Westeros is divided by a chaotic war. Stannis Baratheon hopes to win the north by battle, but he requires the support of Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Jon is torn between his loyalty to the Night’s Watch and helping those who fight for the realm. He is well aware that the Wall is only as strong as those defending it. Meanwhile in the east, Daenerys Targaryen lives on dreams as she smashes the slaver cities to dust.
Clever plot twists and revelations make this an exciting read. I’ve realised that Jon Snow and Daenerys share some traits in their personalities and circumstances. They both have doubts about who they should trust. Jon’s predecessor faced a mutiny and Daenerys knows she will be betrayed once more. Being at the top is a lonely place for these two characters. They are young with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Weirwoods are sacred trees and in this book we learn more about their significance. There is a chapter in particular from Bran which features a weirwood and tugs at your heartstrings.
In the previous books, Theon Greyjoy was one of my least favourite characters. I’m not sure how I feel about him now. His spirit has been broken and he’s turned into a nervous wreck. If karma exists, then Theon is the proof.
I like the fact that Martin reintroduces minor characters and gives them solid backstories. As ever, one of the strengths of these books is the detail, from the food to the clothing to the weather.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐