Genre: Epic Fantasy

Notes: GOOD. GOD.  This book is over 1,000 pages long.

Review: A Storm of Swords might be the longest book I’ve ever read.   I bought it for my kindle (I know – now I have a Kindle and Katie has a Nook.  We’ll have to change the address of this site!) and I could not for the life of me understand why the book took me an entire month to read.  I couldn’t see the thickness or hold it in my hand, so I didn’t have a good sense of my progress.  Finally, overcome with curiosity, I looked up the print version on Amazon.  Roughly 1100 pages.  Oooooh, that explains it.

But on to the book.

This. Book. Is. Great.  Like, can’t put down, reading 1,000 pages even though you made a goal to read 50 this year and this is seriously putting you behind schedule great.  The best way I think I can describe this series is that it reads like one big long story, a little like The Lord of the Rings.  Some parts are boring, but in the context of the whole story, they make sense.

I enjoy the set-up and organization of these novels because we follow one character for one chapter, get a specific point of view, and move on  to a new character.  Arya and Tyrion remain my favorite characters even as their bloodlust and less savory characteristics continue.  Arya has some terrifying characteristics for a 10-year-old girl.  For one, she’s obsessed with sword-play. Two, she’s killed like 4 people and didn’t regret it for a moment.  Three, her nightly prayer involves naming her enemies to remind herself who she has to kill. Tyrion grew even more complex in this novel than the previous two.  I love reading his chapters, but I’m not sure I’d classify him as a “good” person yet.

The biggest surprise in this book is Jamie Lannister.  I actually like him.  I almost want him  to marry Cersei even though she’s his sister and incest is clearly gag worthy.  I don’t know any twins who want to sleep with each other.  (Thank God) And their babies would have webbed toes.  But the love Jamie has for Cersei melts my heart.  All he wants to do is get back to her.  Everything he’s done in his life has been for her.  He’s never been with any other woman but her.  It’s endearing, in a perverted sort of way.

Spoiler Alert: Everybody dies.  Martin has a sick way of getting his readers to care about one character, and then brutally murdering said character.  Death, death, death everywhere.  There was one scene that had my mouth literally hanging open.  I flipped from page to page saying “No!  Did that really happen?!” But yes, it did really happen.  The Stark family gets hit hard.

Bottom Line: This book has so many plot lines!  It keeps you absorbed, interested, and intrigued.  The 1,000 pages is a little bit daunting (I mean, it’s 1,000 pages) but it’s worth the effort.  I heard the next book is just as long, but about a 1/3 less interesting.  Le sigh.