My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I was young, I was largely turned off by all the books I read by writers who thought fantasy meant you didn’t have to stick to any rules, so I’m not a big fantasy fan. I would always choose hard science fiction before fantasy, but have drifted away from both genres in favour of mystery/thrillers for the most part over the years.
My favourite fantasy book of all time was Lord of The Rings, which I’ve read several times. I mean really, after that, where do you go? A few years back I read “Lord of the Rings” aloud to my son.
You heard me, aloud.
That may be part of why he is a huge fantasy fan today, or why he’s taking Medieval Studies in University. He’d been reading borrowed copies of the “Game of Thrones” series in his last semester of high school, and he was really getting into it, so we bought him the whole set for graduation. He kind of insisted that I read them, so I started the first one (admittedly a bit grudgingly…) It’s written by George R. R. Martin, yet another good science fiction writer who’s defected to the dark side… er, fantasy. I remember liking Martin’s work back in the day. “Sandkings”, “Dying of the Light”, “Nightflyers”.
And I have to tell you, I am in awe.
I never knew where you could go after Lord of the Rings, but clearly, that would be Winterfell.
Well, I am *loving* this. I won’t drop any spoilers, but this first novel in the series has some really great characters. Although I really don’t have the time to read, I’m a bit more than half way.
So far I’ve had to hold my breath more than once, laugh out loud several times, and it’s even made me cry. I can feel George masterfully drawing the threads of the plot and character together, and I’m getting pretty worried about what’s going to happen to these people (and dire wolves) who’ve come alive on these pages for me. The worst of it is, there are only five books written, and the series is supposed to run to seven. So I’m anxious… what happens when I’m ready for book seven if it’s not done yet? *gulp*
Even though I’m not done, this one gets a thumbs up.
Winter is coming.
[post script: I wrote that a few months ago for Goodreads, but only now figured out how to “publish to blog.” I’m now nearly finished the fourth volume in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, and they don’t disappoint. The boy can write.]