Monday, September 21, 2009

A Storm of Swords

George R. R. Martin must hate weddings.

I mean, seriously. Half the weddings in A Storm of Swords ends badly. Actually, come to think of it, all of them do in one way or another.

This wasn't an easy book to read, no more than the others. Martin is not sentimental when it comes to his characters and that's part of the reason why reading this series is so difficult. By the end of this book, there's very few heroes left, not many people worth rooting for. A few, to be sure, but most of them are dead.

I'm not even sure how to sum up this book's plot. So much of it is built on what came in the first two books. The so-called War of the Five Kings continues with moves, countermoves, plots and betrayals. Some of them came seemingly out of nowhere. The "Red Wedding" in particular made me gasp and want to stop reading. Of course, the wedding that came after that wasn't much better. Things have been shaped and reshaped so much that I'm not sure who I can or should root for.

Maybe that's the point. Martin doesn't exactly create heroes with his stories. All of his characters are flawed in some way, shape, or form. Some rise to actual nobility, only to be dragged down by their secret demons.

I'm beginning to wonder why I keep coming back. But I know the answer: the story is too compelling. I doubt I'll find "happily ever after" when A Song of Ice and Fire is done, but I want to see if it will be satisfying.

So on I go to A Feast for Crows. And then I guess I'll join the ranks of readers waiting for the next book. Hopefully it will all be worth it.

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