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For me, one of the truly great things about the fantasy genre is the sense of history that has to be apart of every story, it seems, in order to make the world believable. Look at Tolkien’s book, The Sword of Shannara books, and The Game of Thrones books are there are hints, and sometimes even descriptive back story on the history and the nature of why things are the way there are in the story. This kind of story telling isn’t for everybody as many get bored and feel like they are in a history class as opposed to reading a book for fun. Not me, I gobble these book up whenever I can, which is why I was so delighted to find The World of Ice and Fire at the story one day, and for a reasonable price. Without thinking I put the book into my cart, instead of the usual debating on whether or not I should spend the money, and headed straight for the checkout. In The World of Ice and Fire there are not only descriptions of the ancient world of Westeros, but also a detailed history of the Targaryen kings, as well as some of the more important houses and characters, and even beautiful art work.
It took me most of the summer, but I was finally able to read and finish George R. R. Martin‘s A Game of Thrones. Ever since the show premiered on HBO now almost five years ago, I had wanted to read the books but was a little intimidated because each individual book was so massive and I was also afraid that I might like the writing style – nothing frustrates a reader more than committing to a book and getting a couple of hundred pages into it only to discover that you don’t find the plot engaging or can’t stand the writing style. To make a long story short on that front, not only was the book’s plot just as gripping as the shows, the writing was superb. I won’t rehash the plot here because the show does do – for the first book at least – it justice, but what I will say is that if you ever have the chance to read the book, I would, even if it is 800 plus pages long.