by George R.R. Martin
The strife goes on. Warring factions take sides, shift and betray and battle it out. Everyone wants their own outcome, hardly anyone gets it. The weight of choices. Four different men have proclaimed themselves king over part of the land (or all of it) so everything is turmoil. I admit I had a bit of difficulty keeping track of what was happening when it came to the tangle of warfare, especially the chapter that comprised a battle at sea, that was just a blur to me. But the viewpoints of individual characters and how larger events affected them kept me grounded. To my surprise I found myself more invested in Sansa\’s plight than the other characters. I still admire her fierce sister Arya, the young noblewoman wandering the realm in the guise of a lowborn boy, at first just trying to survive but now finding ways to take vengeance on those who have killed her family members. But Sansa\’s difficulties lie in keeping her head while held in the castle of her enemies and betrothed to a cruel boy-king who turns out to be a vicious sadist- I really felt for her. Also I\’m more admiring of Tyrion the dwarf, his ways of holding good his word and standing up for others even whilst going after his own interests and view of justice within his role as Hand of the King. And even though I don\’t like him, the parts about Theon Greyjoy were interesting. The guy was raised as ward in someone else\’s household; to all appearances treated well, but felt himself held captive and came back to overthrow Winterfell and claim it for his own when the place was not well-manned. His success and rule was bitter and short-lived; everyone seems to hate the miserable fellow. Seems to just be desperate for some recognition and power of his own.
Perhaps because the book gives far more details, I got better at understanding the motives behind different characters\’ actions. Even the plotting and war strategies started to make sense to me. It was intriguing to see the differences made when the tv series was created- I noticed quite a few shifts in plot, mostly regarding when various characters were introduced. Also in what happened during some of the battles, although the outcome was always the same. I continue to carry in my head the faces the film introduced me to, when reading the pages.
I wasn\’t quite sure if I was going to actually make it all the way through this book (any volume that requires an extensive appendix to keep track of characters makes me weary- too much work to remember them all!) but I found myself getting more and more interested the further I read. Definitely continuing onward.
Rating: 3/5 …….. 1009 pages, 1999