A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
OK, I am getting annoyed with they way he interrupts one story to continue another. It's like being in the middle of a REALLY good book and having someone rip it out of your hands and insist that you have to read this book now. It is most annoying when it's a character or storyline I don't really care for doing the interrupting. So he only gets 4 stars instead of 5.
I'll start with the characters I don't care for and get them out of the way. Catelyn Stark née Tully. I have come to the conclusion that except for the Blackfish (who I like) the Tully's are either stupid or insane in some cases both. While it's not her fault that Littlefinger (Petyr Baelish) is obsessed with her, her meddling has cost her husband and son their lives. After Robb broke his betrothal to a girl of House Frey (it was Catelyn's stupid idea to have the marriage take place after the war) and married Jeyne Westerling (her family plotted with Lord Tywin Lannister to have Robb take her maidenhead so he would feel obligated to marry her and cause a rift with house Frey) she advocated having her brother Edmure Tully (now Lord of Riverrun) marry one of the Frey girls to mend the slight. The Frey's accepted the offer of Edmure Tully, but were secretly plotting with Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton to kill the Starks and their followers (Roose Bolton's bastard Ramsay Snow, was the one who destroyed Winterfell) at the "Red Wedding" when they should have been protected under guest rights. Robb and Catelyn Stark are both killed but Catelyn is resurrected by Lord Beric (stupid man he should have resurrected Robb instead), and is now leading the Brotherhood Without Banners and seeking vengeance on House Frey and anyone else who took part in the Red Wedding.
Sansa (even stupider then her Mother). After her betrothal to Joffrey is broken so he can marry Margaery Tyrell, Margaery's grandmother Olenna Redwyne plans to marry Sansa off to her grandson Willas giving them a claim to Winterfell. Sansa stupidly confides the plan to Ser Dontos who is working for Littlefinger. Littlefinger who wishes to have Sansa under his control tells Tywin Lannister of the plan. Tywin arranges to have Sansa marry his son Tyrion Lannister (The Imp). Sansa is horrified about being married to a disfigured dwarf even though he treats her kindly and agrees to run away with Ser Dontos at Joffrey's wedding to Margaery. Joffrey is poisoned and as he is dying Sansa sneaks out. Her disappearance leads credence to the accusation that Sansa and Tyrion plotted together to kill Joffrey. Sansa is taken by Littlefinger to her Aunt Lysa (who he is now married to).
Lysa who has been in love with Littlefinger since she was a child, poisoned Jon Arryn (her husband and King Robert's Hand), then sent a secret message to Catelyn blaming Queen Cersei. After she see's Littlefinger kissing Sansa she threatens to push her out the Moon Door, but Littlefinger intervenes and pushes Lysa to her death instead.
Now for the characters I like.
Jamie Lannister has finally made it back to King's Landing, but the warm welcome he expected from his sister-lover has yet to materialize. His Father disowned him when he refused to leave the Gold Cloak's return to Casterly Rock and marry. Although Tywin did give him the sword "OathKeeper". Jamie gave the sword to Brienne, the Maid of Tarth and asked her to find Sansa and keep her safe. Without his sword hand Jamie is a fish out of water and fears someone will discover he is no longer able to fight. He helped Tyrion escape because "he owed him" and a Lannister always pays his debts.
Tyrion learns that his first wife Tysha, was what he believed her to be a simple peasant girl. Jamie lied about her being a prostitute he hired for Tyrion on orders from his Father. After he escaped Tyrion used a secret passage to get into the Keep in order to confront his Father. He found Shae in his Father's bed and strangled her for the lies she told at his trial and the mockery she made of his love. After that he found his Father on the toilet and killed him before escaping.
Arya Stark is traveling with The Hound (Sandor Clegane). He realized something was wrong at the Red Wedding and hit Arya over the head with the flat of an ax to save her life. He then started to take her to her Aunt Lysa only to discover the mountain pass was impossible. While they were traveling together they were attacked at an Inn by Polliver, The Tickler and a squire. The Hound was drunk and faring badly in the fight. The Hound was able to kill Polliver and Arya stabbed the squire but The Tickler was set to finish The Hound off when Arya stabs the Tickler in the back and kills him. (She now has Needle back) They ride off but The Hound is badly hurt. Arya dresses his wounds but when The Hound can ride no further she rides off and leaves him. She goes to the Saltpans as he instructed with the idea of taking a ship to the Wall. But due to the recent attacks at the Wall no ship is going there. She takes a ship headed to Braavos, by using the coin that Jaqen H'ghar had given her, along with the Valyrian phrase "Valar Morghulis.". An IMPOSTER Arya has been sent to marry Ramsay (Snow) Bolton.
Jon Snow with the help of Brandon's wolf Summer is able to escape the Wildlings and ride to Castle Black in time to warn them of an attack from the South. Ygritte (his lover) wounded him with an arrow as he was fleeing. Jon found Castle Black left in the hands of raw recruits, the wounded and aged. Donal Noye leaves Jon in command of the Wall when he goes to defend the tunnel. After Donal Noye's death Jon holds the Wall against overwhelming odds but upon the arrival of Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt to Castle Black, he is arrested. Maester Aemon refuses to allow them to hang Jon so Thorne and Slynt send him out to kill Mance. King Stannis arrives while Jon is in Mance's tent. The Wildlings are taken captive or flee and Stannis praises Jon for capturing Mance's son. Samwell Tarly arrives at Castle Black (with Gilly and her baby) and works to get Jon named Lord Commander of the Nightwatch. (Sam is one of the few people who know that Brandon Stark is alive, he helped Brandon and his friends go through a secret tunnel to the North). Ghost finally arrives back at Castle Black and is reunited with Jon.
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