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A Storm of Swords: A Review

This is the third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series (otherwise known as the Game of Thrones books) by George R. R. Martin and is so huge they had to split it into two volumes to print it economically.

So I enjoyed the first book, liked the second one a little bit less and sort of love and hate this third one. I think it’s the best in terms of storytelling and action. It’s got a nice pace to it and lots happens, which is great, but some of the stuff that happens left me a bit cross.

Most people who’ve heard of this series have usually also heard that there is a lot of death, and I really mean a lot. And this book is definitely no exception, in fact I think it’s the worst. There’s a lot of deaths and I can sorta accept one or two in a series. These people are doing dangerous things, so they’re going to die and I can sorta accept one or two more than that because this is a rather realistic series where there’s more everything that’s bad in the world but there are tooo many deaths in this book.

My favourite character is still Jon Snow but Tyrion comes a close second, although Walder Frey is now my most hated character (previously Joffrey). And maybe that doesn’t help with my attitude towards the book. Jon and Tyrion are the characters everyone else loves to try and screw over. I guess I’m truly British in my liking of the underdog.

I do have a lot of respect for George R. R. Martin after reading this book and trying to write my own epic fantasy though. I could never have written this book. I’d have spent the entire time crying in a pile somewhere with grief over all the characters I’d just mercilessly slaughtered.

Game of Thrones (book): A Review

I recently reviewed the first series which encompasses everything in the first book as well.

I really have to say that the book was better. There was a little less of the pointless sex and more of the back story and I understand the whole world a heck of a lot better. The gore was about the same but I could gloss over those parts fairly easily, much the same way I covered my eyes occasionally while watching the tv series.

Now normally you expect books to be better than the film adaptations but other than the sex and the easy to gloss over gore there wasn’t too many differences and I actually have a little more respect for the TV series thanks to reading the book. The book is great and the series isn’t far off it.

There were a few points where I got a little bored but I think that was only because I knew what was happening, thanks to watching and reading so close together. I even believe I did both at the same time at a few points, though usually different parts.

The only downside is the frankly ridiculous price of the ebooks. The first in the series is a not too bad price of £3.99 which for a 280,000 word book is acceptable and even the one after is only £1 more but some of the ebooks in the series are over £12 and for something that’s not made of paper and has no manufacturing costs so I still haven’t decided if I’ll be reading any more of them. There are so many good indie books out there these days for a fraction of the cost that I’m just not sure it’s worth it.

Game of Thrones (series 1): A Review

I didn’t get to watch this when it was first out as I don’t have sky TV but I picked up the blur-ray on an off chance it might be good. It was recommended to me so it wasn’t entirely pot luck and I do often like a good fantasy plot, on top of that I love dragons.

The first episode was like most first episodes of tv series, they had packed everything you were likely to find offensive about the series into the first episode so you’d know if you were likely to be interested or not before bothering with the rest. As such, there was a lot more nudity and gore than I would usually like in something I watch but as the series progressed it mellowed out a little. Don’t get me wrong, there were still quite a lot of sexual refrences, shots of naked women, and plenty of blood but much less than the first episode.

The plot was the shows biggest redeeming feature and if I hadn’t decided I liked the characters I’d have definitely given up after the first couple of episodes. I just, personally, don’t see the need for all the explicit stuff all the time. But as mentioned I really really liked the characters, Sean Bean was on top form and there were a few other actors who will now be on my to watch list.

Annoyingly there was not that much to do with dragons but the last episode made me hopeful there would be some more dragon stuff in the next series. All in all though I think I might try the books. I can more easily gloss over the bits I don’t like in a book so I don’t have to read about all the sex and gore.

Also at the time of writing this the ebook is only £3.99 and it’s over 280,000 words long so I’ve snapped it up and will get reading, hopefully I can review that too and say which people might prefer.