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A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3 | [George R. R. Martin]

A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

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 the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.
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Publisher's Summary

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 the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords....

©2000 George R.R. Martin, (P)2004 Books On Tape, Inc., published in arrangement with Random House Audio Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, 2001

"Richly imagined." (Publishers Weekly)
"A riveting continuation of a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle." (The Patriot News)
"I always expect the best from George R. R. Martin, and he always delivers." (Robert Jordan)
"High fantasy with a vengeance!" (San Diego Union-Tribune)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (15033 )
5 star
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4.7 (11662 )
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Story
4.6 (11599 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lesley Seattle, WA, United States 10-03-06
    Lesley Seattle, WA, United States 10-03-06 Member Since 2005

    From Austen to zombies!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    508
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    84
    6
    Overall
    "Excellent storytelling"

    At 46 hours, this unabridged edition is quite the commitment. But don't worry--this book went by way too fast for me.

    This continuation of the story from A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings couldn't be more exciting. While there are rather a lot of plot threads, they merge enough so that the reader can tell what's going on. Similarly, secondary or tertiary characters can get lost, but that's forgivable with a story this sweeping. Martin even manages to work twists into the subplots.

    The best part of the trilogy, for me, is that Martin weaves a believable fantasy world without falling back on too many fantasy cliches. Yes, it's about kings, knights, dragons, princesses, battles, and so forth, but the characters are real people, with timeless virtues and flaws. Cersei Lannister may be a bit flat, but young Sansa Stark is surprisingly real. Tyrion Lannister in particular is memorable; he and his brother Jaime have some of the best dialogue I've ever read outside of Elmore Leonard.

    The narrator, Roy Dotrice, does a fabulous job, bringing life to the characters with his blustery British tones. I was disappointed to see that he didn't narrate the next book in this series, A Feast for Crows, but that didn't make this book any less enjoyable.

    One caveat: if you've listened to the first two books in this series, you probably already know that it isn't always family-friendly. It's definitely PG-13, and in places even R. If that's a concern, there are other excellent titles with less for parents to worry about (the Shannara series comes to mind).

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Schoharie, NY, USA 03-27-05
    Frank Schoharie, NY, USA 03-27-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
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    4
    4
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    0
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    "Love it! Top 5 all -time fantasy series"

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series and approached the audio version with a bit of trepidation. This is a LOT of listening, so the actor doing the portaryals had better be up to the task. Mr. Dotrice does a SUPERB job! His accent and inflections are beyond wonderful! Dick Hill had been my all-time favorite reader -- now he must share his "title" -- this series would be worth buying just to enjoy the readings. The story itself is among thte best in the fantasy genre, even in spite of some unnecessary digressions the author sometimes takes -- they are usually so intriguing that the story is all the richer for it. PARENTAL WARNING: there is a goodly amount of very graphic sex and violence -- all very appropriate to the story, but you must decide if your adolescent reader is ready for it. The earthiness adds to the reality of the tale: so realistic, you'll wish you were reading history instead of fiction.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John D. Frazier Leesburg, VA 02-14-13
    John D. Frazier Leesburg, VA 02-14-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator often completely unintelligible"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    Read this book because it's good, but the performance by Roy Dotrice can often times be so mush-mouthed and affected, it makes many of the characters he portrays completely unintelligible. Sadly, we only have his performance to listen to.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I wish the narrator put a lot less Cockney in his characterizations.


    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Herve Bronnimann New York City, NY USA 08-09-05
    Herve Bronnimann New York City, NY USA 08-09-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    333
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    142
    20
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    2
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    "Thrilling fantastic literary works."

    Now I know there have been so many reviews that I hesitate to add one. I just wish to say I enjoyed these books tremendously. This one is the third of the series "A Song of Ice and Fire", whose title takes more and more ominous tones as the story unfolds. The first two books were "A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings", and although I haven't written a review of those, I agree with all those who raved for the book. I loved them all. How else could you listen to this third volume (38 hrs?!?) So I assume I am preaching to the choir here. If by any chance, you haven't listened to the first two, you really need to start with GoT (as the first volume is called amongst fans). Absolutely.

    For the fans, I just wish to say that the fourth installment comes in November. I've already asked Audible when they plan to provide the audio version. I find these books more immensely enjoyable in audio form, although I recently bought the paperbacks as a reference, esp. when the fourth volume comes out. It'll be handy, and more easily browsable than an audio version.

    So there. If you don't know where the web site is, and would like to read the announcement from the author himself, google it or go to georgerrmartin.com. In a previous page (now defunct, I wonder why) he explained that his choice for "A Feast for Crows", as the fourth tome is going to be named, is to take apart the book he'd be writing and only keep the part about the Seven Kingdoms (yeah! my favorite!) The part about Daenerys and the Isles is going to go into the next installments. This way he'll be able to finish the fourth in time, and in fact it makes more sense to him. And to me too: it was a bit irritating to jump back and fourth between the two continents in two stories which we knew wouldn't come together till much later in the story (perhaps not even in the next two volumes).

    For those of you feel same, my favorite character is Arya. Can't wait to hear her story. Yeah!

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephan LuzernSwitzerland 01-05-06
    Stephan LuzernSwitzerland 01-05-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    5
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Overall
    "Two Masters at Work"

    To me George R Martin is the best fantasy writer. Though I love his books, the speaker in this audiobook is even better. He makes the characters come so alive, I seem to know them better than most of my friends (no joke!).
    I stopped rereading the books and only listen to them.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Morristown, TN, United States 06-10-05
    Arthur Morristown, TN, United States 06-10-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    182
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    7
    7
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    10
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    Overall
    "Back to Westeros for another captivating tale...."

    Once again, George R. R. Martin delivers a fantastic read in this, the third book in A Song of Ice and Fire, and it's better than the first two. For those critics that like to complain about Martin's tendency to heap insurmountable troubles and tragedies upon his heroes and heroines, well...they won't be dissapointed! Martin gleefully takes the reader on a roller coaster ride full of both happiness and sorrow (albeit much more of the latter than the former,) and it will leave you exhausted but exhillarated at the end. The writing is as compelling and powerful as ever. Roy Dutrice is a pleasure to listen to as always--the man is a wizard with all his voices and accents; he does a better job of suspending my disbelief than some of the full-cast audiobooks I have listened to. Even with characters dropping like flies (which is skillfuly balanced by having such a numerous and colorful array of characters) many plot issues are resolved, some are put on hold for the next book, and more than a few new twists will keep readers wringing their hands for the next installment. It brings me great sorrow to know that this is the last audiobook to date in the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series, and it would be a travesty if Audible doesn't get their hands on the next book (entitled A Feast For Crows.) Now I have to subject myself to little spurts of cloyingly melodramatic drivel from lesser authors and lesser narrators. Sigh. The dispair is almost enough for a longtime fantasy reader to take The Black (so to speak) and not listen to another non-George R.R. Martin audiobook, ever.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trent Regina, SK, Canada 11-08-04
    Trent Regina, SK, Canada 11-08-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    37
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Phenomenal"

    The best in the series, this book is one of the best written/read audio books I?ve even encountered. It kept me riveted until the last word; I was as rapt at the end of hour one as I was at the end of hour 50. This is definitely not your typical fantasy novel. It is, in a word, amazing.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David USA 08-12-04
    David USA 08-12-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "A master"

    Martin is the most talented author in the Genre since The Professor made it respectable... it's as simple as that.

    If you have not read/listened to these books and you enjoy fantasy, you owe it to yourself to do so. Solid multidimensional characters, deep plot, good imagery (not Tolkien level but good nonetheless)... these books have everything. The most annoying part of the books is that you get so deep into each character that when he switches to a different one you get mad, only to get into that character and get mad when he switches back. Then of course there's his propensity for killing off main characters... don't get too attached to anyone!

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott M. GRUSSING Tampa, FL 06-29-04
    Scott M. GRUSSING Tampa, FL 06-29-04 Listener Since 2004

    Scott

    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
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    251
    10
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    1
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    Overall
    "Outstanding!"

    In this third volume of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy, familiar voices (and new ones) once again greet the listener as Mr. Dotrice redoubles his efforts in tackling such a mammoth tome. At around 46 hours of audio, A Storm of Swords follows the continuing conflict between the Stark and Lannister families and the ensuing war that has erupted across the kingdom.

    The listener will be left on the edge of their seat and waiting for the next volume of the series as A Storm of Swords is brought to its dramatic close. True to his prior readings, Mr. Dotrice breathes a life into the characters so well that it is all too easy to forget that it is but a single man doing the reading.

    I recommend it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gyasi Boston, MA, USA 01-30-05
    Gyasi Boston, MA, USA 01-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Roy Dotrice"

    I listened to the first book, read the second, and heard the last. Without a doubt Mr. Dotrice delivers an eloquent narration from beginning to end.He reminds me of how much I loved being read to as a kid. Somewhere in the spoken word you can hear the sounds of atmosphere and ambiance that compel the listener into beliveable worlds. His repetroire of accents are numerous and deep. Some of the women's voices fall flat, but the children and men are well done. And those are obvious strengths and weaknesses.

    I finished the book in less time it took to listen to the narration. But I thought that the spoken word added so much more to a strong foundation. It seems to me that though I consider myself a strong reader I did not read the story for all that it was worth; a good reason to buy the audio book.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
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