Publication Date: May 28th, 1999
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Reviewed by: Amber R.
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who hold sway over an age of enforced peace are dead, victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
These books are always a little hard to get into at first. The main reason that the second book was hard to get into was because there were so many people killed in the first book. You aren't sure who the major players are going to be coming into the second.
Arya is easily a favorite character in these books. She has always been the underdog, at home in Winterfell where her sister Sansa was the true lady and Arya just wanted to play with swords. She is determined, brave, courageous, and smart. She is always bringing tension and excitement to her chapters. I always look forward to reading her chapters.
Of course the Lannisters are particularly evil. Most of all Cersei, the queen regent. I don't believe I've ever loathed a character in a book as much as I loathe her. She believes she's clever and cunning. And I'll admit she gets some things done. But she is such a vile person.
All of the characters are notable. The story line is something that I could never imagine. I've never really read any fantasy books and I'm so surprised and happy that I decided to read these. They are super long and a commitment once you start but they are totally worth the time.