Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
This story of power, politics, and people of the Seven Kingdoms is the setting for the Hugo-nominated third installment in the "Song of Fire and Ice" series. The numerous story threads are intense, compelling, and multifaceted as Martin weaves a tale full of battles, political infighting, plot twists, and complex characters. Tony Award-winning British actor Roy Dotrice provides an engaging narration. VERDICT Those unfamiliar with the series may need a character guide to keep track of all the players, but this will be welcomed by Martin's legion of fans and those enjoying the HBO production based on the series. ["A rousing saga that should appeal to most fans of grand-scale fantasy," read the review of the Bantam hc, LJ 11/15/00.-Ed.]-Denise A. Garofalo, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
The third volume of the high fantasy saga that began with A Game of Thrones and continued in A Clash of Kings is one of the more rewarding examples of gigantism in contemporary fantasy. As Martin's richly imagined world slides closer to its 10-year winter, both the weather and the warfare worsen. In the north, King Joffrey of House Lannister sits uneasily on the Iron Throne. With the aid of a peasant wench, Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, escapes from jail in Riverrun. Jaime goes to the other youthful ruler, Robb Stark, to secure the release of Joffrey's prisoners, Robb's sisters Arya and Sansa Stark. Meanwhile, in the south, Queen Daenarys tries to assert her claim to the various thrones with an army of eunuchs, but discovers that she must choose between conquering more and ruling well what she has already taken. The complexity of characters such as Daenarys, Arya and the Kingslayer will keep readers turning even the vast number of pages contained in this volume, for the author, like Tolkien or Jordan, makes us care about their fates. Those two fantasy greats are also evoked by Martin's ability to convey such sensual experiences as the heat of wildfire, the chill of ice, the smell of the sea and the sheer gargantuan indigestibility of the medieval banquet at its most excessive. Perhaps this saga doesn't go as far beyond the previous bounds of high fantasy as some claim, but for most readers it certainly goes far enough to command their attention. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
The "beloved fantasy saga," regular old ordinary fiction, continues.
Kirkus Book Review
Third in Martins massive fantasy series following A Game of Thrones (1996) and A Clash of Kings (1999). Theres further turmoil in the Seven Kingdoms. Among the proximate causes: the ruling House Lannister; Robb Stark and his own tyro kingdom; threats from beyond the mysterious Wall; and Daenerys Stormborn with her dragons. The upside is impressive: a backdrop of real depth; elaborate yet immaculate plotting; believable characters; and controlled, resourceful magic. The downside, though, is daunting: the impossibility of remembering whos who or whats what, plus the lack of a synopsisthe cast list, though swollen to 46 pages, doesnt help. Consider, too, the following sequence: (1) 672 pp., $19.95; (2) 30 months, 896 pp., $25.95; (3) 21 months, 992 pp., $26.95. Yep, Doorstopper Syndrome for sure.