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A Storm of Swords, Part 2: Blood and Gold (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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‘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’
‘This is one of those rare and effortless reads’ ROBIN HOBB
‘George R.R. Martin is one of our very best writers, and this is one of his very best books’ RAYMOND E. FEIST
‘Such a splendid tale. I read my eyes out – I couldn’t stop till I’d finished and it was dawn’ ANNE MCCAFFREY
‘George Martin is assuredly a new master craftsman in the guild of heroic fantasy’ KATHARINE KERR
‘Few created worlds are as imaginative and diverse’ JANNY WURTS
About the Author
George R.R. Martin is the author of fourteen novels, including five volumes of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, several collections of short stories and numerous screen plays for television drama and feature films. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold is epic! Part One builds, and builds, and builds, but Part Two? It explodes! So much happens that it's liable to send you insane after all the adrenaline and heavy breathing. This entry just pounds the reader with twist after twist, and thankfully, it's all smooth.
I mean, we have battles upon battles, both big and small; betrayals of the highest and most bloodiest order; strange friendships forming; and the world's hierarchy is once again thrown into chaos.
I think the best part for me has to be the unpredictability. Despite being up-to-date with the television adaption, I love being able to discern the differences between book and show. Up until now they've been minimal at best, fun to pick out, but not enough to shatter what I already know. Part Two: Blood and Gold, however, climaxes with an immense plot twist that is most definitely not on the small screen, and it has me spinning...
SPOILER WARNING (Should only be slight spoilers, but I won't take any chances. You've been warned.)
Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)
Robb Stark, King in the North, has flown high, higher than anyone expected him to, but his fear of a fall looms like a vicious shadow.
Arya Stark is separated and stuck with someone she's considered an enemy for a long time, but despite her confusion, her future reeks of loneliness.
Sansa Stark yearns for the safety of home, but with her family scattered and Winterfell in ruins, she might just have to learn to play the game, or die trying.
The Starks are worlds apart, and no matter how hard they fight to reach one another, fate has other plans in store.
But with Daenerys's vast army approaching, Jon Snow's war in the North, and Tyrion's fight for survival, they may never see one another again...
Plot - 5/5 Stars
Simply: The plot is fearsome! Martin rules when it comes to capitalising on his wicked suspense, and the journey to the explosions is tantalising. With an epic fantasy like this, you have it all: Action and adventure; battles and betrayal; intricate webs that make up the threads of the story. The amount inside each of these novels is huge, but it all goes to building this full world that captures the imagination without even trying to.
And, God, the emotion... Most of you will know of the Red Wedding by now, and if you don't, I recommend reading the series just for that scene alone. The show's adaption sticks with me more because it was new and fresh, but Martin is no slouch, and reading the events of the bloodbath as they build and happen adds a new dimension of stress to my feels.
Oh, and please expect death, lots and lots of death.
The Red Wedding isn't the only huge event the novel has to offer, with a realm-defining war waging at the Wall, the Mother of Dragons gaining strength and Tyrion facing some very, very difficult personal matters. I just don't know how to hype this entry enough.
Pace - 5/5 Stars
More ferocious than Part One. The author is still building plots of course, but Part Two has some fantastic culminations that set a new tone and direction that I cannot wait to delve into.
Characters - 5/5 Stars
I love this cast! When there are multiple viewpoints it's almost always inevitable that there's one you roll your eyes at. But Martin has crafted characters that, even if you absolutely hate them, you're compelled on by their personality and story. It might be vast, but none of the players are watered down.
Part Two displays many definitive shifts. Our characters march forward only to be splintered and sent awry in the most devastating way possible. Everyone has some form of glory, but the downfall is hard, and only the strong will survive.
Writing - 5/5 Stars
I think I'm just going to call the author Master Martin from now on. The guy's talent cannot be reviewed, at least, I can't do it, not enough to do it justice.
Overall - 5/5 Stars
So this review is a little shorter today, I'm tired, majorly. This week has been a busy, busy week and will continue to be, but thankfully I'm managing to squeeze in some time for reading and reviewing. A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold is a novel that needs more than a simple star rating. So here's my simple review, and I'll be back at it soon as I can.
Hopefully I'll have some quality reviews in the future; I need to have a sit down and dissect a book again.
As the war for the iron throne continues, there is a lot of action happening at the same time to the different characters. Never a dull moment.
Nothing is predictable. No character is safe. Character development is phenomenal. Action scenes are vivid, and guided by a breathtaking language.
Characters are ruthless. They manipulate, control, backstab. There are horrific deaths. There is bloodshed, plenty of surprising plot twists, and secrets are revealed. For instance, finally, we get the answer -- who tried to kill Bran with the knife.
Two weddings mark this book. There is the marriage of King Joffrey with Maargary Tyreell taking place while Prince Oberyn Martell attends the wedding and hopes to avenge his sister’s murder. All the while Rob Stark, his mother, and Edmure Tully head to the wedding at the Twins. Both ceremonies have a tragic end.
I love the relationship between Jaime and Tyrion; how Jaime has never been influenced by Cersei or his father; how Jaime never mistreated Tyrion. And OMG Tyron really surprises us with his unexpected coldness and violence towards the end, but his father and lover only get what they deserve. Additionally, Jaime’s wits and relationship with Brienne is perfect. Not perfect, but perfect in a way that I am hungry for more.
Ayra’s journey gets more and more treacherous. She is so brave and smart, and I always forget she is just a child. Ayra and Jon are definitely my favourite characters.
I love Jon’s character development; how a bastard is slowly ascending so high.
Sansa used to be so annoying, but slowly she is learning and growing, and I feel so sorry at the things happening to her. Little Finger kissing her … arrgg … she is thirteen, but he has clearly a plan in mind.
Catelyn Stark—never cared about her. Additionally, I appreciate that Davos and Bran’s chapters are hugely important, but they don’t keep my interest as they should. Whenever I am reading their POV'S all I want is to find out what’s going on with the other characters instead.
Daenerys has the three dragons, who are slowly growing as she is coming to Westeros. I love her attitude, pretending to be more innocent and even stupid than she is, and then boom she destroys her enemies when they least expect it, mainly because they underestimate her. Jorah betrays Daenerys. It is hurtful for her, but another lesson learned.
I don't need sleep. I need A Feast for Crows.