Well, I failed in my attempt to read 60 new books in a year, though I did end up getting to 47 in all and considering it was a busy year and I did a lot of knitting, I think that is okay 🙂 The main reason I failed though was these 5 books, which range from 800 to about 1200 pages long each. I got completely engrossed in the story and couldn’t stop until I had got through them.
The Song of Ice and Fire series is a fantasy/medieval/magic/alternate world series which starts off with a supernatural threat coming out of the frozen north and centred on a single family of aristocracy. Initially, the story is compact and the characters are (and remain) compelling. It becomes a journey and adventure story quickly and the themes and concepts of the books set out well. It is brutal, no one is safe, but exciting and the world is fabulous. I devoured the first two and went on eagerly to the next. The story telling method of each chapter centring on a character takes some getting used to, but worked well
Sadly the third begins to get rather too complicated as the cast multiplies, the kingdom spreads and the plot thickens and by the 4th (which the author split into two books, 3 and 4 I think) it has become rambling and, to me, impossible to really follow. While it is certainly the type of epic where people drop in and out of the story as they might in real history, it begins to feel a bit too much like he was egging it to produce more books and more royalties. I lost track. I was saved by really very enjoyable writing and great characters and so each piece was enjoyable, but as a whole, I just couldn’t really keep hold of what was going on. I started to find the magic a bit weird too – so much of it was very normal that somehow the supernatural element didn’t fit for me.
Of course, having invested so much time in it all, I will no doubt read the concluding however many books. I do love fantasy and this had such promise. But it used up a few months of pregnancy, so I’m not complaining but in the end, I went from awed by the first two books to deeply disappointed. The 5th was better, so there is hope.