I’d put off reading Storm of Swords. It’s a big book and I’m a slow reader. I’d also not enjoyed Clash of Kings. The circumstances regarding Renly annoyed me greatly, as if the tone of the worldbuilding suddenly shifted. It felt a forced book, one where the writer’s machinations were too clearly on show.
However, I greatly enjoyed the HBO show of Game of Thrones (as well as the book of the same some years prior). George R R Martin proved to be an excellent reader at Eastercon so I decided to give Storm of Swords a go.

It’s been a book that has been bubbling under, an ‘also read’ rather than my main read. But as a result it hasn’t suffered from my recent disruption as much as other books.
I’m not going to write a review, but I did enjoy this one more than Clash of Kings. Strangely, the cause for my enjoyment is the same as what put me off of Clash of Kings. I liked how the sorcery is slowly starting to be weaved into the story. A Song of Ice and Fire always felt more faux historical fiction than traditional fantasy but now some of those fantasy elements are being woven in, and I think this book did it a lot better than its predecessor.
It still feels a little heavy, but at least with this book, some of the key action scenes don’t get skipped over. I don’t think George R R Martin waffles, but he is very much a storyteller and lets the tale tell itself. As a result it’s very rich, sometimes to the point where you wish he could find a way of being more economical.
I’d deliberately kept away from spoilers for The Red Wedding so it was a great shock when it happened, and I was wondering the point of the epilogue until the very end. A nice twist!
As a result, I’m interested in moving forward to Feast of Crows. But maybe not just yet. I’d like to keep ahead of the show but at the same time I have a lot of other books to read.