If you have not yet read my review of the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, you can do that here.
I am not planning on reviewing George R.R. Martin’s entire series, but the paperback split of the third book brought to mind a saying of Jesus: What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but to lose his own soul.
Why Volume 1?
Like many fantasy epics, Martin’s 3rd novel in A Song of Ice and Fire is incredibly long. So long, in fact, that it was split into two volumes for paperback publishing.
So, the 3rd book I read ended
In this volume though, it ends with all of the opposing armies defeated and the family that has been the most egregious manipulators in the series are all doing incredibly well.
Is Love Enough?
I saw a quote from some business leader that reminded me of the Storm of Swords. The quote said that as parents, love is not enough. Because if love was enough all our children would be high performers.
Leaving aside the fact that there are many people who don’t love their children, this attitude is wrong in so many ways. And it shows in Martin’s fantastical history as much as any other place.
The great Tywin Lannister has spent his entire life ensuring his family is great. He has worked hard so that people will not laugh at him or his family.
So hard, in fact, that he misses the opportunity to engage, discipline, affirm, listen to, or do any other action that is part of love for his children.
His love for high-performance outshone his love for his children and it tells.
At What Price Victory?
This novel was interesting because it shows that the best laid plans of the most successful people often cause their own downfall.
If you dishonor your vows, ignore your children, disinherit your children because of a disability that you can’t face, and allow your own team to behave as monsters because they get you victory, then you deserve what’s coming to you.
And this is exactly how the next volume plays out, and the split novel made it an interesting set up.