Fate rests on the edge of a knife.
Storm of Swords is the most interdependent of the Ice & Fire books. As the war progresses, every side sees great victories and great setbacks. These in turn make many reconsider their allegiances. Both Lannister and Stark struggle to secure new allies, and hold onto old ones. The story shifts back to political intrigue, with each side struggling to make the right choice. Revelations abound as plans come to fruition; requiring readers to reevaluate characters and events from the beginning.
The book also continues the stories of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, but while they represent a solid quarter of the book’s chapters, it’s in the politics of the Lannister, Stark, and Baratheon that this book shines; skillfully using Arya and Davos to continue demonstrating how the choices of great lords often fall upon the common folk like ruinous storms. The story never lets audiences forget the horror of war, and the reality that even the victor pays a heavy price.
This is the longest book so far in the series, with 74 chapters and 10 distinct perspectives. For many characters their story is told on the road, encountering new characters with each chapter. There are little touches of humor from time to time, but like its predecessors, Storm of Swords is a grim book, where amoral schemers often receive the richest rewards.
Feast of Crows-I&F 04