Thursday, June 09, 2005

George R. R. Martin

I've just finished A Clash of Kings, the second book in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. These books are really amazing. Martin's style of fantasy is heavy on the people side of things. There is some magic in the books, and some monsters too, but the focus is more on how each individual schemes to get power, to keep it, or sometimes just to stay alive. One of the more interesting features of the series so far is that main characters died frequently and unexpectedly. This odd characteristic adds suspense, on top of Mr. Martin's cliffhanger style of arranging the chapters.

Despite the frequent deaths, the scope of the story has also been growing, which is probably why Mr. Martin has decided to split the upcoming A Feast for Crows in half. Unlike some, I'm not particularly bothered by this. At the same time, I haven't been waiting since 2000, when the hardcover edition came out. As Professor Bainbridge pithily said, five years is a long time to wait for half a book. I guess the consolation here is that the "half a book" will run almost 1100 pages, and the second half, which will be of similar length, will probably follow within a couple of years.

Anyway, if you like fantasy at all, I highly recommend these books.


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