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Book #1: A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin - Chronicles of a Hereditary Geek [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Darth Paradox

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Book #1: A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin [Jan. 13th, 2009|07:47 am]
Darth Paradox
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Trying to go back and update a single post didn't work last year, because there was a period of four or five months where I didn't get a lot of reading done. But I have a lot more reading time this year.

I'm not doing full-fledged book reviews like theferrett, but I'll generally say a bit about what I thought of the book. That said...

#1: A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

This is the third book of the series. So even mentioning anything from the beginning of the book would vastly spoil the first two books. I'm enjoying the hell out of the series, though. And understanding that GRRM's reputation for wantonly killing off characters is well-deserved. It took a little while to get it through my head that, yes, anybody can die in these books; I'm used to slightly more "traditional" narratives where the viewpoint character is all but assured of surviving intact to the end of the book, and accomplishing most of his goals. But this universe doesn't work like that. The author switches viewpoint characters every chapter, so narrative convenience need not get in the way of killing off anyone the story requires.

I also really like that the speed at and manner in which news travels is such an important component of the story. Characters often don't learn of vital plot twists until well after they've occurred, and as likely as not that's when the reader learns of them as well. It was very briefly frustrating to me at the beginning of the series to see so much of the action happening "off-screen", but it's a wonderful device for heightening the tension of the book, as there is often no reason to think that something has happened until you hear the news.

My only complaint is a variation on the standard one: I've only got one more book to go until I run out of what he's written so far. So do I wait for a publication date for book 5 before I read book 4? I'm not picking up A Feast for Crows immediately, but we'll see.

Next up: Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice for All Creation by Olivia Judson this morning. It was a gift from xaandria, and it's a lot of fun so far.
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Comments:
From: ext_119907
2009-01-14 02:02 am (UTC)
I highly recommend reading through AFfC -- and the two ASoIaF side stories -- as soon as you find the time. For one, the sooner you do, the sooner you can discuss the series (and commiserate) with friends. For another, you'll have at least weekly enjoyment from grrrm, which is so full of spoilers I'm half-afraid of even linking it here. But seriously...good stuff, and it does a hell of a job of whiling away the months (which I'm sre will become years for us both) until the next release.
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2009-01-14 02:42 am (UTC)
Hmm, yes. I recall you mentioning the side stories at some point. I've seen a graphic-novel version of Hedge Knight, but I'm not sure whether it's the original or an adaptation...

Where do the side stories fall in terms of when I can read them without spoiler issues?
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From: ext_119907
2009-01-14 02:51 am (UTC)
That must be an adaptation; both the originals are novellas (although The Sworn Sword is about 3x the length of The Hedge Knight).

Technically you could read them now; they're prequels, set about 100 years before AGoT. The only major spoiler for the series has to do with Maester Aemon's lineage, which has long since been covered. One of the side-story protagonists is someone of great importance to him, and either you'll find a few scenes in AFfC more touching for what you learn from the side stories, or you'll care more about the side stories after reading those scenes. Either way, you can't really go wrong at this point. :)
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2009-01-14 04:05 am (UTC)
I think I'll delve into the side stories first, then. Have they been published separately, or in anthologies, or something else?

If nothing else, it'll be nice to see some other Targaryens first-hand. We don't have much of a sample size to work with directly at the moment.
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From: ext_119907
2009-01-15 03:24 am (UTC)
They were published in anthologies (Legends and Legends II, respectively, I believe), but I read them via the good-old-fashioned pdf route. ;) Look for an email shortly!
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