Tonight I finished reading the third book in George R.R. Martin’s “A Song Of Ice And Fire” series, “A Storm Of Swords”. I’m almost speechless. I previously wrote about finishing the first book, “A Game Of Thrones”. Since then I’ve read the other two. This one of the best fantasy series, in fact one of the best series of any genre, that I’ve read.
The characters are so alive. The events are so real. It’s not for the feint of heart however. These are not books with your typical Hollywood endings were the good guys are always good and always come out on top. I’m almost tempted to tell you to not let yourself get too close to the characters because either something really bad will happen to them or they’ll do something really bad themselves. It’s not that there aren’t heroes in these books—there are. However, much like in real life, things don’t always go the way you’d want them to. And heroes are not always as squeaky clean as one might hope for.
The strong setting similar to the High Middle Ages that was established in the first book continues through the next two. However where the first book really only hints at the supernatural and things that would set this series firmly in the realm of fantasy—as opposed to straight-up fiction—“A Clash Of Kings” and in particular “A Storm Of Swords” adds much of the supernatural to the stories. These are definitely fantasy books. And although they are not set in D&D or Tolkien-esque worlds of dwarves, elves, goblins and wizards, they have an incredible richness and a very unique take on the fantasy realm.
Now the only downside is that Mr. Martin is still writing the fourth book, “A Feast For Crows”. We will have to wait a while still for the continuation of the tale. His website offers an update on his progress.