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A Song of Ice and Fire has never been a lighthearted series, and its author isn’t all that merciful either. Everything takes place in a cruel, dismal world full of corrupted people thrive for nothing but power. There, only the strong get to live, and the weak will be eliminated by them.
Nobody is safe in the series. Whether they’re an important character or not doesn’t matter. Martin only keeps them around when they still have a role to fulfill. After that, their fate remained unknown, as everything can befall them.
A Storm of Swords, the third entry of the entire series, has solidified this fact for me.
I’ve already finished the entire series, but this is the only book that I rarely read again. I just can’t stand it. Not because it’s terrible or anything, but because the dread and sadness it brings, as well as the melancholy atmosphere that casts over all the chapters.
Sometimes, there are moments where you believe it has gone for good, but as you flip through the pages, you’ll realize that it’s still there, waiting for the perfect time to come at you and mess your feelings up.
There are just too many twists and turns in the book, too many boiling points, and too many shocking incidents. The way I see it, this very book can be considered as one of the most heavy-hearted books of the series. While going through it, I have a feeling that my emotions are on a roller coaster ride, Heaven might come in one minute, but the next one will pull them down to Hell.
A wedding, which is supposed to be a joyous moment, turns into a massacre.
A man is attacked and has his wound infected. Then his companion has no choice but to leave him.
A girl does her best coming to her mother, only to realize that she has been slaughtered and thrown into the river.
The list goes on and on. The entire novel is filled with blood and cruelty. And you know about Martin’s style. He goes into details about the tiniest thing, and that just like rubbing salt into the wound. You don’t just see the characters die, but actually experience what happens to them as they perish.
This might be one of the darkest chapters of the series, but it also manages to give all the important characters a turn for the better. They must learn from the past, the pain, and the mistakes to get even smarter and even stronger. The youths no longer remain naïve, their losses have made them grow up more than they realize.
And from this darkness, they will soon rise and become some of the key characters of the entire series.
The book is pretty good, but also very graphic. Martin doesn’t like leaving anything behind, so he writes down all the battles, the fights, and even the sexual encounters between each character in the most descriptive way possible. And I have got to admit, the man’s vocabulary is downright impressive!
When my heart is already healed, I’ll definitely reread the book. But not now. That tragic wedding still tears me apart every time I remember it.