This was a lovely novella by George R R Martin, and is apparently set in the same world as Game of Thrones, but a long time ago (since there were lots of dragons) and obviously the seasons changed (as here they are like ours instead of extended like in the book series). What I loved about it was the illustrations! They are stunning. The story has been published in three different occasions, and the latest, illustrated by Luis Royo is great.
The most recent GRRM publication, The World of Ice and Fire, is a most interesting book, probably only for the diehard TSOIAF fans. It’s a physically big book, and it can get a little daunting seeing near two full pages of text on such a large page, but it’s size does allow for some stunning illustrations, they really strengthen the book. The book is a real compendium about the history of Westeros and the wider world (which I don’t think we have a cool name for – Martinos???).
I’m not even sure that I’m going to get any of these correct because Martin has a way of surprising us all, but, ah well, that’s part of the fun. You can see my review of A Dance with Dragons here.
Let’s get underway!
Well. Where to even begin. I’ll begin by saying I WANT THE WINDS OF WINTER NOW!!!!! But understandably that isn’t going to happen, which is very sad, and I say write like the wind Martin! At least now I’ll be able to roam the interwebs without fear of spoiler, and get to suffer along with everyone else as we wait for the next instalment. Obviously a million spoilers lie below so you have been warned.
Just before we get into specifics, despite me loving the series, and loving the book. It was an effort to read it, which I don’t think I experienced previously with the series. Perhaps that’s partly because I’ve been reading and watching it so much recently that I feel overwhelmed a little. Perhaps because this book and the last one were really setting up a lot of plots ready for the final two novels, and it feels a little unfinished. I think that might be the cause. We have so many loose ends, and so few things wrapped up in this book. I hazard to say that in reality the whole series is one giant book, and that none can stand alone. Take Harry Potter, yeah there’s the overarching story, but most of them could be separate books, there’s the beginning, middle and end, and there’s some climax and a bit of resolution. Here I feel like there’s so much build up, and I just have too much anticipation now. There certainly were many climatic moments which were shocking and amazing and we’ll get to those. But I feel under-satisfied by it all.
I do really like this TV show, they do a great job of adapting the books. And I’ve talked about the first two seasons previously, so I want to talk about the latest two seasons separately (since my viewing was long after the reading).
I was reading this book over my period of SWOTVAC and exams, and gosh it was a good escape from study. I’m just constantly impressed by this series. I basically have no complaints about it. Except of course the fact that this is half a book! Martin points this out at the end, that it was either half of the story or follow half the characters, and he chose the latter. Which I think is a very interesting decision. I’m quite used to a story being cut into chunks known as books, but I don’t recall of a book following one set of characters and then another (though I guess you could argue the first two books of Heroes of Olympus do that, actually yes you could argue that – but not quite the same scale).
But that was quite frustrating, because we have no idea what Jon and Stannis were doing at the wall, what Bran was doing over the wall (like seriously what’s going on there), what Tyrion is doing, what happened to the Onion Knight (apart from he could be dead), how Daenerys is doing trying to rule that town, and whether or not damn Theon is even alive (we heard he was dead, but I don’t believe that). And then what’s worse, is that if we follow them in the next book, then we have to wait until Martin finishes the next book to find out what happens next with all that has happened in this one, and there were some very shocking things going on. But the fact that I am annoyed just goes to show how good a series it is because, it means I am desperate (like everyone else) to find out what is happening next. Let’s just get on and talk about this book. Many a spoiler below.
This was a big book with so much going on and yet I remained captivated and it was a breeze to read. I got my hands on the full book three instead of 3.1 and 3.2 which seems to be what Australian publishers opted for (the book is intimidating, and two books mean twice the profit). Before I go too much further a massive warning for spoilers here I’m discussing it all so look away if you don’t want to know. In addition I have yet to see the third and fourth seasons of the TV show, so I’d prefer those left unmentioned in the comments for now. There are just so many twists and turns, and shocks, and deaths (which were so much more powerful and shocking this time around) and everything. Just so good.