Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Storm of Swords

I almost quit reading this one about halfway through, after a certain main character was presumably killed off. But I persevered, and on the last page we discover that this certain character is not dead, and a certain me ecstatically pumped her fists in the air.

Hopefully that was vague enough not to qualify as a spoiler.

I'm running out of things to say about this series. And I still have two books left! It kind of feels like everything is happening in slow-mo. I've been waiting something like 2500 pages for at least part of the Stark family to be reunited, and I'm afraid by the end of A Dance with Dragons we still won't get there. And if not...

As much as I love the world and the characters George R.R. Martin has created, I feel he could have done a much better job of introducing all those damn characters to us. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter universe had tons of characters too, but I don't think at any point I ever had to stop and go "wait, who's that again?" Maybe it was all the alliterative and/or mythical names (Remus Lupin is a werewolf. Got it.), but moreso I think Rowling just knew how to ease readers into an unfamiliar world. In contrast, so far in A Song of Ice and Fire there's something like 4 different Brandons, a handful of Theons, and every character has something like 20 different names for themselves (Arya Stark, aka Arry, aka Weasel, aka Nan, aka Squab, aka Salty...). It's difficult to keep up.

And this is how A Feast of Crows starts out:

Dragons," said Mollander. He snatched a withered apple off the ground and tossed it hand to hand.
"Throw the apple," urged Alleras the Sphinx. He slipped an arrow from his quiver and nocked it to his bowstring.
"I should like to see a dragon." Roone was the youngest of them, a chunky boy still two years shy of manhood. "I should like that very much."
And I should like to sleep with Rosey's arms around me, Pate thought.

Hooray! Eight sentences in and we've already got FIVE brand new characters thrown at us! And by the end of the chapter the only one that has anything important happen to them is Pate (pro reading tip: anyone with a super boring name will be the first to die).

Drowning in exposition and family trees I may be, but I keep coming back for more. It's a ridiculously addictive series. And I'm trying to barrel my way through it as quickly as possible before I fall fate to any spoilers. If anybody tells me that Daeneyrs kills Dumbledore, so help me...

For those who have read the first two books/ watched the first two seasons of A Game of Thrones, you should check out this great review by Comicbookgirl19, comparing the books and the TV show:

1216 pages
3,442 / 20,000 page goal

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