exactly sure who you should be cheering for in the first place.

Storm is full of admirable intricacies. Events that you thought Martin was setting up solidly for the first two books are exposed as complex feints; the field quickly narrows after the Battle of the Blackwater and once again, anything goes. Robb tries desperately to hold the North together, Jon returns from the wildling lands with a torn heart, Bran continues his quest for the three-eyed crow beyond the Wall, Catelyn struggles to save her fragile family, Arya becomes ever more wolflike in her wanderings, Daenerys comes into her own, and Joffrey's cruel rule from King's Landing continues, making even his fellow Lannisters uneasy. Martin tests all the major characters in A Storm of Swords: some fail the trial, while others--like Martin himself--seem to only get stronger. --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"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"--Cover.… (more)

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