I think I'm just gonna call the author Master Martin by now (A Storm Of Swords: Part 2 Blood And Gold)
"The Starks are scattered..."
A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold is epic! Part One builds, and builds, and builds, but Part Two? It explodes! So much happens that it's liable to send you insane after all the adrenaline and heavy breathing. This entry just pounds the reader with twist after twist, and thankfully, it's all smooth.
I mean, we have battles upon battles, both big and small; betrayals of the highest and most bloodiest order; strange friendships forming; and the world's hierarchy is once again thrown into chaos.
I think the best part for me has to be the unpredictability. Despite being up-to-date with the television adaption, I love being able to discern the differences between book and show. Up until now they've been minimal at best, fun to pick out, but not enough to shatter what I already know. Part Two: Blood and Gold, however, climaxes with an immense plot twist that is most definitely not on the small screen, and it has me spinning...
SPOILER WARNING (Should only be slight spoilers, but I won't take any chances. You've been warned.)
Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)
Robb Stark, King in the North, has flown high, higher than anyone expected him to, but his fear of a fall looms like a vicious shadow.
Arya Stark is separated and stuck with someone she's considered an enemy for a long time, but despite her confusion, her future reeks of loneliness.
Sansa Stark yearns for the safety of home, but with her family scattered and Winterfell in ruins, she might just have to learn to play the game, or die trying.
The Starks are worlds apart, and no matter how hard they fight to reach one another, fate has other plans in store.
But with Daenerys's vast army approaching, Jon Snow's war in the North, and Tyrion's fight for survival, they may never see one another again...
Plot - 5/5 Stars
Simply: The plot is fearsome! Martin rules when it comes to capitalising on his wicked suspense, and the journey to the explosions is tantalising. With an epic fantasy like this, you have it all: Action and adventure; battles and betrayal; intricate webs that make up the threads of the story. The amount inside each of these novels is huge, but it all goes to building this full world that captures the imagination without even trying to.
And, God, the emotion... Most of you will know of the Red Wedding by now, and if you don't, I recommend reading the series just for that scene alone. The show's adaption sticks with me more because it was new and fresh, but Martin is no slouch, and reading the events of the bloodbath as they build and happen adds a new dimension of stress to my feels.
Oh, and please expect death, lots and lots of death.
The Red Wedding isn't the only huge event the novel has to offer, with a realm-defining war waging at the Wall, the Mother of Dragons gaining strength and Tyrion facing some very, very difficult personal matters. I just don't know how to hype this entry enough.
Pace - 5/5 Stars
More ferocious than Part One. The author is still building plots of course, but Part Two has some fantastic culminations that set a new tone and direction that I cannot wait to delve into.
Characters - 5/5 Stars
I love this cast! When there are multiple viewpoints it's almost always inevitable that there's one you roll your eyes at. But Martin has crafted characters that, even if you absolutely hate them, you're compelled on by their personality and story. It might be vast, but none of the players are watered down.
Part Two displays many definitive shifts. Our characters march forward only to be splintered and sent awry in the most devastating way possible. Everyone has some form of glory, but the downfall is hard, and only the strong will survive.
Writing - 5/5 Stars
I think I'm just going to call the author Master Martin from now on. The guy's talent cannot be reviewed, at least, I can't do it, not enough to do it justice.
Overall - 5/5 Stars
So this review is a little shorter today, I'm tired, majorly. This week has been a busy, busy week and will continue to be, but thankfully I'm managing to squeeze in some time for reading and reviewing. A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold is a novel that needs more than a simple star rating. So here's my simple review, and I'll be back at it soon as I can.
Hopefully I'll have some quality reviews in the future; I need to have a sit down and dissect a book again.