Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Dance with Dragons

Written by: George RR Martin

First line: The night was rank with the smell of man.

Why you should read this book:  The epic shifts to the north and the east: in the north, everyone is cold and hungry, if not snowed under and actively consuming their own dead; in the east, dragons, slavers, and killer diarrhea threaten everyone’s lives; in the waters between two continents, deadly storms chew through armadas. Everyone who sees Daenerys wants to woo her, everyone who sees Tyrion wants to capture him, everyone who sees Jon Snow wants him to know he’s doing it wrong, and everyone who sees dragons learns that dragons burn things. There's also some good bits with magic, giants, Cersei naked, and Arya getting an education like no septa ever offered a highborn maid. 

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're some kind of cowardly killjoy who doesn't like dragons.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Feast for Crows

Written by: George RR Martin

First line: "Dragons," said Mollander.

Why you should read this book: In this aptly named fourth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, the bodies begin to pile up in seriously inconvenient ways, while religious mania and cannibalism are added to the atrocities being committed as winter draws nigh and the short-sighted game of thrones apparently requires that large quantities of resources be destroyed immediately prior to a prolonged period of privation and terror. More plots, some stupider than others, are conceived, hatched, brought to fruition, and proved to be either just foolhardy enough or far too foolhardy; many journeys are taken, drawing characters far from their comfort zones, into realms of great danger and even greater knowledge. Nothing whatsoever is resolved in this book.

Why you shouldn't read this book: When you get to the end, there's a note from Martin explaining that, due to the scope of the story, he realized he had to cut the book in two, and rather than giving his readers half the story for all the characters, he chose to give all the story for half the characters, so a lot of important protagonists don't even appear in this book, except when other people gossip about them.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Storm of Swords

Written by: George RR Martin

First line: The day was gray and bitter cold, and the dogs would not take the scent.

Why you should read this book: The bodies are hitting the floor, and the deck, and the water, and the rocks, and the ice, and pretty much every surface available as the war rages on in earnest, with alliances formed and shattered, heroes made and lost, monsters and magic raised. No one is safe anywhere, and autumn is hard upon Westeros, with river-swelling rains and mistrust sown more often than any other crop. Some mysteries are answered and some reunions are enjoyed, just enough to keep the reading hungry for the next addictive hit.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You are particularly attached to a number of main characters or some particular outcome.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Clash of Kings

Written by: George RR Martin

First line:

Why you should read this book: The old king is dead and his wife's young and sadistic secret bastard son, Joffrey, sits on the Iron Throne, while Robb Stark has been declared King in the North, the Baratheon brothers battle out their own succession, and other would-be kings bide their time in the shadows. Across the ocean, Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen mothers her fledgling dragons, while the Lannisters play through their own intrigues, the entire continent of Westeros falls over itself to jump into a war with no exit plan, and everyone knows that winter is coming. Includes long descriptions of banquets eaten, crowns worn, people stabbed, cities sacked, maidens raped, lies told, betrayals enacted, and sorceries cast, along with all the other good stuff the Song of Ice and Fire series is known for.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You expect books to end neatly with the plots all tied up in a bow.