by George R R Martin
And the fun and laughter just goes on!
Or it would of there was any. One thing you can say about the epic Songs of Fire and Ice series is that they are neither funny or fun. If you have already read the preceding books, you will already know what to expect, if you haven’t then don’t bother trying to pick up the story at this stage.
The squabble over the Iron Throne of Westeros continues unabated. And as the death toll continues to rise amongst the story’s leading characters, their relationships and allegiances becomes more complex and fragile.
Young Robb Stark seems unassailable as he leads his army of northmen inexorably south towards Kings Landing. But all is not as it should be back home, with Robb’s enemies hatching plans of their own.
Beyond the Wall another war is brewing, but this time against an enemy that seemingly cannot be stopped. Jon Snow faces enemies on both sides of the Wall as he returns to Castle Black.
In the east, Daenerys Stormborn continues her campaign against the slave traders even as she prepares her return to Westeros to reclaim her father’s throne.
This is one of the most intense and complex series of books I have read in a long time. The carnage amongst the leading players in this deadly game is particularly unnerving as you never know who is going to fall next. This volume has a few surprises for those who have not already seen the TV series, with regicide seemingly becoming something of a pastime in Westeros.
The Songs of Fire and Ice has become a modern classic, even though the last book(s) have yet to be published. The immense scope of the story itself is staggering and this book is just as intense and driven as the previous volumes. The characters around whom then story is told continue to be as bold and well-structured as the tale they tell. It is common for mid series books to falter a little as the plot hits a kind of lull before the climactic ending, but in this case, there are no signs of slowing down the pace or compromising the integrity of the characters.