5 of 5 stars *****
The Game of Thrones continues on several storylines with a relentless pulse and vigor rarely maintained in an epic that reads so well. The vast scale of events occurring simultaneously in various parts of this fictional world keep this reader busy checking the appendix for the characters and their loyalties. Suspense builds momentum toward some destined clash of families and doom from an undead legend.
The clashes are not all military. Most of the devious plots occur in the royal courts of kingdoms while surviving members of the honorable Starks are scattered throughout the land. Much of the adventure stems from simple encounters with people. Revealing too much information about oneself too early can mean death, so stealth and resilience encourage the persistent to pursue an eventual reunion with family. This far into the tale, the protagonists seem to be losing the battles as they fall prey to shrewd betrayals which diminish their number.
A Storm of Swords keeps the reader riveted from one scenario to another. Martin's mastery of character development affects those who gaze upon his prose by involving them in the story, hoping that beloved characters fair well in the dark times of his third book. Shock can occur at any time from any place with any number of players. The intensity in previous chapters continue to create apprehension with every turn of the page. These books never disappoint and leave one hungry to delve into the next thrilling adventure.