Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising. From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding lands of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war. As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky - a comet the colour of blood and flame - five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.
Shonas review 5 of 5 starsLet me just start by saying this book is 873 pages long. 873 pages!!! Never before have I been a fan of epic fantasy... but it seems Martin has found the perfect mix of characters and scenarios to keep me entertained and literally begging for more. It feels like I haven't done anything but read this book for days and I'm chomping at the bit to pick up the third book in the series and get started immediately.
I think the big draw for me on this book is the alternating POVs, we are not stuck in just one persons head instead we get to see Westeros (and Qarth of course) from 9 different view points, but Martin seems to have perfected this constant switch and so we end up with this well rounded, thrashed out, larger than life tale that begs to be read.
One of my favourite characters from the TV series is Tyrion Lannister, but Tyrion in the book is so much better. I always felt in the show that he wasn't given enough credit for the things that he does, and in the book we get to see those things in even more detail. In the first book it was easy to paint Tyrion as the drunk who likes to frequent the whore houses, but in this one he really steps up his game when he has the position of Hand of the King thrust upon him... and considering the 'King' in question is Joffrey it's not an easy task, especially since the whole of Westeros is under attack from various other 'Kings' and Kings Landing is under siege.
Having seen the TV series previously I was able to pick up on the foreshadowing Martin has laced within this book.. very cleverly done... Almost a blink and you'll miss it.
This book takes a lot of reading and I loved every minute of it.