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Why I Want to Punch George RR Martin. (Anyone feel the same way?)
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Friday, September 2, 2011 4:25 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


I know that this threat may gain me some vitriol among his fans, but I must put these thoughts out there. First my disclaimer: He is a very good writer who has created a rich world that begs to be explored. His characters start out strong, and you care about them. He had obviously done enough research to fill a few reference books, and his plot seems to be structured well. I admit that I am only a quarter through Feast for Crows, but these thought have come to mind. That said, here are my problems.

One: Too many points of view. Yes, I grow weary of reading about characters I care nothing about when the Stark children are all split apart and in peril. I want to know about them because they are who the story starts out with. It is reasonable enough that the Lannister's would be laced in there since their fates are intertwined. (I also find Tyrion entertaining. I like wit.) Yet when he brings in Asha, her drowned priest uncle, some random knight, or what have you, I find myself put off and tired. The story moves fast enough at first, but now I find it bogged down by too many perspectives. It feels like I'm reading one the fake history books that his characters mention instead of a story. I heard that he started out with 7 POVs at first and ended up with something like 23 (I don't remember the exact number. I read it in an article.)

Two: Details. I know there are plenty of people out there who practically drool for details. They love every bit told to them about what the world is like. I know, these people don't like my writing and claim it as a weakness. (I promise this isn't personal, just biased.) I was taught that writing shouldn't be filled with fluff. When I get to passages where he talks about all the fabrics that a single dress is made of, or what an entire family of a household looks like - plus their inflated names - I want to tear out my hair. It often lacks relevance unless one of those people are important to the story. Then you get to the paragraphs detailing what they broke their fast on and what they were thinking while they stuffed their face with a list of foods that I could care less about. These details just add to the tedium.

Well, there are my two big gripes. They aren't specific in ways of plot or what not, but I don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't read him yet. It took me three years just to get back to the series after reading Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings (which put me to sleep). I can say I enjoyed Storm of Swords, but I was wondering if I'm the only one who is frustrated as all get out when they read Martin despite wanted to go on. I am both enamored by the world he has created, but am close to giving up. I fear that if I do I may not remember enough to pick the story back up later. 

Anyone else feel the way I do?

L R Waterbury
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 1:09 AM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 60


I have to say I both love Martin's work and completely agree with you on all points. I experience the same frustrations, especially when he gets away from the POV of his main characters. One thing I liked the most about the latest tome is that it revolved primarily around the characters I actually care about.

As for the endless details, I just skip over them. I'm not the kind of person who obsesses about what food the character's are eating and what they're wearing (like you, that's reflected in my own writing too). When I get to paragraphs like that, and not just in Martin's work, I generally just skim them to find where they end so I can get to the characters stuff and plot stuff.

I guess, when it comes down to it, I read Martin for his plot and characters (despite the too many POVs).
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 4:43 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


@Kzinga: I do advise reading him, but like LRWaterbury, sometimes skimming over paragraphs is a must do. He does have good characters and plot. (His main plot with the Others does get lost at some points, but its sufferable.) Don't be ashamed to take a breather between books, but so much goes on reading one after the other is not a bad idea.

I am ashamed to say that my original comment has a ton of typos. Its painful just to read it. If I am going to complain about lack of editing, I guess I should at least look over my post first.
Thothguard
Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2011 1:45 AM
Joined: 3/17/2011
Posts: 18


I avoided Martins work because of many of the complaints I read or heard about, such as how long it takes him to finish a story. Then the HBO show came on and after watching the first season, I bought all 5 books, Hardback.

My impression, while the HBO series stays pretty true to the book, I have to say the books are even better. Tyrion the Imp, is even better in the books and I could not wait to get to his next chapter, or a chapter that involved him through someone else's POV.

Sansa'ss PoV I could have done without and as important as Dannery is, she whined too much after book 1.

All I can say to anyone who has not read ASOFAI or AGOT as it is also know, do not get attached to any single character. Martin has no sacred cows. Still, I found the story complex and the pacing and plotting overall done very well. With the exception of the two PoV's I mentioned above.

I do agree, too many PoV's slowed the reading down at times, but once you get into the books, you see a madness about why so many are included.

All in all, I have to give Martin 5 stars and curse him at the same time because the sixth book is still some time away. Hope I live long enough....
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2011 6:31 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


@Thothguard: I hope HE lives long enough. At this rate he may die before he finishes.
Revenant
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3:51 PM
The books, especially the latest, are incredible to me. Sansa can be annoying, but isn't that the point of her character? You are practically beating your head in because she keeps believing in this fairy tale life, what she's learned from songs, and you want to yell WAKE UP!... The characters get strong reactions out of us, and Martin wants to, as someone said above, cover the true madness of this world. He includes that many perspectives because there are that many players. Asha provides a feminine perspective that acts like a man. Sansa provides a fairy tale princess hoping for everything to go as she has always dreamed. Arya is a tomboy, but unlike Asha, she has an innocence that we love and has some redeemable qualities that we root for, even when she is on the brink of murder. I think these books are nothing short of spectacular. My only complaint is that he had me wanting to write in his style, but he has already used so many of the characters and ideas from that setting. He is so packed with detail, with houses, and clever sayings, and knights from this realm that act like this... that he leaves no stone unturned and thus makes it harder to feel original when YOU are writing, if you've read his work. That I think is my least favorite thing. He's so good and covers so much, that your ideas start to feel passed down and second hand.
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:57 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


@Revenant: I get that your work feels like crap after reading his stuff. I'm the same way, but then I think of what Stephen King said. To paraphrase, he said that we must read bad writing so that we feel that we can do better. Reading good writing will only discourage us.
R P Steeves
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:24 AM
Joined: 10/13/2011
Posts: 12


I'd like to punch him because he spends too much time on the Song of Ice and Fire and not enough on Wild Cards...
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:28 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


Never read it, but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to now. I just think he spends way too much time on a Song of Fire and Ice period. Like I said, it is very likely he might die before he finishes it.
RJBlain
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:38 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 224


It is these reasons that I won't read the series at all... I started trying to read it a few times, but never managed to get past chapters one or two. I just don't like his writing style. But, when you add these things together, it works out that I can't trust the author to give me characters that I can follow all the way through. I'm a one, two, or three POV girl most of the time, though I've read some stellar books with many. I tend to read 1-3 as a general rule, though. (Or 1-3 sets of points of view... so I could clump the starks as a pov, the lanisters as a pov, etc.)

I also don't want to read it due to the time gaps in the books. It is something I have decided that I will NOT do to people if I get my epic fantasy sold. I will strive to release a book a year, and make it end in reasonable order. Even if it means I never sleep during the duration. It isn't fair to the readers.

I'm glad he is so successful and a lot of people seem to like him -- it is good for the genre, but I don't appreciate his general attitude toward his readers and the delays he puts them through. I wouldn't read him based off of that principle alone.

I am curious to see what happens at the end of the day, but I'd be happy to find this information out through a few sentences about the general plot. I like how Jim Butcher handled Codex Alera. He was very systematic in his approach to the books, so the readers knew when the next one would come out. (He wrote it one Alera book, one Dresden book and alternated them. I'm fine with that for the record.)

Sorry for rambling...
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 6:35 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


I totally get your point. I agree that making your readers wait to see what happens next is a poor "customer service" practice. These people take the time to read your stuff, so you should try to treat them with the utmost respect. Now that he's involved with HBO, who knows how long it will take for the one after Dances With Dragons. If I do manage to get my work sold, I will try to stay consistent as well. I already have people chomping at the bit for the next chapter. (All be it, not on here. Hands of Ash isn't particularly popular. I wonder if its the mixed reaction.)

Anyway, great point RJ Blain.
Jeff Reid
Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 7:47 PM
Joined: 11/21/2011
Posts: 2


Thanks Lee-Anna, for that bit of wake-up-and-smell-that-coffee... This thread was a great read for the sake of my own writing.

First watching HBO's Game of Thrones then devouring everything related to Martin's Song of Fire and Ice really woke up the medieval fantasy part of my imagination. Or finally shook off that Lord of the Rings hangover just before the Halfling-marketing is back in full-swing.

So, yes-- I love Martin's work (going back to Sand Kings, in fact), but have to agree with those points. Particularly the endless addition of characters, while leaving these fantastic existing players seemingly forgotten, just abandoned or abruptly killed in way that makes me question why they were so detailed (or an entire POV). And "no sacred cows", that's for sure!

Like I said, good points to me, as I tend to write like I read. Nice to hear others crave more story progress and less obscure details, as Martin has me researching archaic fashions and menus like that's what people want to read about (when I don't really want to write about that unless is directly plot-related).
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 1:56 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


@Jeff Reid: Glad I smacked you around a bit. You should only write what you want to write. Don't add all the obscure details unless that is what you want. While some of us may not like it, it could be your style, but from what I see, it isn't.
Angela Martello
Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:20 PM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394


I, too, bought the books after watching the HBO series (which I liked very much). But, like so many of you, I find the multiple (double-digit) point of views annoying; the great amount of detail, at times, excruciating (I admit, I skim many sections - especially those that detail all the different sigils, foods, religions). There is also a great deal of info-dumping that, at times, simply takes away from the flow of the story. Overall, though, I do like many of the characters and am genuinely interested in seeing how all the plot threads ultimately weave together.

Dennise Sleeper
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 7:19 PM
I agree. I too became weary of the many character views. I don't have a lot of reading time and trying to keep track was extremely difficult. While reading there were times I often thought, 'what's so special about this book?' 'Why do so many want to read it?' I went to the end and decided it's not for me. Couldn't find the answer to the above questions. It's like being told Aunt Sarah makes the best so and so. Each bite I'm wondering when I'm going to eat that outstanding piece that makes the other bites worthwhile. In the end, I take an empty plate to the kitchen sink and vow to never touch anything else Aunt Sarah makes. There's so much good out there, I don't need to suffer hoping for that golden nugget.
Ava DiGioia
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 7:38 PM
Joined: 3/7/2011
Posts: 39


I devoured A Game of Thrones within a week; took over 2 weeks to read Clash of Kings and was at least a month getting through Storm of Swords. 

Have been procrastinating about starting Feast because of reviews read; comments people have made about it. 

The series is definitely bogging down under its own weight, but most who have made it to the third book have become invested in some of the characters and want to know what will happen in their story.  That's why people keep reading the books.  Definitely too many POVs and info-dump/description. I also think when he runs out of story for a character, he just kills them. 

I have seen a phrase attributed to Martin in several sources, "the story writes itself."  But I don't need to know every time a character needs to go to the bathroom or eat a meal.  We all do those things.

Maybe, as a writer, I need to know those things, but as a reader, I don't care about all that stuff.  


LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Friday, December 2, 2011 5:40 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


Wow! I never thought this thread would get a second page. I started it to just gripe. I love the responses.

I still haven't finished Feast of Crows. I got bored. I want to get to the recent one, but I have discovered that I'm starting to not care. I saw the teaser for the second season of the show today, and was more excited for something that I already knew was going to happen than new information. I do not recommend his books for anyone with "Oh, shiny!" syndrome. If you have the patience, then give it a try. How is that for clarification?
Halford
Posted: Saturday, December 3, 2011 6:28 AM
I'd definitely recommend suffering through Feast for Crows - note the word suffering, however! It's quite slow and nothing much happens - plus there's all those new PoV's that are almost impossible to get through(I'm guilty of reading the first and last page of several boring chapters such as Dorne to get the gist and move on) But I will say this - It's all about character: how X develops, how Y feels about something changing and so on. In the end, it is worth it if you enjoy the series. Dance with Dragons is far more interesting, if you can get there.
 
 I hear he has promised not to add any more PoVs in future (but a warning, there is a new one in Dance, and maaaany new secondary characters).



 As for detail, I really don't have strong feelings either way about too much or too little, as I'll read on if I like the characters, even if they are eating a page-long meal every chapter. I found it quite hard to get into the books at first, though, because of the narrative. But by about chapter 3 or 4 in A Game of Thrones I got used to it and don't 'see' it anymore.

Revenant
Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:38 PM
I would first agree with the most recent poster and say that Dance with Dragons is just so, so good. If you can make it there, do it. I agree that during the third and fourth book he gets a little slow paced, but Dance was wonderful...

Now, as to earlier comments about the way he "treats his readers" and that he makes them wait for the next installment... Hate it. The guy is after all just a guy. I think he has every right to take as long as he wants to on a work. I think he has every right to sit there and watch football and mull around and do nothing. We are readers... We are people that have become invested in his world and as far as I can tell from his blog and interviews, that is something he really appreciates. (I recall countless posts where he is enormously thankful for his fan base)... But he does not owe it to us to produce books in a year flat, or on our expected timetables... If the next book came out a decade from now, and that's how long it took for him to write it the way he WANTS to write it, then by all means, I would wait until then to buy it. I know that there is some courtesy involved in the writer/reader relationship. But I also hate his reader's prerogative that has developed where we demand a book in a certain amount of time, and for them to do something else with their life is "disrespectful" to us... Give me a break, there are millions of books you can be reading, and an infinite amount that you could attempt to write yourself... Go do that if you're getting antsy about the next installment coming out. 
Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:57 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438


I finished A CLASH OF KINGS last night. I'm feeling bummed out, so I knew I had to come here and revive this thread. 

 

Martin is a masterful writer, yet there are elements about the books--the deluge of details, the uncertainty, all that you mentioned--that makes the reading experience wonderful and harrowing at the same time. I went to bed last night knowing that the Stark children are in peril; they are all alone now, thinking each other dead. The ending made me so sad, and I know that I have a long--LOOOOONG--way to go before I see where the narrative takes them. 

 

Like a good girl, I started A STORM OF SWORDS this morning (and I think I need a high five for carrying the hardcover edition on the train), and I'm filled with so much dread...

 

Still, I'm glad that Martin is not giving us fake comfort, and telling us all will be well. War is awful and devastating, so I like that he refuses to compromise his integrity as a writer and spare us the gory details. What do you guys think?

 

***

 

Also, anybody else reading the series right now?

--edited by Nevena Georgieva on 7/16/2013, 12:57 PM--


Ian Nathaniel Cohen
Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 1:24 PM

I liked A Game of Thrones, but I couldn't finish A Clash of Kings for the first reason.

 

Noelle Pierce posted an article in the "Plot, Pacing, & Structure" forum about throwing in too much and not knowing when to say "enough is enough."  As elaborate and full of intrigues as a good story can me, there is a point where you need to scale some of it back for the sake of a coherent narrative.  I certainly feel the lessons in that article can be applied to "A Song of Ice & Fire."


LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 1:47 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


I'm waiting for Dances with Dragons to come out in paperback before I buy it. It's cheaper than the ebook. Go figure.

I prefer war to have realism, but Gemmell did the same thing without really going overboard. Martin has made his world so dreary and difficult that it has blotted out the sun. I got tired of reading them because there wasn't enough hope to bring me through, if you wish me to be clearer. I'll still read them, but I long ago discovered that I don't like pure drama and tragedy. If you read memoirs about war or watch documentaries, soldiers and others on those battlefields look for mirth. They try to celebrate life with laughter when they can because they know they may die tomorrow. It's a truth about war that I think Martin forgets.


Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:41 AM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438


LeeAnna Holt wrote:

Martin has made his world so dreary and difficult that it has blotted out the sun. I got tired of reading them because there wasn't enough hope to bring me through, if you wish me to be clearer. I'll still read them, but I long ago discovered that I don't like pure drama and tragedy. If you read memoirs about war or watch documentaries, soldiers and others on those battlefields look for mirth. They try to celebrate life with laughter when they can because they know they may die tomorrow. It's a truth about war that I think Martin forgets.


Well-said, LeeAnna. I think I might come to your thinking as I continue to read the series... I am depressed after finishing #2, and my significant other (who's read all the books in the series) was like, "You think this is dreary? Wait till you get caught up. It will break your heart."

 

Sigh. 

 

Have you guys read the ACACIA series by David Anthony Durham? It's similar to ASOFAI in the sense that it's all about war and features the children of a royal family, who end up in different parts of the world... But it is different in many ways, especially when it comes to the writer's treatment of the subject of war. There are glimmers of hope.

 

 

--edited by Nevena Georgieva on 7/17/2013, 11:41 AM--


LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:27 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


I may have to check that series out.

 

 

Yeah, I took classes on war lit, so I usually can spot if it's treated well in literature. It's huge sub-genre on it's own in here in the US. Vietnam lit makes up the bulk of it. There is more literature on Vietnam than any other conflict or war in US history. (Talk about muddied.) Here's the interesting thing, because of those "light" moments, when the narrator (who is almost always a real person) suffers loss, you feel it. It hits so much harder than anything Martin can devise.

 

--edited by LeeAnna Holt on 7/18/2013, 12:28 AM--


LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013 8:06 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


I just picked up A DANCE WITH DRAGONS at the library, and now that HBO has shown the world the infamous Red Wedding, I thought I would resurrect this topic. Feel free to discuss what you love or don't love about the massive epic here. It's all the rage these days, and I think that it is our duty as fantasy writers to analyse it.

   

That said, so far DRAGONS is better than FEAST. I'm only 160+ pages in, but I'm liking it way better. Finally back to the main plots after a little wandering.

--edited by LeeAnna Holt on 9/8/2013, 8:06 PM--


Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:48 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438


Shush, I haven't seen the third season yet! 


I ended up taking a long break before picking up the third book, and now I'm halfway through. Trying to finish it before I see the third season. I know, it's pretty impressive I've been able to shield my ears from spoilers considering Twitter and people going "omigod" all around me.


This time around, I feel really frustrated by the number of characters. It took me a good 100 pages to remember what's going on in the book, and I keep getting stumped by minor characters I don't remember anything about. I am a very fastidious reader in the sense that I need to get 100% of what I'm reading, so I'll often pause to reference the Apendix in the back of the book or the Game of Thrones Wikia. 


Oh George, why do you have to name every Black Brother and every lordling--big and small--and every tavern owner...Why?


That said, I thought to revisit the conversation about the depiction of war in the series as I stumbled upon an article with writing advice by Martin. Here's the relevant quote about his approach to war in fantasy:


I love fantasy and I’ve been reading it all my life, but I’m also very conscious of its flaws. One of the things that drives me crazy is the externalisation of evil, where evil comes from the “Dark Lord” who sits in his dark palace with his dark minions who all wear black and are very ugly. I’ve deliberately played with that, where you have the Night’s Watch who even though they are filled with thieves and poachers and rapers are heroic people — but they all wear black. And then there are the Lannisters who are tall and fair but aren’t the nicest people.

In simplistic fantasy, the wars are always fully justified — you have the forces of light fighting a dark horde who want to spread evil over the earth. But real history is more complex. There’s a great scene in William Shakespeare’s Henry V where he goes walking among his men in disguise on the eve of the battle of Agincourt and some of them are questioning whether the king’s cause is just or not and lamenting all the people who are going to die to support his claim. That’s a valid question. Then you have the Hundred Year War, which was basically a family quarrel that caused entire generations to be slaughtered. So I try to show that in my writing.

 

What do you think about this?

 

Nevena


--edited by Nevena Georgieva on 1/14/2014, 8:49 PM--


LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 11:52 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


While that is a great approach to fantasy, because I feel the same way, he could still do that without taking forever to get anywhere with characters that he will eventually kill off. We're five books in, and the dragons still haven't made it to Wisteros. (Sorry for the spoiler.) While the zombies are knocking, I still feel like it'll be another full book before they become the threat they should have been two books ago. I like politics in my fantasy, but this is just getting ridiculous.

  

I will say that the fifth book was much better than the fourth, but I still wanted to set it on fire occasionally. After a book where most of the characters spin their wheels, it was nice to see something happen, and see more of the other cultures in his world, but I'm not exactly thrilled that I'm going to have to read another door stop when he eventually finishes it.

   

As for tropes in fantasy, Martin could have not used a medieval world like the thousands out there, but he fell into that trap. Why not the 17th or 18th centuries? Why not include gunpowder if you want to explore war? Did he not want farmers shooting his knights off their horses with a musket? (I would pay to see that.) Seriously, that is the thing that irks me the most. I can list shorter fantasies that deal with the "true face of war" (Gemmell anyone?) but few who go into how technological advantages wrecked the sword way.

  

I do have another fantasy pet peeve. Appendix. If your reader needs to go to the back of the book to clarify things every two pages, you're doing it wrong. I usually have no problem with just about everything else I read, but some fantasies... (screams into a pillow).

  

Okay. That ended up more ranty than I wanted.

  

--edited by LeeAnna Holt on 1/18/2014, 11:55 AM--


Jonathan L
Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014 6:11 PM
Joined: 4/2/2014
Posts: 14


This is an older thread, but I stumbled upon it and thought I'd reply to LeeAnna Holt's original post. I disagree and agree with you. I like his writing a lot. Great characters and great world. I love the jumping around of POV from chapter to chapter. I chose that style for my own book (it is not a fantasy novel). I do agree with you on the details. He tells us about things that are completely useless. I love stories that are tight and filled with things that become important later. With GRR Martin you just never know. Which in some ways is actually exciting, but rarely does it pay off to pay attention to all those tiny details. They do make the world more rich and realistic, but yeah he drones on sometimes. But I still read and like him. This is a good topic!
K. Murphy Wilbanks
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 1:35 PM
Joined: 12/12/2013
Posts: 15


I agree with you, Jonathan...I was inspired to start writing again after I read the first three books back in 2001, which were all that were out at the time.  I am writing from multiple third-person POVs as well...my novel wasn't fantasy either...at least not starting out, but it did turn into urban fantasy.  I love the immersiveness that all the detail gives his writing, and I confess to a similar tendency that I've started to rein in, at least until my skill at plotting and just juggling the various elements of fiction catch up to my ability to set a scene.
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014 2:47 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


Jonathan L wrote:
This is an older thread, but I stumbled upon it and thought I'd reply to LeeAnna Holt's original post. I disagree and agree with you. I like his writing a lot. Great characters and great world. I love the jumping around of POV from chapter to chapter. I chose that style for my own book (it is not a fantasy novel). I do agree with you on the details. He tells us about things that are completely useless. I love stories that are tight and filled with things that become important later. With GRR Martin you just never know. Which in some ways is actually exciting, but rarely does it pay off to pay attention to all those tiny details. They do make the world more rich and realistic, but yeah he drones on sometimes. But I still read and like him. This is a good topic!

   

I don't mind the POV jumping. I use it too. It's just the number of POVs he uses. You'll have one chapter done by a character that ends up dying, and then you never see him/her again. That specifically is what annoys me. He already has a bunch of "main" characters, he doesn't need to throw in POV from beyond tertiary characters. Characters we have a name and not much else for. In truth, people seem to find Jon, Danny, and Tyrian to be the most fascinating characters, but it doesn't seem like he spend enough time with them and they're part of the main plot. I've read all 5 door stops, and I'm just annoyed at how long it's taking for the most part. At this point I'm kind of indifferent to what happens.

   

Deaths don't shock me anymore (haven't for a while) and I'm getting tired of people thinking this, LotR, and Harry Potter are the only fantasy there is. After reading the Gentlemen Bastards books, the Broken Empire trilogy, and what there is of the A Land Fit for Heroes trilogy (the third book isn't out yet) ASoFaI doesn't really stray that far from sword and sorcery fantasy. It's all gritty with rich cultures, but it's still medieval with witches, dragons, and spooky plants.


 

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