Thursday, September 29, 2011

Song of Ice and Fire

I began my journey into Westeros on July 19th and now 73 days and 3,882 pages later I have caught up on the first 4 books of the series by George RR Martin.  I have not been this caught up and addicted to a series of books since the first time I read through the Stephen King's Dark Tower series or watching the first few seasons of LOST.   There is really nothing I can say about the plot and story because telling anything will give away too much. 
The only thing I will write here is for people like me that enjoyed the HBO TV show and are worried that the remaining books/seasons of the show can't be as good as that first one I will say that after reading the rest book 1 really was just set-up and the tip of the iceberg for what comes next.

I'm impressed by how the books are written because Martin has a way of writing that almost makes every chapter a cliff-hanger with enormous cliff-hangers at the end of each novel.  I know I've also mentioned this before on this blog, but I love how I cannot predict anything.  Everytime I think I have an idea of the direction the story is headed something happens that makes the story go in the complete other way.

These are some of the most fleshed-out characters of anything I've ever read (I know they better be after almost 4,000 pages), but no one is really a villain or a hero.  In fact, after four books, I still am not sure who the overall VILLAIN of the series is going to be (like Sauron is in LOTR or the Crimson King is in Dark Tower), or how the story can ever end. Some of my favorite characters were introduced midway through book 2 and didn't even last until the end because of one of the other reasons I love this series: No one seems to be safe.  The main characters change from chapter to chapter and they are not lacking interesting people.

I am ecstatic that there is a fifth book already available, while at the same time I am already dreading the waiting that will come between book 5 and book 6, especially since there was a 6 year hiatus between book 4 and book 5.  What will this mean for me over the next few years?   Besides disappointment, I think there may be a chance I will have to read other fantasy series that I've stayed away from in the past due a) being overwhelmed and b) thinking I wouldn't enjoy it.   If anyone has any recommendations of things I should be reading, please pass it on.

Next up, getting back to my goal of finishing 52 books this year.  I am now up to 28 books.  So that means I have 12 weeks to read 14 books.  I know I can do it if I cheat and read some short books (and I probably will), but I really like my way of picking up books as they come to me and there are some great, long books coming out soon including Stephen King's new 1000 page tome.  That along with Book 5 of this series, it's going to be tight.  Wish me luck, but in the meantime please read these books.  I need more people to discuss this with.

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