Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold, George R.R. Martin

Publisher: Harper Voyager 2000

Pages: 554 (Paperback 2003)

Main Characters:

 Daenerys, Arya, Tyrion, Samwell, Catelyn, Sansa, Jon

 Blood and Gold is part two of the third novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It picks up where the last book left off, in the middle of a civil war. The book is split into three main story lines, the first follows the events of the ‘War of Five Kings’, following Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy and King Joffrey. The second story trails Jon Snow as he lives with the Wildlings. It sees him fall in love and question the sacred vow he took. The final story in this book is that of Daenerys Targaryean. Daenerys story sees her become a Queen and conqueror, as she calves out her own Kingdom in Slaver’s Bay.   
This book is part two of the third book A Storm of Swords and to be fair, by far the better of the two and possibly the best book of the series so far. Martin again never fears to totally disrupt the status quo of the goodies winning and the badies loosing. This of course is brilliant for the reader. In Blood and Gold Martin lulls you into believing that everything is going to be alright and that Westeros will live happily ever after. Then you are flung into a shocking, unexpected twist, where again Martin does not fear to kill off characters which I did not expect and honestly did not want to die. This made the last three hundred pages of the book absolutely fly by, keeping me in a state where I did not know what was going to happen. With fighting all over Westeros, love, betrayal and a lot of murder. Blood and Gold kept me on the edge of my seat, making me just want to read on and on.

 The detail Martin puts into this book is also astounding. Like the other books in the series the description of the history of Westeros and each leading dynasties makes  you almost believe that this series is based on a real place with its own history. The extent of detail on the previous Kings if Westeros makes them as familiar as previous Kings of England. Martin makes them very distant, but distinct enough to know what their famous deeds were, which only makes Blood and Gold better. The amount of detail is only seconded by Tolkien and his histories of middle-earth.
This book also thickens the plot of the series. It sets out how the next few books will be written, moving the focus away from some of the characters from the first two and a half books and introducing new ones and new places. I would suggest people read the first two and a half books just to get to this one, it is brilliant and I can’t wait to start the next one.

 Link to George R. R. Martin’s Official site:

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