George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books are simply amazing. The reason for their success and mass appeal is not because of dragons and swords and princess’ and magic and epic battles. It’s really simple. These books are real. The detail is amazing. Even much of the back story about Westeros and its inhabitants has back story of its own. It is a world that is so painstakingly constructed, its people and places so alive, that when you read the books, you are living there. This is a living, breathing place. That is the secret of its success.
Why do you think it takes him so long to write these books? Anyone can throw together some towns and villages and put a kingdom around them. Add in some knights, some dragons, some swords with cool names and just string it all together with an adventure. It takes a master storyteller to actually give it all depth, history, soul…
So of course we want more and we want it now. But if George R.R. Martin were rushed, we wouldn’t get the sweeping and epic saga that we love. Take a deep breath. Relax. And wait. These books are worth it. And in the meantime you can read Beyond The Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. It doesn’t continue the story. It has no amazing art featuring places in Westeros and its characters. But it does explore the books more deeply. And that’s really what we all want right?
In Beyond the Wall fantasy authors and science fiction experts take a closer look at all kinds of things. The recurring themes of feminism and power in the series, a defense of the fantasy genre by R.A. Salvatore, a look at the role of freaks and outcasts, and many more thought provoking topics.
It is an amazing read. I didn’t think I would like it because it is not a part of “the” story, but there is much food for thought here and it may even change the way you look at certain aspects of the series. It is worthy of a space on your geek reading shelf.
You can find it at Amazon from $8.94. I would have paid twice that for it and been a happy camper.