I read this book after having watched most of the corresponding events on HBO’s Game of Thrones television series, so I didn’t have the same shocking moments that someone who read the books first would have. Also, having watched the show first, it likely affects my view as I’m reading the novel. Having said all of that, like the first two books in the series, A Storm of Swords is excellent. George R.R. Martin is a fantastic writer and very professional in every sense. As a fellow writer, I appreciate the talent and skill he possesses. Few writers that I have ever read can match Martin as a writer.
This novel is chocked full of amazing memorable scenes, most notably the Red and Purple Weddings. Why anyone in the world of A Song of Fire and Ice gets married is beyond me. Nothing good ever comes from these weddings. The battle at the wall with John Snow and the wildlings was also memorable. The one thing that holds me back from proclaiming this as sheer brilliance is that I enjoy the show more. One thing that limits the character development is that Martin only uses certain characters as viewpoint characters and some of the remaining characters aren’t developed as well, something that the show does a better job with. Still, this hardly detracts from my enjoyment of the novel, and I highly recommend it.
Carl Alves – author of Two For Eternity