I know, I know it’s been several millennia since I last posted, but I have finally finished a book. Hurrah! I am still making my way through The Book Thief, but in the meantime I’ve finished reading George R. R. Martin’s encyclopaedic book The World of Ice and Fire. It’s a massive book with more detail than I possibly imagined it might contain, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed poring over its pages. Let me state from the outset that if you haven’t read Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of books then there’d be very little point in your reading this latest offering. The World of Ice and Fire is very much a companion book to the author’s more famous series. Indeed, The World of Ice and Fire is really something of a historical tome detailing the history of Martin’s story world – from the seven Kingdoms in Westeros to the less familiar lands of Essos across the Narrow Sea.
The book itself is giant not only in that it contains a massive volume of information and is 336 pages long, but also in the sense that physically it measures a whopping 30.9cm in height. I ended up reading it either at a table or with my trusty cushioned laptray underneath in order to support its weight. This is not a book you can hold in the air just below your nose, that us, unless you have muscles like Garth. However, that said, the book’s weight and appearance do serve to heighten the perception that you are reading some great history found in the annals of Martin’s Citadel. Continue reading
**Please note, there are no spoilers in this post.**
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons.
I know I’ve been away a while, but in all fairness I have spent my time well. I have read five books in seven volumes (a bit confusing I know, simplified that’s seven pretty big books). I am now up to date with George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books and am left waiting, like the rest of the world, as he pens the next in the series.
Like a great many others, I was inspired to read A Song of Ice and Fire after watching HBO’s television series Game of Thrones. Naturally, having loved the TV series, I had pretty high expectations. In fact, it has been said to me by other fans of the show that they were wary of reading the books in case they didn’t live up to their television twin. I can firmly say that those people’s fears are unfounded. I absolutely loved George R. R. Martin’s books and was gripped with every chapter. The characters on the page are just as compelling as those on-screen and the plot-lines are even richer and more developed.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading the books, I couldn’t imagine what narrative voice would be used to encompass so very many characters and worlds. I needn’t have been worried, Martin has an ingenious solution. Each chapter in his series of books is narrated by a different character (some characters having more chapters than others) and the events of that chapter take place from their perspective and show the events transpiring wherever they are in the story-world’s ‘seven kingdoms’. This narrative device ensures that you never feel like one character is more important than another, you also get a snapshot into the mind and thinking processes of each of the story’s principal characters. It makes for a very unbiased narration. Continue reading