A Storm of Swords
The third book in the seven-part series A Song of Ice and Fire by Award Winning American Author George R. R. Martin, A Storm of Swordscontinues to narrate the Civil War ongoing in the Seven Kingdoms. The War of the Five Kings is in full swing and now only four of them remain after Renly Baratheon is killed mysteriously in his camp. It is published by Bantam and released August of 200 in the United Kingdom and November of the same year in the United States.At this stage of the war, alliances are the key to victory as each faction seeks to strengthen its forces by aligning with different houses in the hope of coming up with the largest and strongest force. Robb Stark continues his decimation of Lannister forces in the Westerlands and now seeks to reclaim Winterfell from the Greyjoys. His plans are, however, waylaid as he is ambushed and assassinated in the wedding between House Tully and House Frey, which was to serve as payment for Robb reneging on his promise to wed a daughter of House Frey. His army and banner men are, likewise killed in the encounter, including her mother Catelyn.
Stannis Baratheon who is the strongest rival of King Joffrey for the throne managed to absord his brother Renly’s army after he is killed. Stannis however, finds that this is not enough as his attack on Kings Landing is thwarted by the new alliance and combined forces of House Lannister and House Tyrell. Following his defeat, he moves northward to The Wall to aid Jon Snow and his campaign against the ruler of the wildings Mance Rayder as he is convinced that the true King of the Seven Kingdoms would protect the Northern border of the realm. He successfully captures the King of the wildlings and helps Jon Snow and the men of the Night’s Watch.
Jon Snow, on the other hand, after being helped by Stannis’ army and reclaiming the Wall is asked by Stannis is he would like to be proclaimed the new Lord of Winterfell. Surprisingly however, he elects to stay behind and be proclaimed the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch- choosing to honor his oath to this ancient brotherhood.
In Kings Landing, Joffrey cuts his betrothal to Sansa Stark and weds Margaery Tyrell to further solidify their families’ alliance. Sansa instead marries Tyrion Lannister, who takes pity on the child and refuses to consummate the union. Joffrey eventually dies in this chapter after being poisoned at his wedding by Littlefinger (Although the blame falls on Tyrion). Balon Greyjoy is killed as well under equally dubious circumstances. With these developments, Joffrey’s younger brother Tommen succeeds to the throne. Jaime Lannister refuses his father Tywin’s offer to make him heir to Casterly Rock and instead goes on to become the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
Meanwhile, in a land not too far from the Seven Kingdoms, Daenerys Targaryen is moving back to Pentos where she hopes to continue rallying forces to her cause and reclaim the Iron Throne. She is surprisingly aided by Ser Barristan Selmy, known as Barristan the Bold who was the former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard until he was relieved of her duty by Cersei Lannister.