Brian and I both work at the Fiction Desk. If you’ve been in this summer and asked for a recommendation from one of us chances are we shoved this massive fantasy novel in your hands and apologized for the awful cover art. For those of you who are too shy to ask directly I’ll try to ‘sell’ this electronically…but you’re missing out on my crazy hand gestures and emphatic facial expressions.
First let me say you do not necessarily have to like the fantasy genre at all to enjoy this. The series is mostly a vast and complicated character-driven historical fiction saga…with a dragon or three. Wait, haters stay with me here! OK, so there are dragons and a race of human-like beings that kill and create an army of undead ‘wights’, but most of the story (and there are over 3,000 pages – so far) is focused on an intricate plot design and many fascinating characters. You’re thrown into a medieval world of common folk, knights, lords and their King. And bad blood between the royal families make holding that throne oh so difficult.
Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different character and usually ends with a cliffhanger. Characters are presented as obvious heroes and villians but as you progress through the series things become much less black and white. 800-odd pages have never gone by so quickly! Oh and HBO is making the pilot, so there is huge potential for this series to blow up.