Length: 973 pages
Setting: Westeros, immediately following the events in A Clash of Kings (you can read my review here).
Interest: It’s the third book in the most awesome Song of Fire and Ice series.
Summary: In the North, Jon Snow gets across the Wall and manages to escape the Wildlings and warn the Night Watch the Wildlings are coming. They are reinforced by Stannis, and Jon is elected Lord Commander. Below the Wall, Rob nearly loses his alliance marrying rashly, and goes to his uncle’s to make up. While he and his army are there, they are ambushed, and Rob and Catelyn are killed. Arya is picked up by the Hound, but he is unable to get her to Rob before Rob is killed. Joffrey breaks his betrothal to Sansa and is poisoned at his wedding feast. Sansa is married to Tyrion, but escapes the castle at Joffrey’s death and ends up in her aunt’s house. Jaimie is released from prison as an exchange for Sansa and Arya, which doesn’t actually happen. Jamie’s right hand is cut off, but he still takes command of the Kingsguard. Bran makes it past the Wall to learn from the “three-eyed crow”. Daenerys has taken and freed a slave army and is moving toward Westeros.
Final thoughts: As good as I was hoping it would be! The only negative I have is there were so many characters, that by the time we got back to the main ones, I had almost forgotten about them. On a good note, I was always excited to see what they were up to. This book does bring out the fact that Martin is unafraid to kill off main characters – no one is safe. We’re also seeing more fantasy in this book than in the previous ones.
Title comes from: All the fighting that is going on in and around Westeros.
Awards won: Locus Award in 2001
Reading challenges fulfilled: None, since this is a review of a book from a previous year.