A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)

by George R. R. Martin

Narrated by Roy Dotrice

Unabridged — 47 hours, 33 minutes

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)

by George R. R. Martin

Narrated by Roy Dotrice

Unabridged — 47 hours, 33 minutes

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Overview

THE BOOK BEHIND THE THIRD SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, AN ORIGINAL SERIES NOW ON HBO.

Here is the third book in the landmark series that has redefined imaginative fiction and become a modern masterpiece.

A STORM OF SWORDS
*
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons left in the world. As opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a supernatural army of the living dead. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . . .
*
A GAME OF THRONES ¿ A CLASH OF KINGS ¿ A STORM OF SWORDS ¿ A FEAST FOR CROWS ¿ A DANCE WITH DRAGONS

Editorial Reviews

bn.com

Our Review
George R. R. Martin's Game Continues
In 1996, A Game of Thrones earned praise and awe as a remarkable high fantasy introducing five noble families clashing for power over the wondrous Seven Kingdoms. Three years later, A Clash of Kings became a national bestseller with the continued chronicles of the royal houses of Targaryen, Baratheon, Lannister, Stark, and Greyjoy, each battling to keep or carve a kingdom. George R. R. Martin will draw a new legion of fans with A Storm of Swords, the third novel in his beloved fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Fourteen-year-old exiled queen Daenerys Targaryen raises an army like a fantasy-world Joan of Arc, but the fire is on her side, for she walks with dragons. Determined to claim the Iron Throne from which her father had ruled until he was slain by Prince Jaime Lannister, Daenerys walks a gauntlet of treacherous slavers and sorcerers.

The war between Lannisters and Baratheons that concluded A Clash of Kings has not ended. Clever Tyrion Lannister, called the Imp for his short and crippled stature, struggles to retain his honor and authority as his father, Lord Tywin, and his elder sister, Cersei, as beautiful and evil as the witch Circe of The Odyssey, turn every hand against him. Though he longs only to live with his loving mistress, Shae, Tyrion's desires are as cruelly thwarted as those of young Sansa Stark, who once loved the immature, sadistic King Joffrey Lannister and who seeks to escape.

With noble Lord Stark executed for treason, his family is scattered. Lady Catelyn counsels her valiant son Robb, the King in the North, to seek not revenge but justice as he makes war against the Lannisters. Tomboy Arya is afoot in the wilderness, having lost both her pet wolf and her sword, though gaining surprising new friends, and young Bran Stark learns he has a latent and peculiar magical talent.

Jon Snow, bastard son of Stark and a Brother of the Night's Watch, treads the most perilous path of all. Ordered on an undercover mission north of the great Wall to discover the plans of the renegade Mance Rayder, he finds not only a powerful army raised to invade the Kingdoms but also terrifying supernatural creatures in pursuit, of which giants and shape-changers are by no means the deadliest.

Book Three of A Song of Ice and Fire is inexpressibly rich in both humor and horror. A Storm of Swords is eerily atmospheric, with tales of old hauntings, dreams of bad omen, the writhing air of ghosts, and ruins. Martin's gift for imagining histories within histories, fables and superstitions, marvelous geographies, and the secrets of the heart is so enthralling that no reader can possibly be satisfied until the next chapter of the saga appears.

--Fiona Kelleghan

Fiona Kelleghan is a librarian at the University of Miami. Book reviews editor for the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, she has written reviews and articles for Science-Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Science Fiction Research Association Review, Nova Express, St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Neil Barron's Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide, Contemporary Novelists, 7th Edition, and American Women Writers. Her book Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work was published by Alexander Books in 2000.

Denver Post

Destined to be one of the greatest fantasy series ever written.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

The third volume of the high fantasy saga that began with A Game of Thrones and continued in A Clash of Kings is one of the more rewarding examples of gigantism in contemporary fantasy. As Martin's richly imagined world slides closer to its 10-year winter, both the weather and the warfare worsen. In the north, King Joffrey of House Lannister sits uneasily on the Iron Throne. With the aid of a peasant wench, Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, escapes from jail in Riverrun. Jaime goes to the other youthful ruler, Robb Stark, to secure the release of Joffrey's prisoners, Robb's sisters Arya and Sansa Stark. Meanwhile, in the south, Queen Daenarys tries to assert her claim to the various thrones with an army of eunuchs, but discovers that she must choose between conquering more and ruling well what she has already taken. The complexity of characters such as Daenarys, Arya and the Kingslayer will keep readers turning even the vast number of pages contained in this volume, for the author, like Tolkien or Jordan, makes us care about their fates. Those two fantasy greats are also evoked by Martin's ability to convey such sensual experiences as the heat of wildfire, the chill of ice, the smell of the sea and the sheer gargantuan indigestibility of the medieval banquet at its most excessive. Perhaps this saga doesn't go as far beyond the previous bounds of high fantasy as some claim, but for most readers it certainly goes far enough to command their attention. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Library Journal

House Lannister occupies the Iron Throne, though internal strife divides the members of the ruling family. Martin's sprawling fantasy epic continues the tales of Tyrion the dwarf, his renegade brother Jamie, Robb Stark of Winterfell, Daenerys Stormborn, and other participants in the War of Five Kings. The author's ability to interweave dozens of plot lines and to create memorable characters makes this a rousing saga that should appeal to most fans of grand-scale fantasy. Recommended for most libraries, along with its predecessors, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Dallas Morning News

This medieval fantasy series stands as one of the best.

Kevin M. Kelleghan

George R. R. Martin's Game Continues

In 1996, A Game of Thrones earned praise and awe as a remarkable high fantasy introducing five noble families clashing for power over the wondrous Seven Kingdoms. Three years later, A Clash of Kings became a national bestseller with the continued chronicles of the royal houses of Targaryen, Baratheon, Lannister, Stark, and Greyjoy, each battling to keep or carve a kingdom. George R. R. Martin will draw a new legion of fans with A Storm of Swords, the third novel in his beloved fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

Fourteen-year-old exiled queen Daenerys Targaryen raises an army like a fantasy-world Joan of Arc, but the fire is on her side, for she walks with dragons. Determined to claim the Iron Throne from which her father had ruled until he was slain by Prince Jaime Lannister, Daenerys walks a gauntlet of treacherous slavers and sorcerers.

The war between Lannisters and Baratheons that concluded A Clash of Kings has not ended. Clever Tyrion Lannister, called the Imp for his short and crippled stature, struggles to retain his honor and authority as his father, Lord Tywin, and his elder sister, Cersei, as beautiful and evil as the witch Circe of The Odyssey, turn every hand against him. Though he longs only to live with his loving mistress, Shae, Tyrion's desires are as cruelly thwarted as those of young Sansa Stark, who once loved the immature, sadistic King Joffrey Lannister and who seeks to escape.

With noble Lord Stark executed for treason, his family is scattered. Lady Catelyn counsels her valiant son Robb, the King in the North, to seek not revenge but justice as he makes war against the Lannisters. Tomboy Arya is afoot in the wilderness, having lost both her pet wolf and her sword, though gaining surprising new friends, and young Bran Stark learns he has a latent and peculiar magical talent. Jon Snow, bastard son of Stark and a Brother of the Night's Watch, treads the most perilous path of all. Ordered on an undercover mission north of the great Wall to discover the plans of the renegade Mance Rayder, he finds not only a powerful army raised to invade the Kingdoms but also terrifying supernatural creatures in pursuit, of which giants and shape-changers are by no means the deadliest.

Book Three of A Song of Ice and Fire is inexpressibly rich in both humor and horror. A Storm of Swords is eerily atmospheric, with tales of old hauntings, dreams of bad omen, the writhing air of ghosts, and ruins. Martin's gift for imagining histories within histories, fables and superstitions, marvelous geographies, and the secrets of the heart is so enthralling that no reader can possibly be satisfied until the next chapter of the saga appears.

--Fiona Kelleghan

Fiona Kelleghan is a librarian at the University of Miami. Book review editor for the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, she has written reviews and articles for Science-Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Science Fiction Research Association Review, Nova Express, St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Neil Barron's Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide, Contemporary Novelists, 7th Edition, and American Women Writers. Her book Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work was published by Alexander Books in 2000.

Kirkus Reviews

Third in Martin's massive fantasy series following A Game of Thrones (1996) and A Clash of Kings (1999). There's further turmoil in the Seven Kingdoms. Among the proximate causes: the ruling House Lannister; Robb Stark and his own tyro kingdom; threats from beyond the mysterious Wall; and Daenerys Stormborn with her dragons. The upside is impressive: a backdrop of real depth; elaborate yet immaculate plotting; believable characters; and controlled, resourceful magic. The downside, though, is daunting: the impossibility of remembering who's who or what's what, plus the lack of a synopsis—the cast list, though swollen to 46 pages, doesn't help. Consider, too, the following sequence: (1) 672 pp., (2) 30 months, 896 pp., (3) 21 months, 992 pp., . Yep, Doorstopper Syndrome for sure. Author tour

From the Publisher

A riveting continuation of a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle.”Patriot News

“Martin creates a gorgeously and intricately textured world, peopled with absolutely believable and fascinating characters.”The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“One of the major fantasy works of all time . . . some of the best the field has to offer.”Science Fiction Chronicle
 
“High fantasy doesn’t get any better than this.”The Portland Oregonian

“Like a cross between a complicated game of chess, a quirky Stephen King tale and ‘Braveheart,’ Martin’s epic advances his series with gritty characterizations, bold plot moves and plenty of action.”The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Martin’s magnum opus is a powerful and stunning achievement. Don’t miss it.”scifidotcom

Library Journal - Audio

This story of power, politics, and people of the Seven Kingdoms is the setting for the Hugo-nominated third installment in the "Song of Fire and Ice" series. The numerous story threads are intense, compelling, and multifaceted as Martin weaves a tale full of battles, political infighting, plot twists, and complex characters. Tony Award-winning British actor Roy Dotrice provides an engaging narration. VERDICT Those unfamiliar with the series may need a character guide to keep track of all the players, but this will be welcomed by Martin's legion of fans and those enjoying the HBO production based on the series. ["A rousing saga that should appeal to most fans of grand-scale fantasy," read the review of the Bantam hc, LJ 11/15/00.—Ed.]—Denise A. Garofalo, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY

OCT/NOV 04 - AudioFile

Revenge for old insults and a quest for absolute power, with all the associated battles, have no bounds as the intrigues around the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms continue. The boy king, Joffrey, lives up to his reputation as a budding cruel tyrant, behind whom his grandfather and mother continue to believe they exercise the real power in the kingdom. Roy Dotice reprises his characterization of a long list of important and recognizable characters from earlier books in the series. This proves to be a valuable aid in keeping family relationships clear and maintaining the threads of the plot. Dotrice has the manner of a gruff, old knight, a tone that is well suited to this epic tale. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine

Product Details

BN ID: 2940169465419
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 03/16/2004
Series: Song of Ice and Fire Series
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,255

Read an Excerpt

Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
A Storm of Swords
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world....
But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until theSeven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . .
From the Paperback edition.

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