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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost sleep
This book is the best in the series by far. I read the first in the series of George Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and I was blown away by it. So much so I wrote a review here on Amazon to exult it to those considering buying it. I have now read Book 1, 2, 3 part 1 and this book, A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold, Book 3 Part 2. I was let down by book 2 and 3 part...
Published on 13 Feb 2007 by Richard Johnston

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the Same
The propensity of the author to kill off main characters - doesn't actually keep you on the edge of your seat but you develop an emotional coolness to all of them - and to be quite honest there isn't one of them that has any redeeming features.
Published 4 months ago by M. Stowe


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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost sleep, 13 Feb 2007
This review is from: A Storm of Swords: 2 Blood and Gold (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3, Part 2) (Paperback)
This book is the best in the series by far. I read the first in the series of George Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and I was blown away by it. So much so I wrote a review here on Amazon to exult it to those considering buying it. I have now read Book 1, 2, 3 part 1 and this book, A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold, Book 3 Part 2. I was let down by book 2 and 3 part 1, they were good but not great and if I tried to write a review I could not because the plot all amalgamated into a fuzzy series of events that I think should have been shortened down. However this book makes up for the previous 2 completely. It is a fantastic read and truly insomnia-inflicting! I could not put this book down virtually till I finished it. There are more twists and turns in this book than any of the previous. Events that were dragged out in the previous two are teetered over the edge and thrown off into a thundering development that you cannot help but get swept up in. Remarkably characters that were evil redeem themselves, characters that were good frustrate and annoy the reader.

Martin's use of the written language makes him a master at his craft and can slow or pick up the pace at will and completely manipulate your emotions. If you are reading this review then I presume that you have read at least the first one in the series 'A game of Thrones' therefore I wont summarise the plot incase I ruin it for anyone.

If by book 3 part 1 your getting a little stuck in the mud from the length of the story and the lack of significant movement then please read on because it is worth it to reach this far.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest work of epic fantasy since Tolkien, 25 Jan 2010
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Storm of Swords: 2 Blood and Gold (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3, Part 2) (Paperback)
The Battle of the Blackwater has radically shifted the balance of power in the War of the Five Kings. The Lannisters and Tyrells are now allied together, granting the boy-king Joffrey a vast army against which it appears that Robb Stark, the King in the North, and his allies cannot stand. In the distant lands beyond the Wall, Jon Snow has infiltrated the wildlings to learn more about their plans and objectives, but finds his loyalties torn when he learns that even the free folk have their own codes of honour. And, far beyond the eastern seas, Daenerys Targaryen attempts to hire an army of warriors to her cause from the stinking cities of Slaver's Bay, and decides to bring justice and freedom to these lands, despite it delaying her return home to Westeros.

A Storm of Swords is both the third volume of A Song of Ice and Fire and, individually, the finest work of epic fantasy published since at least The Silmarillion in 1977. George R.R. Martin's writing skills in the first book were good, better in the second and hit impressive new heights here in the third, with growing layers of description and writing giving the Seven Kingdoms more colour and more depth with each passing volume. The characterisation remains strong, and in A Storm of Swords Martin delivers one of his masterstrokes by upgrading the hitherto villainous and reprehensible Jaime Lannister to full POV status. By taking us into the head of one of the 'bad guys' and showing us what makes him tick without descending into cliche (Jaime is still a dangerous and somewhat unpleasant character), Martin achieves some very fine character description and growth.

Elsewhere, Swords gives us some of the most out-and-out memorable moments in fantasy fiction in a long time. The duel between the Red Viper and the Mountain That Rides, several confrontations between Tyrion and his father, two certain weddings, the epic battle of the Wall, Bran and his companions' journey northwards and much more all resonate very strongly indeed. There is also some very nice subtlety, such as Meera's 'story' which is clearly not just a story, and Daenerys' realisation that having royal blood isn't enough, she must also earn her crown through experience and wisdom nicely subverts some of the more dubious cliches of fantasy fiction centering on noble families ruling through 'divine right' alone.

There is one slight cause for concern: Martin's writing definitely becomes more descriptive with each passing novel, contributing to their growing sizes and page-counts. Arguably not much more happens, in terms of sheer important incidents, in Storm than in Thrones, but the book is over a third longer. Whilst the pacing and writing quality remains superb in this volume, this growth in size and depth does evoke troubling memories of what happened to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series around its sixth volume. Also, whilst it's not a problem for Storm, the decision to hold back some story developments from the end of Storm (where they chronologically belong, such as the ironborn kingsmoot and so on) for the then-planned five-year-gap (and later inserted into Feast instead) does contribute to some of the writing issues in the two subsequent novels, and their resultingly epic writing times. On the plus side, this does result in Storm having a very strong and somewhat final ending. It's certainly not a full resolution of all the stories in progress, but those stories are 'plateaued' or put on hold in a manner that does not demand immediate resolution (probably why the wait for Feast was not as onerous for many fans as the one for Dance is at the moment). For those put off from reading A Song of Ice and Fire so far due to its incomplete status, the fact that you can read the first three books alone and reach a natural pausing point rather than a cliffhanger may be useful information.

A Storm of Swords (*****) is an excellent fantasy novel, rich in memorable characters, classic moments, fierce battles, quieter moments of reflection and some almost stomach-churning moments of genuine shock and betrayal. It remains unmatched among modern epic fantasy novels (although some have come close to unseating it) for combining a sheer epic scope and a real sense of humanity at the same time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic read!, 4 Oct 2013
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The plot ever thickens!! This has got to be the most exciting and heartbreaking book so far, but despite everything that happens, you are compelled to read on! Also, don't skip the epilogue! Has to be one of the biggest twists yet!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best so far, 25 Sep 2013
Everything comes to a head in this book. The plot is reverting, Tyrion's dialogue is at his sparkling best and important characters are killed off in dramatic style. I couldn't put it down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictably amazing drama, 30 July 2013
By 
J. R. Johnson-Rollings (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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Book three and a half of A Song of Ice and Fire is really the second half of the third book, but I've read it a few months after finishing the first half, and thought it worked well on its own, being a length that felt more manageable to read in one go.

This is a really action packed episode in the story, full of unexpected twists and events that really shake up the ongoing storyline. I love how unpredictable the plot can be and how Martin can play with my perceptions of each character throughout.

I found my criticisms of earlier novels in the series swept away - the pacing was perfect, the points of view more at good intervals, and there was never a moment that I didn't want to dive straight into the next chapter.

This is probably my favourite entry in the series so far - it brings a lot of character and plot, and if the following novels are this good, I'm really looking forward to reading them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently good quality, 15 Mar 2014
By 
Isis (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Whenever I pick up a book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series, something strange and unusual happens. I read, and I keep reading, and it’s a wrench to stop reading before the final page is turned.

I’ve praised George R R Martin’s series before for its deep world-building, authentic character creation, and refreshing unpredictability, so I thought I’d talk about something else this time. Readability. This series has it. George R R Martin truly is a master of the English language. His knowledge is broad enough to add flair to description and keep repetition at bay, but he never succumbs to flooding his work with incoherence. He knows how to construct a sentence so it is both interesting and elegantly simple, creating the sweet spot of literary flow that makes it so easy to read that it’s like the words carry you along like a current. That’s one of the reasons it’s so difficult to put down his books when I pick them up. The fluidity feels to natural that there never quite feels like a good point to put the book down and come back to it later.

Another reason is that Martin is a genius of plot structure. The alternate character pov chapters dole out just enough of that character and what’s happening with them to please, but not enough to satisfy, and before you know it the chapter’s over and you’re on to another character, with a strange mixture of thwarted disappointment that it’s now going to be several chapters before you find out what this character does next, and eagerness because now you get to find out what happened to that other character when you left off several chapters ago.

Much of the praise I had for A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow applies here, and not just because, as I keep saying, Martin is such a consistently good author – but since this was originally one complete text, the quality is especially consistent between this and part one. Same amazing world, same deft characterisations, same attention to detail, same thoughtful plot. Undoubtedly looking forwards to book four!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best books ever, 16 Oct 2013
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I am really enjoying these books, more than the movie, I can't put the book down. This is the best book of the collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of the same but that's great., 18 Sep 2013
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If you have enjoyed the series so far, this will not disappoint you. I love 'em all, so I'm biased.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best So Far., 17 Sep 2013
By 
Brian (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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George R. R. Martin is a genius. The characters and stories are so good that you get drawn into the plots. But beware! Mr Martin does not do the cheesy Hollywood style happy ever afters. Just when you think you know what's coming he will pull the rug right out from beneath your feet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 10 Sep 2013
Very long book, exciting plot told from each characters perspective. Good value. I would recommend reading the Ice & Fire series in order.
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