My notes for A Storm of Swords, the third entry in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice saga, say “This series just keeps getting better and better.” This novel picks up slightly before the end of the last one.
The evil King Joffrey Lannister has set aside his betrothal to Sansa Stark so that he can marry Lady Margaery Tyrell. Sansa is forced to marry Joffrey’s uncle Tyrion, the dwarf. Tyrion treats her gently, but she remains afraid of him. Soon, Joffrey is murdered, and Tyrion and Sansa are accused of the crime.
Jaime Lannister has made a deal with Catelyn Stark for his freedom in return for Catelyn’s daughters. He goes off firmly intending to meet his part of the bargain, escorted by the knight Brienne of Tarth.
Robb Lannister’s army has smashed the Lannister forces in the Westerlands, but Robb has ruined an important alliance with the House Frey by marrying Jeyne Westerling of the Crag instead of his intended Frey bride. He agrees to a Frey marriage for his uncle in an attempt to make amends.
Arya Stark is still wandering, trying to get home to Winterfell. The group she is traveling with encounters Sandor Clegane, The Hound, who kidnaps her.
Up at the Wall, Jon Snow has disappeared on a scouting mission with Qhorin Halfhand. Although Halfhand has commanded Jon to act as an oathbreaker so as to infiltrate the wildings, when he returns, the members of The Watch think he has betrayed them. Bran Stark and his friends Jojen and Meera Reed, having hidden in the crypts during the destruction of Winterfell, arrive at the Wall in Jon’s absence and go on farther north.
In the East, Daenerys Targaryen gives up one of her dragons to buy an army of eunuch slaves called the Unsullied. Her hatred of slavery is such that she orders the Unsullied to sack the slaver cities and frees all the slaves.
Martin shocks you at times by killing off some of your favorite characters. But are they all really dead? If you haven’t read any of these books, you’re missing an exciting series.