The third book in the Song of Fire and Ice series. Joffrey Baratheon still sits on the Iron Throne, Robb Stark is now King of the North and battling the Lannisters and those that are backing Joffrey. Renly Baratheon is dead but Stannis Baratheon is in the favor of the priestess of the Lord of Light and while he lost the major offensive he is still alive to keep fighting for the throne that he feels is rightfully his. Daenerys is still far distant but continues in her quest to round up support for her claim as the last Targaryn and the Mistress of Dragons. While all of these people plot and war and deceive, there is another enemy coming down from the North with the winter and the wildlings will remind all those in the South why the Great Wall was built.
There is so much going on in this book. There are many different threads all being woven together and then apart and then brought together again in ways you hadn't imagined. It's a rich and complex world and I give props to GRRM for keeping it all straight and managing it in such a way that I'm able to keep it straight as well (for the most part LOL). I do have to say that I now completely hate Arya Stark and several other characters because I'm convinced that GRRM only writes likable characters in order for their deaths to hit you harder while the vile characters seem to go on forever and ever and if they do die, their death is in no way a worth punishment for the horrid things we've had to read about. If you've watched the show I can only say that yes the Red Wedding was horrible but this man obviously has issues with weddings in general. Any more would be a serious spoiler.
At this point, I'm now ahead of the show and am taking a brief break from the series to catch up on a few other series that have had books come out recently as well as some school reading. I do hope to finish the series by the end of the year tho as it really is fascinating but then again, I love good political intrigue and this has that in spades in a fantasy setting. Now if only someone I like could survive GRRM....
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