Posts Tagged ‘epic fantasy’

This is the fourth book in the series.

Here’s my review of the first book: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/book-review-we…hrones-5-stars/

Here’s my review of the second: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/book-review-we…martin-5-stars/

And here’s the third: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/book-review-we…fire-3-5-stars/

Another five star book. This series continues to amaze me by how much I need to read ‘just one more page.’

Now, a warning. We don’t get all the pov characters in this book, and there’s quite a bit of overlap with the events of the next book. While G R R Martin was writing book four he found it much too long. So he decided to split it up, showing most of the story from half the povs, then in book five showing the story from the rest of the povs, along with more to the story.

Some people say they’d have preferred it kept chronologically and split down the middle, but I understand why he did it that way. There wasn’t a good stopping point around the middle. It would’ve made for a unfulfilled and very confusing story, skipping from pov to countless pov, and not arriving anywhere. I think this was the best call.

A lot of the less interesting povs are in this one, plus we get some new povs from Theon’s uncles. I don’t like them as much as the established characters, but they do tell an important side of the story. And I don’t really know them. Maybe they’ll develop, or the herd will be thinned and we’ll lose some more povs.

We do get a lot of Jaime who goes through even more development. He’s changed a lot in a short time. I enjoyed his story a lot, particularly when he falls out with Cersei. I never liked her.

Arya continues her ‘becoming a badass’ training. She doesn’t really do a lot, but I can see that this is going to give her some cool skills for the future.

We spent a lot of time in Dorne where interesting things seem to be setting up, but not much really huge is happening.

Brienne goes on her quest to find Sansa. She encounters heaps of trouble. It’s always interesting to be in her head. She has a different view of the world from our other povs, being a maiden knight determined to prove herself.

I loved every moment reading this book, and wanted the next one the moment I put his one down. So five stars. Given a bit of distance from it, I think this is a lower five stars than the past books. Still very enjoyable, but not as brilliant as the last book.

For more reviews on this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13497.A_Feast_for_Crows

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This is the third book in the series.

Here’s my review of the first book: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/book-review-we…hrones-5-stars/

And here’s my review of the second: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/book-review-we…martin-5-stars/

This is a giant book. It’s split into two parts, and each one of them is a hefty read by itself. Could you imagine it in hardback? Reading it could double as a workout.

Anyways, I enjoyed this book as much as the previous ones. Despite its size I was kept glued from start to finish. It is a big book, but you don’t notice that reading it. You just drop into the world, and zoom, time flies by along with the pages.

There are LOTS of different characters, and quite a few story lines. You might find it a bit of a mess trying to keep track of everyone, but it’s a beautiful mess. You might end up forgetting a minor character here or there, but the important ones are surprisingly easy to keep track of.

Everyone is fighting. Bodies pile up, and some of them are main characters. I won’t give away who.

There’s a lot of feelings in this book. Gah, like the way Robb is trying to be a brilliant leader, but he’s a teenager! So there’s this whole other side to him that’s just ‘I need an adult!’ And Cat just wants to hug and protect him, but knows she has to help him grow up.

I felt really sorry for Cat. She’s the smartest one, and she’s surrounded by idiots who think everything she says is wrong because of what’s between her legs. She’d be an epic war leader if she were allowed. And she goes through so many tragedies in these books.  She is not having a good year.

Dany is pretty kickass. She’s doing so much good, and she has an insane amount of determination in her. I like her a lot, but I also like a lot of people in the place she’s planning to invade. So, conflicts there.

Jaime goes through the most epic journey I have ever seen from ‘hate this guy’ to ‘actually he’s all right. A jerk, but he has a heart.’ He tried to kill Bran! How can I be liking him? But I do. I like him, and the relationship he develops with Brienne is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. I’d be happy if G R R Martin released a dozen weightlifting sized books of just them two wandering around having adventures. I’d read them all.

Jon makes what everyone else is doing child’s play. You read their povs, and think the war is brutal, and I hope my side wins. Then you go to Jon who has real problems. He’s up against monsters! It makes the war look like a group of kids squabbling on the playground over who gets to play with a neat toy.

Sansa has gone through so much character development. By the end of this book she’s a completely different character to the one we met in the first book. Arya has hardened a lot too. She’s going to grow up to be a very scary person.

Theon. Yeah, let’s not talk about Theon. I spent most of his povs shaking my head in exasperation at him saying ‘Dude. No.’ Every bad decision made me want to yell ‘Bad Theon’ and spray him with some water, then sit him in a corner until he saw sense. Do you think that would take a long time? I think that would take a long time.

To me this book was every bit as good as the last one. So if you liked that one, you should like this one. You get incredibly invested with the characters (but we do lose some more – so be prepared). There are some povs like Davos that are a bit meh. But most of the characters are really fun to follow. Five stars. No question.

For more reviews of this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/768889.A_Storm_of_Swords

and: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/147915.A_Storm_of_Swords

I’m enjoying this series greatly. To read my review of the first book in this series go to: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/book-review-we…hrones-5-stars/

I’m not the biggest fan of epic fantasies. I love all the pieces: dragons, quests, strange beasts, strange worlds. But I find a lot of the writing gets bogged down with all the details, or characters. I love the idea of epic fantasies. I just find it’s so easy to make them boring to read. While this book has a lot of characters, and a big, interesting world, it’s in no way boring.

Because I was analyzing it, the first book took months to get through. I enjoyed it enough that I figured if I wasn’t picking it apart I’d zoom through it. Since I made it through this one in four days, I think I was right. Putting it down to attend to life’s many demands was difficult.

I found it every bit as good as the first book. The characters were deep and wonderfully flawed. The action kept coming. The plot unfolds nicely, and never dawdled long enough for me to get bored.

We keep up with our various characters. Jon seeks the wildings beyond the wall. Dany tries to find allies for her quest to claim the iron throne. Tyrion (one of the most interesting characters in this book) is ordered by his father to become the new kings hand, and the Starks are everywhere. Bran and Rickon are on the run. Robb is a king of an army. Arya (now Arry) is a serving wrench in the middle of a world torn by battles. Sansa undergoes epic character development as she learns more about how brutal the world can be.

All their stories move forward. All the characters change in some way. They grow, some of them too quickly. The world in these books is rich, the plot engaging, but my favorite part of this series is rapidly becoming the character development. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it. It’s beautiful.

They’ve all undergone harsh circumstances. They all react differently. They adapt and rise to the occasion – some sooner than others – but most lose something of themselves along the way. Some break, and eventually pull themselves together with jagged pieces all sticking out.

The hound, who I thought I’d hate forever after he killed Micah, shows a softer side in this book. I’m amazed at how Martin can make characters who do such horrible things, and still make you like at least part of them. So, good book. Five stars. If you’re wondering if this is as good as the first one, the answer is yes.

For more reviews on this book go to:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10572.A_Clash_of_Kings

 

 

This was actually suggested to me during one of my writing craft classes. As a kind of extra credit thing my teacher suggested I analyse this book looking at things such as pov character selection and scene layout.

So on the 9th of September 2013, I did just that. And on the 21st of January 2015 I finished.

What did I learn from this experience? A lot. This book is worth the hype. Not only is it fun and engrossing to read, on a structural level the scenes are so pretty. They stick exactly to the traditional scene structure. I found like two slightly convoluted elements to scene structure in the whole book. And this is a BIG book.

That made the logical side of my brain very happy. For the more emotional side of things, it was interesting looking at how the writer helped the reader connect with each character. In the first half of the book, every pov character choice was spot on. He tends to choose the most vulnerable character, the one who knows the least, or the one with the most to lose. I had some questions about one or two pov choices after that, but they were tiny little doubts. I still think he made the right choice.

‘I don’t want to analyse the thing,’ you say. ‘I just want to know whether I’ll enjoy reading it.’

The answer to this from my point of view is a resounding YES. Analyzing this was made difficult because I kept on wanting to read the next scene, not stop and analyse the one I’d just read. I ended up having to compromise with myself and read a few scenes before going back to analyse, read a few more, and so on. If I didn’t have to analyse I would’ve whizzed through this in a few days (as I did with the next books in the series).

If you like fantasy, go read this book. Even if you’re just curious, go read it. It’s awesome. Definite five stars from me.  The plot keeps pulling you forward, the characters are so flawed and engaging. The world they live in is rich and interesting. I don’t tend to like epic fantasies, but this one won me over.

For more reviews on this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13496.A_Game_of_Thrones

Oh, and as a by the way. Did anyone else notice the parallels with roman britain? Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a fan of celtic britain and the two are often best studied together, but I kept having flashbacks to that wall the romans built in the north to keep the ‘barbarians’ out. Hadrian’s wall. Of course, that was nothing like the scale of the wall in the book, but it felt like it had the same essence to it.