George R.R. Martin’s superb and highly acclaimed epic fantasy A Song of Ice and Fire continues with the third in the series A Storm of Swords. There is passion here, and misery and charm, grandeur and squalor, tragedy, nobility and courage. Unabridged and split into two parts.
Now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, featuring a stellar cast.
The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud, and winter approaches like an angry beast. Beyond the Northern borders, wildlings leave their villages to gather in the ice and stone wasteland of the Frostfangs. From there, the renegade Brother Mance Rayder will lead them South towards the Wall.
The men of the Night’s Watch are ready for the coming of a great cold and the walking corpses that travel with it. But now they face a horde of wildlings twenty-thousand strong – hungry savage people steeped in the dark magic of the haunted wilderness – poised to invade the Kingdom of the North where Robb Stark wears his new-forged crown.
But Robb’s defences are ranged against attack from the South, the land of House Stark’s enemies the Lannisters. His sisters are trapped there, dead or likely yet to die, at the whim of the Lannister boy-king Joffrey or his depraved mother Cersei, regent of the Iron Throne. Cersei’s ambition is unfettered while the dwarf Tyrion Lannister fights for his life, a victim of treachery.
And on the other side of the ocean, the last of the Targaryens rears the dragons she hatched from her husband’s funeral pyre. Daenerys Stormborn will return to the land of her birth to avenge the murder of her father, the last Dragon King on the Iron Throne.
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The third volume of his six-volume fantasy epic "A Song of Ice and Fire", "A Storm of Swords" continues Martin's vigorous account of the civil wars which follow the death of King Robert--the usurper who deposed a dynasty gone mad and dangerous--and the judicial murder by his widow and heir of Ned Stark, the man who made him king. The surviving Stark children are scattered--Robb leading a revolt in the North; Arya learning hard lessons as she treks through the war zone; Sansa an observer of court intrigue; crippled Bran heading towards a sorcerous destiny; and Jon engaged in desperate defence of the ice-wall against barbarians and worse things. Daenerys, pretender and ruler of dragons, is building an empire elsewhere. Meanwhile, characters we have thought of as villains, notably Jaime Kingslayer, are developing belated consciences. Martin keeps on upping the ante of violence and betrayal in this compelling saga of a fantasy middle ages soiled with blood and mud; his economic use of magic and his fascination with complex characters make this the sword-and-sorcery series for people with adult taste. As the series proceeds, his writing gets ever leaner and sharper, the evocation of the magical ever more sinister. -- Ros KaveneyReview:
‘Colossal, staggering… Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world… one of the greats of fantasy literature.’
‘Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads… Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias.’
‘Truly epic… An extraordinarily rich novel… with its magnificent action-filled climax, it provides a banquet for fantasy lovers with large appetites… The book stands out from similar work by virtue of its superbly developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness.’
‘A vast, rich saga, with splendid characters and an intricate plot flawlessly articulated against a backdrop of real depth and texture.’
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