Chuck's Reviews > A Song of Ice and Fire

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Sep 12, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2011

Well, I read the first four volumes of Martin's epic in the course of a week and half.

The series is well written and the author has a clear view of the world in which his series resides. His world is fairly well thought out and I did not notice too many inconsistencies.

I would recommend this book to Sci fantasy folks who are interested in a "forever" series.

As always, however, it is the human condition to notice what bugs them rather than the many achievements of the author.

**************SPOILER ALERT**************

A few if the things that bugged me about the series.

- The 4 books reached 3500 pages and never did reach a conclusion, or even any sort of point.

- This probably wouldn't be so bad, but he killed off many of the characters the series started with and I eventually lost interest in the characters he brought in as replacements. This happens in real life as well. In the military, when there are lots of casualties, many veterans isolate themselves from the replacements as a way of shielding themselves. How much I don't care about the characters will probably be the biggest factor in whether I continue to follow this series.

- An eight year old girl and her 13 year old sister are wandering around alone, and neither has been molested, kidnapped, assaulted, enslaved, or gotten sick. Plus every adult is quite happy to listen to her. This does not sound particularly credible to me.

- It's his world, but there does not seem to be much disease in the wake of war. This is certainly not the Human historical experience on Earth. Examples include McNiells "Plagues and Peoples'; Talty's "The Illustrious Dead" about how typhus affected Napoleon's invasion of Russia; and the American experience with smallpox during the Revolutionary war.

- A small gripe. The names and naming of people and places is ethnically a mess. He uses names and words from many different linguistic origins even though the population of Westeros is supposedly fairly uniform. Tolkien did it better.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Shiloh "The 4 books reached 3500 pages and never did reach a conclusion, or even any sort of point."

That's because it's not done. ;)

Chuck Shiloh, I agree with you fully. The plot elements that have not yet been terminated with extreme prejudice are still developing.

I guess my argument is that the current plot is based upon thousands of years of story history. With the legitimate possibility that there is still thousands of years of history, hence plot development, still to occur.

Shiloh Also, at least two more books after DRAGONS. I'm betting he doesn't go for thousands of years, but I'm sure some sort of (moderately) satisfactory conclusion is in the offing.

Chuck Shiloh, I hear you. I'm of two minds on this.

I think that your prediction, is based upon the same information that I have heard. And, it's quite reasonable. Plus, one really has to go through life with optimism. :)

On the other hand...

I don't have much enthusiasm for being dragged through much more mental illness, rape, torture, and murder. I do get the idea that Martin's society is sick and traumatized. (A point oft neglected in many fantasy novels. Common and unpredictable violence and murder often has that affect on the survivors in an unstable society. )

There is also the delay. I hate to sound like I am complaining, as the amount and quality of Martin's writing has been simply incredible. But even with the next book mostly written, there will likely be a multi-year delay. Much beyond the next couple of books and we can start to wonder/worry about the author's lifespan.

And of course, while the author can do anything, at any speed he chooses; The plot line has not, it seems to me, advanced any faster or any closer towards any visible goal.

As always, ymmv.

message 5: by John (new)

John Missig Not picking a fight, just adding my two cents. First of all Arya has been kidnapped by the hound and the mountain. Sansa has been subjected to all sorts of abuse by the lannisters. She's been beaten and humiliated literally throughout the entire series. Now she's being manipulated and kissed on the mouth by littlefinger ( a man 3 times her age) if that isn't molestation then I don't know what is. In addition, the 3rd book resolves the battle of the 5 armies. And I feel like books 4 and 5 ( which contain plenty of disease) start the next half of the series in which the other realms ( Dorne, the Iron born) are starting to move in and try to take the Throne. So I do feel as though many of the plot lines have been resolved, but yes there are still alot left to follow. I suspect everything will make sense when the entire story is finished.

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