A first entry in this blogspace for 2013. I left off with such a dramatic and verbose last entry for 2012 and I haven't found the time nor strength to start anew as promised in said last entry. Until now.
For the past 3 weeks, I've spent myself immersed in the adventures (and stress) found within the realm of Westeros that I find it fit to start off 2013 with a book review from now my most favorite books ever, "A Storm of Swords" from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. My own copy of this book is almost completely tattered and destroyed - so stressed and emotional was I when reading this book, that even my mother had bespoke her concern for me. Tradition is, before the new season on HBO comes out, I must read the book beforehand. After this third one though? I've completely done away with that tradition and went on reading both the fourth and the fifth installment simultaneously - since the author mentioned that the timelines of both books are parallel; both taking place after the events of A Storm of Swords.
This is my first ever book review to be written on this blog. I promise, no spoilers, just insightful encouragement if you are ever considering reading the series while waiting for HBO's release on telly.
TITLE: A Storm of Swords (3rd installment of A Song of Ice and Fire series)
AUTHOR: George R.R. Martin
Publisher: The Random House Publishing Group, 2000
No. of Pages: 1128 pages
Summary: Taking off from the events of The Clash of Kings, the five contenders for the Iron Throne are scattered across Westeros, each continuing forth with their struggle and war as Joffrey Baratheon remains standing ahead of the league. Unbeknownst to the realm, an unforeseen and frightening army of White Walkers - ghastly live corpses made of darkness and ice, draws ever more closely from far beyond the Wall.
One-thousand-one-hundred-and-twenty-eight pages.One-thousand-one-hundred-and-twenty-eight pages of spell-binding and detailed landscape and history of Westeros, mind-racking twists and turns, ever-growing depth and interweaving of characters, nerve-racking cliffhangers and… the list goes on and on with this astounding addition to the Song of Ice and Fire series. George R.R. Martin’s exorable specialty deals with his intricate character building; his way of making readers love and understand every character he writes (even the most hated ones) – by delving deep into their psychology, their past and their thoughts. Reading through the pages of this third installment, it feels almost as if his purpose was to establish a relationship between the characters and the reader – an excruciating ordeal for the reader, especially when the author suddenly decides to lop a character’s head off with no given warning (i.e. never forget the execution of Ned Stark at Baelor’s Sept from Game of Thrones). Still, therein remains the beauty of this book – the depth of the characters and the way readers end up giving these characters a second glance (and ultimately, a second chance), completely doing away with their first impressions of them from the first and second books. It’s all befuddled. You don’t know which House you want to win anymore, no clue on how a particular House would win the Iron Throne, nor if you even want them to anymore. You just know you have fallen madly in love with certain particular characters, if not all (even the dead ones), and you’re just vying for them to get along as one realm or burn trying.
"The only thing that is certain is winter." - Ned Stark. How accurate.
One-thousand-one-hundred-and-twenty-eight pages? In all honesty, a puny number that does not even come close to summing up or foreclosing all the events, characters, emotions, turmoil, stress and chaos that transpired in this one book. Storm of Swords is an exquisite page-turner that just leaves the reader completely spent but still reeling for more.
That's it! If you don't read the books, watch out for the official start of Game of Thrones Season 3 on HBO this coming March 31, 2012. For alternatives, there's also the new GoT card/board game and a couple awesome strategy and action-role playing games that's out. Geekery forever!