My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I put down this book for many, many months when I was about halfway through. I'm ashamed to say that I picked it up again only after starting to watch HBO's A Game of Thrones, the TV series based on the first book. In my defence, I was knee deep in several projects at the time I laid aside this book, and had very little spare time.
I remedied this oversight a fortnight ago, and I'm very glad that I did.
This is by far the best of the three books I've read thus far. There are some things that happen that really, really upset me (Spoiler Alert: Robb Stark). There are other things that really, really pleased me (Spoiler Alert: Jon Snow, Arya and (major spoiler) Cat Stark).
The fact that I so quickly became so deeply emotionally involved in this story after such a long time away from it is a tribute to George R.R. Martin - the finest tribute I think I can possibly offer.
His world lacks the complexity or cultural/anthropological genius that I so much admire in Steven Erikson, however the world is rich and vibrant and still very much alive. The characters are thoroughly believable and, so very importantly, many-faceted.
Characters I despised throughout the first two books have grown on me. A good sign. Characters I thought were brave and noble turned out to be rather foolish, really, and prideful. Another great sign.
Sufficed to say, a very solid four stars. If Goodreads would allow it, I'd have given 4.5 stars.
Oh, and one more piece of advice for those considering or currently reading this book: read the Epilogue. You won't be sorry.
Originally, a rhyme or piece of poetry used in charming and killing rates. The term... came to mean halting metres, doggerel, a tirade of nonsense.
- David Donaldson's Supplement to Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, 1887
The fanciful idea that rats were commonly rhymed to death, in Ireland, arose probably from some metrical charm or incantation used there for that purpose.
- Rober Nares' Glossary [of] the Works of English Authors, 1859
Rhime them to death, as they do Irish rats/ In drumming tunes.
- Ben Jonson's Poetaster, 1601.
Edit to add: If anyone from blogger is reading this, Thursday's post is missing. Kindly put it back.