Review: Martin’s A Storm of Swords

Ed note: This was written for a new defunct live journal circa 2007 before GOT became the pop culture juggernaut it is now.

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)
George R.R. Martin

Basically a soap opera, but my kind of soap opera, with the occasional swordfight/dragon and or touch of sorcery, but still I totally enjoyed it. If I didn’t spend my days grappling with the contradictions inherent in the balance between equity and the rule of law, maybe I’d feel guilty reading so much fantasy and science fiction.

I am not that well versed in fantasy, having spent my alienation teenage years reading SF instead, but there’s a lot of interesting things I think you could say about fantasy, at least as it is written by Martin. There’s some intense stuff going on here with regards to gender and class. The story line is on its face is one of a world of the noble where men are men and women are women, but things are more complicated than that as the story progresses and as often as not, the high born turn out to be fuckers, and the women to be as complex as the men (which is more than you can say for much popular portrayals of women in literature) and often stronger.

As I have mentioned in my other reviews of the first two books, the violence here is gruesome and visceral and it doesn’t always take place on the battlefield. Rape and other forms of intimate violence occur frequently and unexpectedly.  As do the deaths of characters you think are central. My understanding from the internet is Martin is having a hard time with the next volume. I hope he hurries up, I need to find out how this all ends.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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