SPOILERS AND ALL THAT
The problem with being a slow reader is that even when you get into a series you love, an 1100 page mass market paperback can be a month long slog.
A friend gifted me the first two books in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, also known as Game of Thrones thanks to HBO, obviously. I devoured the first two over the summer and ended up getting the third just to see if life gets any better for the Stark family.
To paraphrase the late, lamented Ned Stark, brace yourselves. It does not.
We spend an awful lot of time north of the Wall in this book and finally meet the rumoured giants as well as the White Walkers who, we’ll learn, despite being some kind of warrior snow zombie race, have their own version of kryptonite to contend with.
We start the novel with a number of kings and end the novel with a fewer number of kings. The remaining players have moved to another part of the board which leaves things in play for the next book. Moving interesting characters into unlikely alliances is the main strength of George R.R. Martin’ series. That, and the humour. My main beef with the fantasy genre, J.R.R. Tolkein included, is that it can be a little self-serious. Martin, on the other hand, gives us lines like “Tywin Lannister did not shit gold.”
Oh, I’ll be reading the fourth book. Well, it’s pretty funny in context.