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Customer Review

77 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One glowing tribute is not enough, 3 Oct. 2002
This review is from: A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three (Paperback)
I was momentarily disappointed and puzzled to see that there's still only one customer review for ASoS, two years after its publication, but of course there's a good reason for this. The ASOIAF readers who are full of missionary zeal for the series (approximately 95% of the total readership, at a conservative estimate) are focusing their efforts on getting all their acquaintance to read the FIRST book of the series, not the third. They reckon, understandably, that their job is then done, and that any normal person will only need to know that the second and third books exist to be rushing out and acquiring them, and then be frustrated to fever pitch that they have to wait another half year till A Feast for Crows. It's a little difficult to say anything much about the later books without betraying spoiler information about the earlier ones - and these are books where surprise is crucial to the first reading experience. Which won't stop you REreading the books repeatedly and finding fresh delight in them each time.
So no spoilers here either. If by some chance you've read A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings but not this, then lose no further time. It is in my opinion the best yet - if only because it's the longest and so provides the reader with even more hours of pleasure than the earlier two! Another reason for my opinion is the sheer brilliance of what Martin does with one of the two new character viewpoints he introduces here. To say more would give away too much.
If you've read all three books and just want to see someone else's thoughts on them, because you're still on a high, and everything but the book seems dull and unimportant, what you need is the A Song of Ice and Fire message board on ezboards, where you will be able to discuss the books at whatever intellectual level you are capable of,in minute detail, with hundreds of otherwise sane fellow addicts.
And if you haven't read any of them,and have found your way here by some accident or whim, waste no further time. Order A Game of Thrones from amazon right now, pausing, if you like, to read some of the customer reviews for it. It should take you only a week or so before you are ordering the rest of the series.
WARNING A few pitiable souls are unable to appreciate it, and although I know of many younger readers who adore the series I wouldn't recommend it unreservedly to those under fifteen, due to Martin's readiness to inflict harrowing experiences, injury or death on sympathetic characters, the explicitness of the descriptions of sex and violence, and the language of some of the characters. Some would find it disturbing. But this explicitness is not in the least gratuitous. It is part and parcel of the story. Others find it disconcerting to switch between multiple viewpoints, and don't have the patience to persevere until they adjust to each different "voice". But whether your taste is for comedy or tragedy or romance, action or dialogue or description, noble idealistic heroes or cynical flawed anti-heroes, realism or escapism, you will find plenty to satisfy you. Your sympathies will be broadened, and you will be stimulated into thinking for yourself, and adjusting your opinions in the light of later information, not just passively absorbing what you read.
If you like good fantasy, you will like this. If you like good historical novels you will like this. If you like good writing of any kind you will probably like this.
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