A Song of Ice and Fire (Martin)

Next up: “A Game of Thrones”, “A Clash of Kings”, “A Storm of Swords”, “A Feast for Crows”, “A Dance with Dragons” by George R.R. Martin.

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An unfinished series. Extremely popular, due to the creation of an HBO TV series based on the novels.

Summary

The plot is difficult to describe without spoiling things, so this will be very a very vague and general overview.  The series is called “A Song of Ice and Fire”, and it is an epic fantasy.  It takes place in a medieval-fantasy (sword and sorcery) world, and specifically the continents of Westeros and Essos.  It basically follows three main threads – the story of a very bloody power struggle for the throne of Westeros, the slow-advancing plan for the long-deposed former King’s daughter’s return, and the looming threat of zombie-like creatures called White Walkers.

The story is told through the viewpoints of many characters, often shifting numerous times each book.

My thoughts

Lots of people are crazy about this series, which is actually a little annoying to me.  It’s an okay story, it’s full of intrigue and battles… but it’s not really the best storytelling, in my opinion.  I’ve read better prose, and honestly I think these books drag.  There’s a lot of lolly-gagging on about descriptions and things that end up not having any bearing on the story.  The books are full of story-fluff, but a particular story-fluff that happens to be blood, gore, and suffering.  The level of violence and depravity in them at times seems gratuitous.  It’s a wonder the world still has people in it, considering how many die in each book.  It’s absurd, and the fact that so many die kind of makes each successive death less impactful.  Especially since a number of characters are barely introduced before biting it.  I don’t know.  I just didn’t connect to the story, and felt really impatient for something to actually happen in the books.  Something besides people dying, I mean.

Lots of people think they’re great, though.  So, as per usual, take my opinion with a grain of salt.  Or, just watch the TV show.  The production quality is nice, as is the acting.  The story is still excessively (in my opinion) violent, but the shift in media means the pages and pages of story-fluff gets pared down to allow it to fit into a set number of episodes.  I still don’t watch it, because I don’t really care about the story enough, but I hear the show is preferable for some people.

My rating

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2/7 stars

Warnings

Lots of violence, torture, rape, abuse… basically any way a person can hurt another person, they do so in this series.  Also, animals aren’t exempt.

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