Author: G.R.R. Martin, 1998.
Genre: Epic Fantasy. Historical Fantasy
Other Details: Hardback 761 pages and Unabridged Audio (37 hours). Read by Roy Doltrice.
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. - synopsis from publisher's website.
In the second novel in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, the fragile peace of the Seven Kingdoms has been shattered and civil war has broken out. Meanwhile, the Night Watch sends a reconnaissance force north of the Wall to investigate the wildlings. Across the sea Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms.
In all the novels the story is told in the third person by a group of point of view characters and these stories weave together. This format also means that there can be quite a gap between the continuation of various strands of the story. This, along with the density of its plot and the huge cast of characters, meant that I chose to read quite slowly, taking in a few chapters a day. I also listened to its audiobook version as again this gave me a better grasp of its complexity.
I'm totally in love with this series and it is love that is tinged with obsession. I can't recall when a novel or series has had this kind of effect on me; probably the Harry Potter books. I was also pleased to have a reading companion for this novel so that we could share our responses to various events. However, he moved onto 'A Storm of Swords' ahead of me so I have some catching up to do so that we can discuss new revelations.
Author: G.R.R. Martin, 2000.
Genre: Epic Fantasy. Historical Fantasy.
Other Details: Hardback 973 pages and Unabridged Audio (47.5 hours). Read by Roy Doltrice.
Westeros is still in the grip of civil war and it is not only devastating the members of many noble houses but the common people and the land itself is being destroyed. A large host of wildlings are marching on the Wall with a view to overwhelm the Night Watch that stand in their way. Across the sea Daenerys is crossing the continent hoping to raise an army to retake the Iron Throne.
I found myself again totally entranced by G.R.R. Martin's imagined world. It was an incredible piece of writing that delivered time and again quite shocking developments. I am unable to just stop here and hope to finish the series to date by the end of the year.
George R R Martin's official website and his Livejournal grrm.