Monday, April 2, 2012

Page 53: A Song of Ice and Fire Continued

On Page 51 I reviewed the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, and promised more.  I must confess I have been reading a lot since my last post, but have not written about them.  I hope to catch up a bit in this one.

I have now read the first five books in the series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons.  This is not the end.  Two more books are scheduled to complete this seven book series.  The last two are: The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring to be published at some future date.  Those of you who have read any or all of these know they are long books, but well worth the journey.  In fact, they are so long that it requires two credits to purchase them from Audible.  I have not used Audible for any of the books and some of my friends tell me this is a mistake.

The mythical world of Westeros and all the other lands in this series are set in a medieval-like world that is thousands of years old.  It is as if the characters are trapped in a version of the Middle Ages, but a unique one that includes magic, dragons, giants, mammoths, skin changers, and an Ice Age version of the walking dead.  The plots and sub-plots continue to play out chapter by chapter and book by book using the perspective of one character for each chapter.  I think this is a good technique, but sometimes it gets confusing since the author, George R. R. Martin, does not write in a linear time frame.  There are so many characters and houses (families) that two books will occur within the same time period, but deal with different characters in each book.

These books are subtle in their plotting yet contain a great deal of brutality and bloodshed.  Some of the best characters are multidimensional.  For example, some I considered more evil than good early in the series reveal themselves to have a good side later in the series.  I don't want to be a spoiler, but be prepared for some of your favorites to be killed off by the author.  This is my one criticism of this series.  I don't like the author's penchant for killing off characters I have come to like reading about.  In spite of this, A Song of Ice and Fire is a great series.  It is very broad in scope, ambitious in the number and crafting of characters, has outstanding plots and sub-plots, and is a great read.  I still think it is one of the few series in this genre that compares with Tolkien.  I'm still liking this series and can't wait for the next two books to come out.  If you have not read any of these books, what are you waiting for? If you have started the series, keep going.  George R. R. Martin is a genius and he never fails to surprise and entertain the reader in the first five books of the series.

No comments:

Post a Comment