A Storm of Swords is the third book in George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. (Book 1: A Game of Thrones; Book 2: A Clash of Kings)
A Song of Ice and Fire is an amazing work of epic fantasy. I feel like it's the kind of fantasy that people who don't think they'd like fantasy would like. It's super political and character driven. It's not about elves fighting ogres or quests for magic artifacts or other fantasy cliches. It was once described as the Sopranos with swords, and that sounds about right!
A Storm of Swords picks up where A Clash of Kings left off so it in no way stands alone as its own story, nor is it meant to. It fleshes out characters, forwards plots begun in book 1 and adds intrigue. So many interesting questions unanswered at the end of this book! It drives me crazy since book four ignores many plotlines.
I think the best thing about A Storm of Swords individually is Jaime and Brienne's points of view. Jaime is an inscrutable villain previously, but you understand and relate to him once he has his own POV. I absolutely LOVE it when writers can change the way you feel about a character throughout a book or movie or whatever. It's really appealing to me for some reason, and this happens abundantly with Jaime. He really gains depth in this book. Brienne is a minor character previously and is similarly fleshed out in Storm of Swords. I like her since she is a super awkward girl who can't figure out how to fit in. I relate!
I highly recommend this series. It's pretty much the best thing ever. And book 5 is coming out in July!!