After waiting five years between completing books in this series, George R. R. Martin comes back with a thrilling and violent-as-ever installation in his terrific series. The action picks up where A Storm of Swords left off, (A Feast for Crows runs parallel to this novel) where we find out more about everything Outside of King’s Landing. Tyrion Lannister, after killing his father, is escaping to the Free Cities and heads for the Dragon Queen Daenrys Targaryean to offer his help and exact his revenge on the rest of his family. Daenrys also has her hands full dealing with the politics of keeping a city safe, keeping her dragons out of danger, and being courted by several highborn men who want to rule beside her.
Meanwhile, in the North, Jon Snow is dealing with wars on two fronts. He has to carefully keep the King of the North, Stannis Baratheon, happy all the while figuring out how to defend Westeros from the encroaching dead walking the land north of the Wall. He will have to bargain and make decisions that will determine the lives of many. We also get a glimpse of Bran Stark and his journey north of the Wall to an ancient place with many secrets. By the end, all of your favorite characters come back, including Arya, Jamie and Cersei, in another installment of one of the most epic fantasy stories of all time. The blood will flow, lies will spread and pacts will be made and broken, but that’s how you play the Game of Thrones. -- EF