Books 124, 125 and 126

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Where on earth do I begin? George R.R. Martin's fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is epic.  And not just in the number of books in the series (currently 5 but scheduled for 7) - each one of the books clocks in around 800-1000+ pages each.  I first heard about the series from Wandering Coyote but dismissed it; I'm not a huge fantasy fan although I have read some Robert Jordan, about a third of the Discworld series by Terry Practchett, and the Myth series from Robert Aspirin when I was in high school.  Other than The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, when it comes to fantasy novels, I could care less.  However, once HBO made the first novel into a 10 part series, it seemed like everyone was reading them.  A coworker practically threw me to the floor and beat me about the head and shoulders with the first two books until I finally caved and decided to read them.

I finished the first two books in the series, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, a few months ago and have been meaning to do a review ever since.  I never got around to writing it and now that I'm about to finish the third book, A Storm of Swords, I don't have the mental energy to go back and try to remember what happened in which book.  That shouldn't be taken as a sign that the books aren't worth the effort - they certainly are.  Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is one of the best I've read.  Even if you're not a fantasy fan, check them out.  Sure there's magic and dragons but the books are more about political intrigue, the struggle for power, and the complicated relationships of the major (and minor) players that weave in and out of each book.

For any other series, I would probably recommend watching the made for TV version first to give you an idea of what the series entails.  However, watching the series after I finished the first book, I was dismayed at all that was left out and the weird jumps the story seemed to take.  While you'd probably never notice if you haven't read the book, I still recommend reading the books (or at least A Game of Thrones) first.  If you're a fan of a great story, even if you're not a fan of fantasy, you'll enjoy this series.  Give it a go!

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