Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter is on its way...supposedly

A Storm of Swords, G. R.R. Martin
(Book 3 of the Song of Ice and Fire series)
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Starks keep saying winter is coming. Three books and nearly 2000 pages into this series, it's still not here. As much as I enjoy these books, it is starting to get a little irritating.

A Storm of Swords is the third novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series. For those of you who've been living under a rock for the last couple of years, this is the epic fantasy series that inspired HBO's Game of Thrones. Set in the fictional kingdom of Westeros, the story begins with the death of a king and follows the major players in the "game of thrones" to sort out who will rule the seven kingdoms next. Lots of sex and violence ensue. Here's the trailer for the first season of the show:

I have two major gripes with this book. The first is the pacing. That was my biggest complaint about book two as well. It was better here but still not consistent. Some characters' story lines kept movig along but others just felt like they were going nowhere or just going in circles. Arya, for example. Until the very end, she just kept bouncing from place to place but her journey wasn't actually contributing to developing the story in a meaningful way.

My second gripe is with the complete about-face that Martin pulled on some of the characters. Catelyn Stark started out as a strong female character. She stood up for her family and did what she had to do to protect them in the first two books. In this one, she was useless. All she did was mope around and it got repetitive. Her sister, Lysa, was reintroduced after being left out of the second book. Her pesonality is also completely different from what we encountered in GoT.

I'm looking forward to seeing how things evolve in the next book but I'm not as excited about it as I was when I first started the series. Martin would benefit from some serious editing. As nice as it is to have rich details in these epic sagas, these books feel longer than they need to be. And like I mentioned earlier, if you keep telling us that winter is coming, how about bringing it on already?

I'll believe it when I see it.

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