Song of the Century

Well it’s certainly been a while since I was on here. *brushing cobwebs away from screen* If I actually remember to post things, I’ve read quite a few books since the last post back in the middle of June, so I can put up some reviews. And school will have me reading and writing even more, so I’m sure I can post some more academic articles as well.

Anyway, now that I’m here, I’m going to review George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. I read it sometime towards the end of July after emptynight recommended it, and though it was long and sometimes confusing, it was definitely an excellent read. Martin has created a rich world full of interesting characters, and his writing is so clear and well thought-out that even someone who hates politics (like me) is able to understand the intricacies of the political system and to take a side amid all the intrigue and backstabbing.

From a writer’s standpoint, I was very impressed with the style in which Martin presented his tale. Rather than having numbered chapters telling a linear story, each chapter is titled with the name of the character it focuses on. So there are actually many, many stories running concurrently. Some of them do indeed overlap, but even so, the different perspectives of the characters adds an extra layer that most authors might skip over. And incredibly, each chapter has it’s own unique voice, despite being written in a close third-person narrative. Tyrion Lannister’s chapters, for instance, tend to be very acerbic and devious; Daenerys Targaryen’s chapters, on the other hand, evolve from meek and cowed to strong and confident, following the development of the character herself. It is a very effective way of placing the reader in the moment and in the story.

Interestingly, for a fantasy series as deep and detailed as this, it is surprisingly accessible for those of us who might not be able to handle series such as, oh, I don’t know, The Lord of the Rings.

What? I was in middle school, and all they do is sing. Don’t judge me.

So yeah, I’m going to keep this review short because I have some Psychology to study and about half of the Book of Genesis to read for class tomorrow. At any rate, If you like fantasy at all, or want a good jumping off point into the genre, give Martin a shot. I was hesitant at first but emptynight convinced me and he was right.

As a side-note, check out this video of monks singing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

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