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Such a struggle.

At long last, I have finished the first five books of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and I’m currently experiencing the ultimate book hangover.  Maybe writing about the books will help? Probably not.  What would help would be books 6 and 7 downloaded on my nook.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon and so, the next series of blog posts will all surround Mr. Martin’s fantasy series.  I’m looking to write about each book individually, but first I want to talk about the series as a whole.  Just as a heads-up, throughout the course of the following posts there will most likely be spoilers.  It’d be hard to discuss each book without mentioning certain characters:  simply stating that Character “A” is alive in book three if you’re only in book two would prove to be a spoiler, as Martin likes cliffhangers and has some tricks up his sleeve.

In total, books one through five are 4464 pages (at least in the editions that I purchased).  I started reading the series on April 29 and finished this past Sunday, July 22 meaning it took me just under three months to finish this undertaking.  Part of me knows that if I wasn’t working full-time, I would have finished in a much shorter period of time, but I’m glad that wasn’t the case.  By the middle of the last book I started getting sad that once I finished, I’d be waiting with everyone else.  Waiting anxiously for Martin to release the sixth book, or even announce a publication date.

Martin uses third person narration through the points of view of (up through book five) 31 different characters. These characters come and go; new ones appear throughout the course of the books and old ones (sometimes well-loved ones) get the ax, or should I say the longsword.  Through these many narrators, Martin weaves together three main plotlines.

A map of George R. R. Martin’s world from the HBO website. To view the map in it’s interactive form, click here. While I haven’t watched the show so I don’t know how closely it has followed the books, this interactive map idea is pretty awesome.

A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fantasy world with two continents, Westeros and Essos.  The first plotline surrounds the fight for the Iron Throne of the continent Westeros.  The second plotline follows Daenerys Targaryen in Essos who lives after having escaped death as a child when the throne was taken from the Targaryen’s rule in Westeros.  The third plotline takes place at the northern border of Westeros. There stands a many thousands year old wall to protect the people of Westeros from wildlings and the “Others.”  What exactly these “others” are is yet to truly be seen.  At the wall is the Night Watch, a sworn brotherhood whose sole duty is to protect this great wall.

I absolutely loved this series.  Words do not express how much credit I would like to give to George R. R. Martin for creating such an in-depth and intense mythical world.  I feel like there is just so much to say about this entire series, but I’m going to end this for tonight while it’s still short and succinct.  If I don’t, I’ll start rambling.  But, I will be back soon with Game of Thrones, book one of A Song of Ice and Fire.