Thursday, January 13, 2011
A Song of Fire and Ice
You really have been under a rock if you haven't heard someone around you talking about George RR Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series. Originally supposed to be a trilogy, its banks have now swollen to include a fourth book, with apparently at least three more on the way. I should also point out that these books are incredibly slow to come out. For this post, and it's been a while since I reviewed a book, I'll review:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
So why review a series that's incomplete? Mainly because the first three books you see here form a brilliant trilogy and although you're left wanting more, you can certainly be satisfied with what is contained herein. Also, these aren't your avergae-sized paperbacks, the three volumes are pushing two thousand pages in all, so you've got your work cut out for you. In a way there is a very natural stopping point after the third books as is.
It's almost silly to try and review each book on its own merit, they truly form an unbroken tale from the first page of book one to the last page of book three. Martin's crafted a world that is rich in detail and believable to boot. It's jam-packed with characters that you really get to know, and his character development is methodical and paced across the span of the trilogy. There's always something new lying in wait for them, and it just keeps getting better (or worse) as the character's lives move on.
It's an interesting style in which the books are written too. There are no chapter numbers, each chapter is simply titled with the name of the character that is prominent in that chapter. Also, events aren't entirely chronological either. Some events, possibly hundreds of pages apart, are actually taking place simultaneously depending on the situation.
You will definitely start to collect your favorite characters, and you will cheer them on, and then regret that later when something terrible befalls them, or they begin to become something you never saw coming. There are no good guys or bad guys, in the dead of winter there are only shades of gray. Heh, I just made that up.
Is it fantasy? You bet, but just like you hear the term "hard" sci-fi sometimes, I would say this is "hard" fantasy, there's no floating cities, white wizards, or even pointy-eared folk fighting greenskins, but it is fantasy, and once those gears start kicking in you'll be pleasantly surprised. I can't stress enough what a great story unfolds in these three books, it will be worth your while to read them if you haven't already. For me, I'm going to hold off reading the fourth book until at least the fifth book comes out, that way I can read them together.
If you've got a e-book reader, these are just five bucks a pop as well, which is an incredibly good value. I have a feeling that the HBO show based on this series that is due out in April is going to be a pretty big deal, so why not jump ahead of the curve so you can be all smug and talk about how you were reading these books before the tv show, haha.