Note: I doubt anyone would begin the series by reading the third book (I strongly suggest against doing so), so this review is tailored for those who have already read the first two books. I will not give an outline of the plot, only my thoughts on how the story has progressed.

I am starting to feel like the series is getting a little bit worse as it goes along. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the series (so much so, that in just over a week I have read this book, the fourth book, and most of the fifth book), but I feel that something has been lost. One of the things that most enamored me at the start was how (relatively) realistic the story felt. No elves. No Witches or Warlocks (that I knew of). No hocus pocus. None of the obvious cliches that doom so many stories in this genre. Even the few dragons that were featured in the beginnings were just right. It all just felt right. It felt real.

But much of this realism has become lost as the story progressed. The “others” have evolved from seemingly mythical creatures into real ghosts and gremlins (figure of speech). Certain plot points that I once considered religion have morphed into full fledged sorcery. And Martin seems to abandon realism completely in the epilogue (I won’t ruin it for you, but Martin seems to be trying to). The story is becoming less Game of Thrones and more Lord of The Rings as it progresses. All of these aspects are still very entertaining, but they do tarnish what was one of my favorite aspects of the series.

That being said, the the book does have a great many redeeming qualities. It is chock full of twists and turns. So much so that I had a hard time putting it down, and had no idea what was coming next. This is one of Martin’s great strengths; no one person or thing is off limits. A great many people are killed and torn down, and the book takes the intrigue to a whole new level. Really, the politics alone is worth the read, and more than makes up for the deficits in realism on the peripheries.

If you have read this far into the series, I doubt you will stop now. If you are considering stopping, I suggest you reconsider. For all those who have stumbled upon this before taking up the series from the beginning, I suggest you read the series, it is a spectacular work of fiction. All in all, a thumbs up from me. I am gonna go finish the fifth book.


Title: A Storm of Swords

Author: George R. R. Martin

Pages: 1216 (Paperback)

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN-10: 055357342X

ISBN-13: 978-0553573427

Josh’s Rating: 4/5


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