Chaos reigns across Westeros as the land is torn apart by war. Each faction is led by a pretender to the Iron Throne. All, that is, apart from Robb Stark, nicknamed the King in the North, who only wants to rule his own people.
Whilst south of the wall, war and treachery rage, north of it, the men of the Night’s Watch are venturing further and further into the wild in the hope of uncovering what’s behind the strange goings on they have been discovering.
As a strange red omen appears in the sky, uncertainty spreads. But what does it mean and how will it effect those who have set their sights on becoming King?
This book, like the series, is rich and vast. Many numerous threads are cleverly (and complexly) woven together into a vivid tapestry whose backdrop is war and the quest for glory. The narrative is heavy of detail and description, but it doesn’t feel heavy when you read it, rather the story comes to life, vividly and with ease.
The story is packed full; action, political intrigue, double-crossing, battles, magic and mystery all make their appearance, as well as a load of other story threads that I can’t begin to recount. It is brutal in places, but as each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view, we see it unfolding in such a way as it can only capture the imagination and draw you deeper and deeper into it.
Not much can be said without giving too much away. But I will say this: there were many twists and turns to keep me guessing as to what was going to happen next, which ensured I remained interested in what was going and thoroughly captivated by the individual struggles being played out.
The most exciting part of the story – to my mind, at least – revolves around the Night’s Watch. I am fascinated and intrigued by what lies to the north of the wall, especially as it is mostly spoken of in a mythical, mysterious way.
The depth and consistency of world building is astonishing and I am amazed that the author can retain such a tight hold on the many story threads. And this just adds to the richness of the read. Although the volume is big (my copy runs to nearly 750 pages), I found that it didn’t take me long to read as I just couldn’t stop reading.
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow, to see what happens next.