Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Song of Fire and Ice — George R. R. Martin
Book One through Three: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords.
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Theme: Power, politics, repression, survival, class, good versus evil and so much more.


As an avid follower of the HBO series Game of Thrones, I feel the producers have done a great job adapting Mr. Martin's books into an entertaining TV series. As far as the music, the screenwriting, the casting, and special effects go—I wouldn’t change a thing.

They've stayed true to the original work in most areas. In particular, just as it is in the novels, any character that starts out looking like a protagonist, will either be killed or do something despicable.

Several years ago I wrote reviews on the first three books in the series A Song of Fire and Ice, and I found it interesting to take a look back at these reviews. Generally, by the third book in any series I read, I've become so familiar with the characters, that there's very little that the author can do to surprise me. Such is not the case with George R. R. Martin, there are lots of shocking incidents, horrific in fact. While on the other hand, something you can count on is a never-changing malevolent atmosphere that permeates every page.

Here is my old review:

Always on the lookout for a good fantasy, and after I watched several episodes of Game of Thrones on HBO, I went to Amazon and bought the four-book boxed set of A Song of Fire and Ice.

Even though the overall atmosphere is dark and dreary in the world that Mr. Martin has created. There is an overabundance of; cruelty, jealousy, deviousness, hatred, disloyalty, unhappiness etcetera. So, if that was what I was looking for, how could I ever be disappointed?

I admire the author for the complexity of the world he has developed. But at this point in the series, I've come to realize that I’m not emotionally invested with any of the characters—with the possible exception of Tyrion and isn’t he supposed to be an antagonist?

The characters are spread all over the place, and nobody seems to be working together. I'm left to ask, where is the fellowship? The camaraderie. The common goal?

I’m astounded when I see comments in other reviews saying A Song of Fire and Ice is; "Way better than Lord of the Rings." Is it better than The Lord of the Rings? The sound you hear is gales of laughter. Comparing A Song of Fire and Ice to The Lord of the Rings is like comparing a mustang to Secretariat.

Would I recommend this series? Yes, I would. Do I love it? No, I only like it.
Rating—I find it hard to rate these three novels. My next review, which covers A Feast for Crows will reveal why that is. 

Thank you for stopping by,

Shelley Lee Riley

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