A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 3)

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin, is a book packed with action, thrills, and shocking moments.  Continuing where books one and two left off, the Seven Kingdoms are split up and five kings are fighting to keep their titles.  It seems the Lannisters continue gaining power and are always staying one step ahead.  The Night’s Watch is struggling to keep the Seven Kingdoms safe against the wildlings, but are the wildlings going to be their biggest enemy?  We don’t find out in the third book.  Kings are slowly being eliminated  from the fight and the common people are fighting for their lives.  Many are just looking for peace and happiness, but how many will find it and at what price?  Daenerys Targaryen, the so-called true born heir to the throne is winning battle after battle across the Narrow Sea and is getting closer to claiming her throne as her dragons grow bigger.  One mystery has yet to be solved: Who will win the game of thrones?

Martin’s whole series deserves two thumbs up.  The imagination and thought that went into these books is amazing.  The reader is transported into this fantasy world and is right there in all the action with the characters.  I had nothing negative to say about the last book and once again I have nothing negative to say about this one.  The story line moves quickly, the details of the story are perfect, and the plot twists and turns, leaving you with your jaw dropped.

As stated in my review of the first book, it moved very slowly and was hard to keep focused on the story.  In the second book, the story line picks up the pace and it is easy to stay caught up with the book.  In this third book, I was expecting about the same pace of the second one but I was very wrong.  This book is loaded with action.  It is one thing after another in this book and there is never a dull moment.  It seems like each and every page has a new surprise.

I thought Martin had thrown all of his twists and shocks into the first two books.  Once again I was wrong.  I was once again extremely upset with some of the things that happened in this third book.  Martin gives no indication that there is going to be a twist and as said above, there are many jaw dropping moments in this book.  I was angry and shocked but that is exactly what makes a good book.  As readers we are used to the same plot outline in a book so we expect certain things to happen.  Martin changes everything and gives us a fresh idea and leaves us wondering what is going to happen next.  It is almost impossible to correctly predict what is going to happen in this series and that is what makes these books so amazing.

Some say it is a special trait to be able to read a book and imagine everything happening as you read.  It’s like a movie playing as you flip through the pages.  Martin makes it extremely easy to visualize every moment in this book.  The details in the whole series are amazing and it is a wonderful experience to see this book play out in your mind as you read page after page.  I love how close I get to the characters, loving some and rooting them on then hating others and hoping they die every time something begins to go wrong for them.

Martin is an amazing author and this series just keeps getting better and better.  I highly recommend this whole series.  I have never really been into fantasy books or movies but this series has captivated me.  I cannot wait to read the fourth book and see what surprises Martin has in store.  I think this is going to be the best book yet.  I wish I had an idea of what is going to happen!

Quotes from A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin:

“You’re mine,” she whispered. “Mine, as I’m yours. And if we die, we die. All men must die, Jon Snow. But first, we’ll live.”

“The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.”

“If ice can burn, then love and hate can mate.”

“All men are fools, if truth be told, but the ones in motley are more amusing than ones with crowns.”

Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 2)

http://bookscovertocover.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/game-of-thrones.jpg?w=535

No one is safe.  In George R. R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings, the Seven Kingdoms are at war.  The enemy is everywhere and people who are supposed to be friends will turn their backs in an instant.  The kings fight for the throne and fight for their own lands.  Innocent people are attacked and their villages burned.  Knights are craving the killings and soon enough, the scent of blood is everywhere.  The Night’s Watch find themselves on the brink of battle to keep the warring Seven Kingdoms safe.  However, they soon discover that their enemy has a secret weapon; creatures that were thought to be dead for thousands of years.  The Starks begin to find out that they have talents that connect them to their direwolves.  Across the Narrow Sea, the mother of dragons is searching for a way to take back what is rightfully hers, but is finding she can trust no one.  Summer is officially over and winter is on it’s way.  It is so very hard to figure out who will win the game of thrones.  There is nothing that is disappointing about A Clash of Kings.

I find nothing to complain about in book two.  Between the plot, the characters, the setting, and the emotions that this book will bring out, everything is, in my opinion, perfect.  I thought that this second book was going to be more action packed and full of surprises, and it didn’t fail.  The first book set everything perfectly and made it easy to jump right into the action for the second.  So let’s jump right into all of the things that made A Clash of Kings such an amazing read.  I can’t keep all of you waiting!

Once again, Martin does not fail to shock me.  In Martin’s books, the good guy doesn’t always win.  Knowing this, I found myself pissed off once again.  Reading along in the story I started thinking ahead.  I started plotting what I thought was going to happen  in my head and then BAM!  Martin completely messes up what I thought, just like he did in the first.  A Clash of Kings is definitely loaded with surprises; there is a twist at every corner.  This book is a lot harder to put down than the first, because you have to know what he is going to throw at you next.  This book is a considered a fantasy, but it feels more like a reality sometimes.

When I think of a fantasy book, I think of the unknown creatures, the magic, the humans with special abilities, and all of those other intriguing things.  These all come out in A Clash of Kings, but at the same time, there is a reality that comes out in this book. Sometimes while reading along, it is hard to remember that it is a fantasy because it seems so real and I think that all of us can relate to what is going on.  The series isn’t just about the war.  It’s about family, love, loyalty, trickery, and many other things that we all battle in our daily lives.  So many things seem real in this book.

Martin does an amazing job of transporting the reader into the Seven Kingdoms.  You can see yourself tagging along with the characters.  His descriptive abilities are amazing and he doesn’t miss a beat.  I think that the small things are what help paint this amazing story out in front of the reader.  When I was reading about a character I felt like I was really with them, witnessing every little thing they did.  You can picture the valleys, meadows, burnt remains of villages, and the sea with boats on their way to war.  Everything was well drawn out, especially the characters.  You find yourself either loving them or hating them.  You not only get an idea of what they look like, but you also get an up close look of their personalities. You can feel their anger, heartache, love, and fear as you read their stories. Some characters, you feel like you should hate them, but you find yourself rooting them on.  There is a character that everyone can relate to.  The best thing about this book, and it was evident in the first as well, was that the reader gets to choose who they are rooting for.

Most books it is easy to see who the protagonists and antagonists are.  In Martin’s books however, I feel like the reader gets to choose for themselves.  If you read the book and I asked you who you wanted to win the war, there is a good possibility that you will have a completely different response than me.  I think this is a powerful thing.  Everyone gets to decide for themselves and throughout the book, your own emotions come out while reading.  A part that makes me mad may make you happy and so on.  Everyone can have their own opinions and not many books can do that.  A Song of Ice and Fire Series is one of a kind.

The second book was an amazing book and I recommend that everyone read this wonderful series.  Even if you aren’t a big reader on fantasy or war, I still recommend it.  This book is much more than those things.  Martin has included many wise words and I think that everyone can learn something from this series of books.  In a way aren’t we all playing in the game of thrones?  We may not be playing to rule the kingdom, but we are playing to stay alive and make our way to the top of the chain, wherever that may be.  Aren’t we all in it to win?

I think that the third book is going to be even more action packed than the second, and I think the fourth will begin summing things up a bit.  I will be reviewing the third book as soon as I am done.  It is a bit longer than the other two so it may be a bit.  I hope that everyone will read this series and I hope that we can discuss our thoughts and opinions some time!  I do want to leave a quick note about the second season on the TV show.  The first season seemed dead on with the book but for a few minor changes and additions.  The second season doesn’t follow as closely and there are a lot of major changes.  Just a fair warning that they get things a little out of whack.  I thought the first season was great, but I have been a little disappointed with the second.  Hope you all enjoy and talk to you all soon!

Quotes from Clash of Kings:

“Power resides only where men believe it resides.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

 “He who hurries through life hurries to his grave.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

Much love,

Sarah

 

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1)

A Song of Fire and Ice Series

There is much to say about A Game of Thrones.  While chatting with one of my regular customers at Jet Coffee about the books we have been reading, she recommended that I read the book.  She was currently in the third book and said that the series was amazing.  A Game of Thrones is a very complex and complicated book about a whole different world; even more complicated to explain in my opinion.  The book is set in a place called the Seven Kingdoms.  As you can guess, there are seven different rulers throughout the kingdom.  Peace has settled after the last king was dethroned and the summer sun has been shining for a long time.  But as the Starks at Winterfell (one of the families of the Seven Kingdoms) say “Winter is coming”.  Things around the kingdom begin changing and the individual kingdoms are on the brink of war.  On top of the rising tensions between the kingdoms, the Night’s Watch (the Seven Kingdom’s protectors) are battling unknown beings known as the Others.  I should probably mention that across the sea another group of people, known as the Dothraki, are slowly plotting to take the Seven Kingdoms back into their ownership. There is so much and yet so little going on in this book that it truly is hard to explain.  Each chapter is told from different characters’ perspectives.  During each of these chapters, the book slowly comes together piece by piece just like a jigsaw.  George R. R. Martin slowly feeds you bit by bit until you are engulfed in this huge flurry of activity.  There are several things to both love and hate about this book. Overall though, the book is very addicting and will make you crave much more as you go along.

There are so many good things to say about A Game of Thrones.  The book slowly pieces together the characters throughout this wild fantasy.  I found myself immediately liking the protagonists.  Their characters were upfront and forward and there was an immediate connection with their honesty and loyalty.  However, the antagonists take awhile to get to know, at least in my opinion.  Their sneaky ways stopped me from knowing, or trusting what they were thinking so they took much longer to get to know and understand.  I really like this about the book.  You never know what the antagonists are truly planning because I feel that their thoughts are…for lack of a better term…shady.  I think everyone will find characters that they relate to or characters that they begin to love or hate as the story goes along.   I also enjoy the fact that you can form your own opinion and gather your own thoughts about what is happening.  Being able to get each character’s perspective allows you to see the different sides of the story, in turn letting you make up your own mind about what is happening.  There is one thing that I can say Martin did extremely well…he completely took me by surprise.

While reading most books, I tend to be able to know what is going to happen next.  Most of it is from the stereotypes in the genre and because of that, it is very easy to guess what is going to happen next in a book.  A Game of Thrones literally made my jaw drop.  I never, never expected some of the things that happened in the book to happen.  The thoughts never even crossed my mind and at one point I was actually extremely pissed off about how some things happened.  The details in this book are great.  I can easily picture myself in the kingdoms, watching as things begin to slowly unravel.  The book is one of a kind and will definitely be worth the read.  However, there are a couple of downsides about the book.

I will be brutally honest when I say that this book takes a really long time to get into.  I would read some, put it down, read a different book, come back to it, on and on.  I hope you get the idea.  This isn’t a book that you will get into within the first few pages.  My customer warned me that it did take a long time to get into so I was patient.  Through the beginning and middle, the book is rather boring.  Nothing really exciting is going on, so I think the set up for this book took way too long.  The book can also get really confusing, especially if you are on and off with it like I was.  It is very easy to get the characters mixed up at first and it is hard to keep track of who is where doing what and with who.  Thankfully at the back of the book there is a chart to help keep track of who is who and which kingdom they are from, etc.  This is really helpful to staying on track.

Overall, A Game of Thrones was a slow read up until the end.  But it became much worth it once I got to the good parts.  So if you are one of those people who can deal with the achingly slow, boring parts to get to the shock and amazement of the real action, this is definitely a book for you. I’m looking forward to starting book 2, A Clash of Kings today and I hope to update you all by the end of the week.  I have the feeling that this one is going to be much more exciting and shocking than the first.  I would also like to throw in a brief recommendation to watch the HBO series along with the book.  It helped me keep the characters straight and also gave me incentive to read ahead so I could watch the next show.  If anyone has read any of these books or if you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment or contact me.

A quick glance at some quotes from the book:

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

“When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”

George R. R. Martin-A Game of Thrones

Much love,

Sarah

Review of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

A look at the covers of the Fifty Shades books

The Fifty Shades Trilogy follows the erotic relationship built between innocent soon-to-be grad Anastasia Steele and the dominant, controlling billionaire Christian Grey.  Throughout the trilogy not only do the couple have to learn about each other and battle Christian’s inner demons from a tragic childhood, but they also have to fight off crazy ex-lovers and ex-bosses looking for revenge.

The books do a good job of describing the characters and the setting, placing a firm picture of what is happening into your mind.  You get a pretty good look at their personalities and who they are.  The relationships are rather believable and the emotions come out clearly, at least to me.  I can feel the pain, love, and heartache that occur throughout the books and I can also relate to many of them, making them that much more real.  Knowing that nothing is ordinary about their relationship, there is that wonderful need to keep reading on, wondering what is going to happen next.  I will say that I read a lot of other reviews on Amazon.com stating how the book seems unbelievable, but that’s what makes fiction books so interesting.  It’s all about believing in the things that we don’t think can happen and I enjoy that in this book.   However, there are several things about the series that make you want to stop reading and throw the book against a wall.

One of the major flaws about the Fifty Shades Trilogy is that it felt like everything was rushed.  In the suspense scenes, it has a small build-up and next thing you know, the whole ordeal is already over.  I felt like I wasn’t left hanging in my seat long enough to enjoy what was happening.  This is the same for the sex scenes, which there are a lot of.  There is sex, sex, sex throughout the whole book, and I didn’t get wet and tingly once like some of the people who have read the book.  As Ana thought in one of the supposedly steamy moments, “talk about wham, bam, thank you ma’am”.  They were too short and they weren’t really engaging.  They took their clothes off, got busy, and then Christen would tell Ana to come for him and it would be all over.  There is also the fact that it seemed like after all of the suspense and thrilling moments, they acted as if nothing happened shortly afterwards.  This part is very unbelievable for me, I would think that most people would be shocked and horrified, possibly even need therapy.  There wasn’t enough emotion play on the after moments.  I also have to say that the word play in the book is pretty horrible.  There are so many repetitive phrases in the book that it can get boring reading them over and over again.  Don’t let these stop you from reading the book though.

As I said before, there are many things that make you want to stop reading and throw the book against the wall, but there is just something about this book that I can’t seem to get out of my mind.  Lots of times I finish a book and mull over it for the rest of the day, then I’m done, over it, and on to the next one.  I finished the Fifty Shades Trilogy three days ago and there is just something about it that just hits home.  Maybe it’s the dream of being stable financially and being able to do all the things I have wanted, or maybe it is the feeling of having a man being over-protective and oogling you all the time, making you constantly feel good about yourself.  Could even be the dream of having an exciting life and having so many crazy adventures like Ana and Christian.  I haven’t quite decided what it is yet.

If you are planning on reading the books for the sexual fantasy, I wouldn’t get your hopes up on getting anything from it.  However, if you are looking for a book that has a lasting effect and that makes you look at your life wondering what things would be like if you were in that position, this one would be a real winner.  I thought I was going to be reading these sexual fantasies of a dominant man making a woman submit to him, but I ended up reading a series of books that made me think of what else I want from my life.  One that has made me think for days and days. It definitely has a lasting effect.

You can find the Fifty Shades Trilogy at Amazon

                                              

My New Journey

Welcome to Books Cover to Cover!  After still thinking about a book that I have read several days ago (which is rare for me), I have decided to start reviewing the books I read.  I love getting lost in a book; there’s no better feeling than getting transported from reality for a little while.  I hope that everyone will get some insight from my reviews and hopefully make a judgement on books they are interested in.  My opinions will be honest and I will try to update weekly if not more, depending on the books.

I am 23 years old and I live with my boyfriend of 4 years.  During the day I am a barista at Jet Coffee in Florence, KY.  I love to read during my shifts and the coffee shop is a nice quiet place to get lost.  During the evenings I am a waitress at Muggbee’s in Anderson, OH.  Not much time to read there, but after my shift I love to curl up at home with my 4 wonderful dogs and get lost in my book all over again.

Once again, I hope that you all will enjoy my reviews.  I look forward to meeting all of you and getting to know everyone.  Please feel free to comment on my posts and tell me what you think.  Enjoy and much love to everyone! :)

Sarah

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