“A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin

I've always liked this cover best.
I’ve always liked this cover best.

Reading a book for the first time is filled with moments of wonder. If the story is gripping, you spend most of the time wide-eyed, reading quickly, as if the words already set in the book could somehow escape you. Approaching that book a second time does not dim the wonder but neither does the wonder consume you as on the first read. Things you glazed over in your excitement to know what happens next begin to emerge.

Such was the case a few weeks ago when I read A Game of Thrones a second time. I was surprised at myself that I missed the blatant foreshadowing at the beginning of the story—the direwolf dead with the horn of a stag broken in its throat. Martin even referred back to that scene a few times thereafter and still I failed to notice it. I was too mesmerized then. Too curious and reading too quickly to pay much attention to details.

This isn’t surprising to anyone who has read the books in George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, or watched the television show on HBO. The story centers on various characters spread across the kingdoms of Westeros and its neighboring lands. It is filled with twists and numerous cliff-hangers that will keep you both hooked and frustrated with GRRM since the character perspectives tend to switch from chapter to chapter.

Although I knew the ending and what would happen to the characters later in the series, I still anticipated the turn of every page. Again, I found myself staying up late, wide awake, and reading quickly to satiate my curiosity and desire for a happy ending though I knew better. I did not expect this of myself. I thought my second time through would be much calmer, as it usually is, but I was wrong.

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“A Feast for Crows” by George R.R. Martin

Cover of "A Feast for Crows (Song of Ice ...
Cover via Amazon

FINALLY!!!

Oh my gosh, it took me forever to finish reading this book. I can’t even remember when I began to read it. It was such a drag. I had to take breaks just to get away from all the characters and conflicts and scheming and history lessons. They clouded my brain. While reading A Feast for Crows, I also read Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce, The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, Body Language for Dummies (I had a crush on a guy and wanted to know if he likes me without having to ask him), and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

I’m sorry to say this but this book was a bore for me. I was not interested in the characters presented in this book; however, I do know that in order for the story to work, we (the readers) do need to know what these characters are up to and also what is going in Westeros. These characters —Brienne, Jaime, Cersei, Arya (she is always interesting to me), Victarion, Samwell— are all able to paint us a picture of the bleak, dismantled land of Westeros. Winter is coming. The land is riddled with corpses and villans. People are scavenging for food to put away before Winter hits hard. But it seems that all, except maybe the Vale, will be unprepared for winter. And along with Winter will come the Others. I believe that their army of zombies will grow from all the corpses left over from the war.

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