Books

The Good & the Bad of Fire & Blood

fire and blood

Fire & Blood

By: George R.R. Martin

Grade: B+

You got to love him. Only Martin could drop a 700 page history of the Targaryens (instead of the book we all want) and then only get to the halfway point of the history! And a vast amount of that is the previously published Dance of Dragons history. Er… I can’t even be angry because it’s Westeros. It’s dragons. I ate it up.

Fire & Blood is also very Martin in both good and bad ways.

Continue reading “The Good & the Bad of Fire & Blood”

Books

Summer Reading & the Best Books of the Year

Summer Reading Tag

It seems like a perfect time for this tag since we’re in the middle of summer here and I’m in that spot where I’m happy in the summer shine and about to start endlessly complaining about it. This one was originally created on Youtube by Amy Jane Reads although I’ve seen a couple of summer tags floating around.

Continue reading “Summer Reading & the Best Books of the Year”

Books

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Author: George R.R. Martin

Genre: Fantasy

Grade: A-

 Well, I read the first Dunk and Egg story a while back and enjoyed it I figured then that I would wait unit I could get all three stories combined. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms not only combined the three tales it illustrated them and was an absolutely lovely Christmas present.

 The stories of Dunk the Hedge Knight take place about a hundred years before our current Westeros time while he wonders the country with his squire Egg, who also happens to be…

 Well, if you don’t know I won’t spoil it for you. The book was a lot of fun. Westeros during Dunk’s time was recovering from a great war and you can see that all over the story. War and it’s effect on the small folk is one of Martin’s great themes. It was interesting to because despite the fact that Dunk is technically just a hedge Knight you get a good deal of politicking and intrigue.

 It was nice to finally read about Rohanne Webber and meet her as a character instead of just hearing people in fandom talk about her. Also there are lots of theories on who Dunk’s descendants might be. I didn’t really pick up anything for sure from these three stories but it’s fun to guess.

 The illustrations are lovely. Black and white and very simple. They definitely don’t take away from or overpower the tales. While Dunk is a little bit “thick” as he says and Egg is definitely not it’s fun to read about their adventures. Despite intrigue and backstabbing and some serious violence this is definitely a simpler and more simplistic story.

 The problem at this point with all of my forays into Martin’s Westeros is I read this thinking I want more! I want more of the Targ’s and everything that yes, you know is coming but still… I want Dunk and Egg in Winterfell and to see if they make it to the wall and I want (and it’s probably important) more of Bloodraven and the story with him and his brother. I have a feeling he’s going to be super important to ASOIAF.

 And at this point I can’t help but think I’m probably not going to get any of it. It may be cynical yes but it’s hard to enjoy these stories and doubt that the author will ever finish any of them or provide the answers.

 Recommend: Yes. Even despite my cynicism this is a fun, good read. You don’t have to know ASOIAF, in fact I would say if you want to visit the world without the complete darkness of that series this is a good place to jump into and Dunk and Egg are excellent guides to Westeros of old.

Books, Other

Top Ten Bookish Resolutions in 2016

TTT

Top Ten Bookish Resolutions in 2016

(Run by Broke and Bookish)

I actually have a strange bookish resolution mainly:

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  1. I am not going to participate in the Reading Challenge this year. At least not in terms of setting and actual number to get to and beat because it pretty much drives me crazy!

Although I was still be keeping track of what I read and reread with this adorable journal:

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Which you can find on Amazon for like $6.99. It was also in the December Owlcrate (funny thing is I decided to skip December for Christmas/ money purposes and wound up buying most of the stuff in it anyway!)

My only other resolution is to learn to let things go in terms of books mainly I’m talking about:

original

Yes, anyone that follows ASOIAF/ Thrones knows that Martin blew getting it out before the show’s next season and, I have to be honest, I am not one of those people who took a great deal of optimism from his blog post.

I’d written off him finishing the last book long ago and I read the post this weekend and thought, “Nope, we’re never getting Winds either.”

 Maybe I’ll be surprised. But at least in 2016 I’ll stop endlessly waiting for it!

Happy New Year!

Books

Dreamsongs Volume II Book

Dreamsongs Volume 2

I read Dreamsongs Volume 1 earlier this year and I enjoyed it but wanted to put off reading this one until I had more time. Voilà! Plenty of time these days!

I only knew of George R.R. Martin through the Ice and Fire Series but I enjoyed reading most of his other work as well. I am by no means a Martin expert. But it’s fun to read his old work and see the themes and threads that pop up throughout the thrones series. My biggest problem with Volume II is when he starts talking near the beginning about how his drawers are full of unfinished series. For just a minute I wanted to cry and then I thought to myself, “He’ll finish. He’ll finish. He’s going to finish!” I am not going to be one of those people who beg and plead no matter how much I want to do so. He’ll finish!

The stand outs in this one for me are: ‘The Skin Trade’ (which was better horror than what was included in Volume 1) it’s about werewolves technically but all I could think was the Bolton’s in Thrones and you’ll know why quickly and disgustingly. I enjoyed ‘Unsound Variations’ even though I know nothing about chess- it’s a nice twist that by the end I found myself rooting for some characters who were pretty awful in the beginning (not unlike Thrones). Of course I’m also fascinated by the idea of different lives based on the choices one makes.

There is a Hollywood section that I found fascinating. I enjoyed seeing the scripts laid out but I also like how Mister Martin talks a little in the beginning about how these particular stories or scripts came to be and the bit of Hollywood background about the behind the scenes made the scripts even more interesting in that regard.

Of course there’s also Dunk and Egg, the first of the Hedge Knight series, the reason why I picked up the book to get my Westeros fix. I’m not even going to lie. It was my favorite of the Volume. Dunk and his squire are just adorable and I loved the peak into early Westeros and the Targ Princes before everything went up in flames.

This book overall was a quicker read and a bit less expansive then the first Volume but then again I enjoyed it more. The stories feel more alive and consequently a lot more intense.  If you’re a fan you’ve probably already read it (I’m perpetually late to the game). If not it’s still an enjoyable anthology just beware of some truly gruesome stuff (mostly in The Skin Trade) and some mentions of sex and in a later story mentions of a violent assault.