Tuesday, 10 April 2012
A Song of Ice and Fire (So Far...)
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
So it seems like a good way to get this blog started may be to write up some quick reviews of the books I have mentioned as some of my personal favourites. I've started with The Name of the Wind, so now it's off to Westeros and the Game of Thrones.
Trying to write a review of ASOIAF is a bit like standing in a crowd of thousands of screaming people, and trying to be heard over the noise. What needs to be said about these books has already been said.
For those who haven't read the books, but have seen the excellent HBO series or have yet to give in to the hype - these books really are the antecedent to the mainstream popular mindset, that if a book is succesfully adapted for TV or film then it must be good and therefore everyone must buy a copy. That is not always the case. (Twilight, I'm looking at you) ASOIAF really is all the good things you've heard, and then some.
It is visceral, shocking, emotional, medieval and downright brutal reading. But rewarding. Oh, so rewarding.
I'm not going to even attempt to give a plot summary, because to try and digest this magnificent series into a few words is doing it a real injustice. The complex political world of Westeros is one that you truly need to experience for yourself.
Yes, the series has its problems - excruciating wait times between novels, one too many POV characters at times and if you have characters you particularly dislike reading about it can be a little slow, especially when Martin expands the cast to around 20 POVs in the fifth book.
But these issues are so minor when really taking into account the superb narrative web that Martin has concocted, with its schemers and players, and characters so grey they might as well be black. The plot and characters of ASOIAF is what most fantasy writers strive for - gripping and densely layered. (Hell, if only any other author in any genre could write half as well as Martin...)
A Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin
A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin
A Storm of Swords by George R.R Martin
A Feast For Crows by George R.R Martin
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R Martin
The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors...