So this is now, what? 2400 pages in? You know that most people don’t read 2400 pages of novels – total! – over their entire lives. And this is the fourth book of this massive series, The Game of Thrones.
So far, Westeros is playing out like a game of Risk. It looks like House Lannister has finally won, but then someone gets three matching cards and suddenly forty armies pop onto the board. Now its the ironmen of the Greyjoys. And then the desertmen of Martell are back in (well, they haven’t moved yet, but they are like a pot all aboil). And crap, we don’t even hear about those dragons in the east, with Daenerys and her slave army. And somewhere in the walls, Christ, that imp Tyrion is lurking about.
So many characters, Martin can’t even cover them all!
I was worried that book four was going to be like book three, a lot of walking through wasted Westeros, a lot of dialog and not much plot development. Not no, we moved things along quite nicely. Plots come up and are executed with a clever twist to put them to spinning. But other plots fail horribly, backfiring and seeing their initiators cast into dungeons (or worse). One character ends their series of stories at the end of a hangman’s rope. So, dammit, I guess I’m in for book five.
I’ll say this – Martin keeps this thing clever. Two of the characters are changing their identities to stay safe – as they buy into these personae, their chapter headings follow this. For a moment, I’m left looking at the title, thinking, “who?”. And then I realize who we are talking about.
That’s one thing about this story – you end up putting one set of dangers and dilemmas aside, just so you can pick up another set. So on it goes, a story that makes “Rings” look like a novella.
I don’t know if you those people following this blog are reading it or watching the series, but really, even though I’ve not seen the TV deal, I’ve got to say that the books are pretty good. Wordy at times, yes. Slow at times, yes. But very, very catching. Check it out.