A Storm of Swords – George R. R. Martin

I like reading longer series. Long term projects give a pretty good structure to our otherwise mundane lives. It gives the otherwise painful long weeks a rhythm that makes it all manageable. Sometimes I end up regretting the choice to read a series (see The Expanse books), but for the most part I tend to be pretty happy with the choice.

Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is a pretty big name on this front. Partially because it has yet to be finished, and partially because it was put onto the small screen by an HBO. Frankly, if you found this review you have likely seen the damn show. Unless this review gets blasted off into space, A Song of Ice and Fire doesn’t really need an introduction. And in that vain, I feel like there is very little I need to say about this book except ‘it’s season three of the tv show’. IN fact, I am rather in awe at just how faithful the adaptation has been up to this point. Sure, there are differences, but not the kind that are noticeable or irksome. The books is much more detailed and textured than the tv show could be.

I don’t think I am saying anything here that is a scientific breakthrough.

This book is unbalanced. So was the previous one, and (because I am writing this late and have torn through the one that comes after it) so are the sequels. Some chapters were much better than others. That of course is to be expected, but it was particularly noticeable here. One of Bran’s chapters really stood out to me, when Joren started recounting a fairy tale to Bran. I could not have cared less. I tried to pay attention as hard as I could, imagining that this at some future point was going to be important to the narrative. But the problem was that Martin hadn’t given me a reason to care now, and now was when I was reading it. Maybe this was hinted at or foreshadowed earlier, but if it was, I missed it.

As I mentioned before, at this point the book is still just the TV series. And this is just season three. The differences are starting to mount up, but they aren’t there yet. I finished this book pretty happy to finish it, and not too eager to start the next one.

Frankly, I have no idea. And I am happy this way.

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