Winter approaches Westeros like an angry beast.
The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud. In the northern wastes, a horde of hungry, savage people steeped in the dark magic of the wilderness is poised to invade the Kingdom of the North where Robb Stark wears his new-forged crown. And Robb's defences are ranged against the South, the land of the cunning and cruel Lannisters, who have his young sisters in their power.
Throughout Westeros, the war for the Iron Throne rages more fiercely than ever, but if the wall is breached, no king will live to claim it.
The POVs featured in this book are Jaime, Catelyn, Arya, Tyrion, Davos, Sansa, Jon, Dany, Bran and Samwell.
In King's Landing, it is the aftermath of the battle. Tyrion is recovering from his wounds and is furious that his father is claiming all the credit for the victory. He is refused gratitude and the right to Casterly Rock. He is also worried sick about Shae, and orders Bronn to take care of a singer who is trying to blackmail him over the affair. Sansa meets the Tyrells and confesses what Joffrey is really like. Olenna promises to marry her to her grandson Willas, the heir to Highgarden, and finally Sansa sees a method of escape. Her hopes are sashed when the Lannisters discover the plot and decide to marry her to Tyrion, the new Master of Coin while agreeing that Littlefinger can go north to marry Lysa.
Davos has been rescued from the rocks he washed up on and returns to Dragonstone to be instantly arrested for planning to kill Melisandre. He is imprisoned with Queen Selyse's brother Alester for trying to do a deal with the Lannisters to marry Shireen to Tommen and allowing Joffrey to keep the Iron Throne which infuriates Stannis. Melisandre is planning to use royal blood to curse the usurpers and remove the enemies of Stannis. Dany is annoyed by Jorah's attempts to seduce her, reminding him of his place. He counsels her to buy the Unsullied from Kraznys as they will not rape and loot unless on her command, and she decides on a more productive plan. Jaime and Brienne run into trouble when they are found by Bolton men and Jaime takes a terrible risk to save Brienne from being raped.
Robb has returned to Riverrun, married to young Jeyne Westerling who he felt compelled to marry after sleeping with her, despite his betrothal to a Frey. The Freys storm out in fury and Catelyn warns him that Walder Frey will not forgive the insult, and her son agrees to make amends for it. A new wedding is discussed. Robb is already angry at Catelyn for freeing Jaime and at Edmure for disobeying his battle orders, allowing Tywin's troops to join forces with the Tyrells to defeat Stannis. He is also facing a rebellion from the angry Karstark clan, who want justice for their dead. While the Boltons hunt down Jaime and Brienne, Catelyn frets over the news that Tyrion might die of his injuries. She is unaware that Arya and her friends are now headed towards Riverrun and have run into the Brotherhood.
Beyond the Wall, Jon gets to meet Manse and is accepted into the wildling ranks, though his feelings for Ygritte are developing in a way that concerns him. Ygritte tells Jon of a legendary horn that will bring down the Wall and says that Manse is looking for it, and during his search the dead were released. The wights attack the Night's Watch at the Fist of the First Men and Sam is amongst the survivors fleeing for his life, saving Grenn in a heroic moment by killing a White Walker. The survivors are unaware that Tywin is plotting to put Janos Slynt in as Lord Commander to gain control over the Night's Watch. The Night's Watch are in a terrible state as they retreat to Craster's Keep and mutiny erupts. Bran's group start north to find the raven from their dreams.
This was another really great book, with the action changing frequently as we follow all of our favourite characters through the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. I'm enjoying seeing more of the war in the Riverlands, Catelyn's family, and the political issues that Robb is dealing with there. It is more than we are getting to see in the TV show which is fun. I also really enjoy following Sam, and getting an insight into what is going on in Jaime's head. I liked the plot to take over the Night's Watch being thwarted by the arrival of the wights, which is not in the series. It is the basis of the story we see in the series but with a lot of added detail which is exciting for the reader, including the various prophecies. The second part of this book which I review next is my favourite!
Read October 2017