Summary: A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel… and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
Ah, the Song of Ice and Fire kick continues. I read this in a phase of thick, high fantasy novels. I don’t remember if I mentioned it in my Game of Thrones review, but George RR Martin has TERRIBLE naming skills for countries and cities. The names are interesting, at least for people, but for cities? Westeros and Essos? Really, George?
I also thought Stannis and Renly were like the Miser Brothers.
As far as books go, it’s my least favorite of the series. Everyone hates on Feast for Crows (book 4), but to be honest, there was less action in this. Less death (This sounds morbid, I know. But I like having characters die.). Like, Game of Thrones ends with a bang and a death. This… just has a battle. That has no significant character death. Also, the one significant death was not significant at all except for the introduction of Margaery Tyrell, which leads to further events I will not discuss.
Most of the show’s adaptation of this book, at least for Daenerys, was bogus. The dragon theft was bogus, and Xaro’s death was also bogus, because I’ve heard he comes back later. While I’m kind of on topic on the show, Sean Bean (Ned Stark) looks so weird in National Treasure.
Back on topic, Martin also neglected to explain the significance of the comet I described in the summary from the back. There were theories, but there was no concrete answer, and it was kind of dropped halfway through the book. We do get insight into Stannis Baratheon and his shenanigans, but nothing else really.
Characters I really hated were Theon Greyjoy and Melisandre (as awesome as she kind of is) aside from Joffrey. But no one likes Joffrey. I also am not a fan of Stannis. I think he’s very boring, which makes sense because I’m not the only one. Westeros kind of hates him too. #TeamDaenerys
Anyway, four stars for plot holes and meh characters and plot. Not my favorite, because crap hasn’t hit the fan yet.