I’ve been reevaluating some of the books I have failed to read over the past few years. There’s a rather impressive list of them out there. Many of them I had no problem with; I just started them at a bad point when a lot of other things were going on. I have been debating picking them back up and one of the titles that I know I will not being continuing is the popular A Song of Fire And Ice series.
I first learned of the books years ago and never looked into them. High fantasy and I were never really a match. I was told the books were amazing a year before the HBO show A Game of Thrones hit. I started reading it then, but never got past the prologue. Weeks before the show I started it again and this time I read along and seemed to stay just steps ahead of the show. I hit the second book running and invigorated for where all of this was going.
But as the time stretched on in the book and so little happened so slowly, I felt like I wasn’t making any kind of headway and like a lot of the book could have been consolidated out. I really liked a few of the characters. But no one ever really seemed like a main character. I stopped reading again but continued to watch the show.
Internet searches for clarification on some things have turned up spoilers all over the web. That’s to be expected when you tangle with something like this. But the issue I have is that the spoilers seem to point to characters dying unnecessarily or just to say there have been deaths. I will avoid naming any names here, but the books seem to have no one taking the lead in them every since the end of the first one. They drift along picking up new characters here and there. Fresh point of view narrators seem to spring up, too. But all of this seems to be another way to drag things out.
What could have probably been three books is slated to be seven now, with the sixth due out sometime soon. Chapters from the book have been read at signings around the country.
The books delay things far too long. The concept of White Walkers has, in five books, barely been explained when they were introduced through the prologue of the first book. It’s worth saying that I like the idea of the books. The work that Martin put into them is amazing with all of the histories and family trees and different Lords and Ladies…even going as far as to pen songs sung about old conquests. These things might be common place in High Fantasy, but they’re amazing to me because those aren’t the kinds of things I am used to reading.
A friend of mine said I really don’t like the books when I discussed it with her. Well, yes. That’s true. But I really wanted to like them. I tried to read them and I did enjoy the first one to some degree. It just seems to me like all of this is going towards an unsatisfying ending, stretched out to drag the series out longer. If I’m going to invest all of that time and watch characters I love get replaced over and over—the incentive for me to read it should be that it has a great ending.
I will be continuing to read the book.