It’s been a while since we did a post about What We’re Reading, and I know that a lot of us at Blurb have been devouring new books that we got over the holidays, and I just had to share this one. I love exchanging books with my friends. The Blurberati’s own Chad turned me on to two of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami and Neal Stephenson. Recently, I exchanged books with a friend who knows me all too well. I gave him the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, he gave me a book by George R. R. Martin called A Game of Thrones.
I had never even heard of this book, which is the first in a series called A Song of Ice and Fire, but my friend assured me that it is the best fantasy series ever. While I can’t claim to have personally read enough fantasy to toss out genre-specific superlatives, I can tell you that the book is great. It’s gripping from the beginning, epic, and gritty. Although there is some magic involved, Martin doesn’t rely on it to explain everything—the story arc follows human characters living human lives full as full of vice & folly as of hopes & dreams. The characters feature the kind of ambiguities that are lacking in most good-vs-evil stories, and consequently I found the story much more emotionally and intellectually engaging.
I am currently about 150 pages into the 900-page book 3, A Storm of Swords, and I’m already starting to freak out about how much I don’t want the series to end. This is always the sign of a good read.