Archive for December, 2018

Fire and Blood

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

By George R. R. Martin

The Short Take:

If you’re a big fan of either the Game of Thrones¬†televisionseries or the¬† A Song of Ice and Fire books, you’ll want to read this one. It’s a prequel, written like a history drawn from several sources, one of which is the writings of a bawdy Fool who adds levity and lewdness to the stories of more learned men.

Why?

If you are unfamiliar or not interested in the programs/books mentioned above, stop reading now. You will have absolutely no interest in this volume or the one that is supposed to follow it (more about that later). However, if you can’t enough of the imaginary world of Westeros, this one is for you.

Starting some 300 years before the opening of Game of Thrones, this volume focuses on the first 135 or so years of Targaryen rule of Westeros, including its conquest. There are dragons aplenty, great love, exceptional evil, plots, betrayals, and battles. It all moves along at a nice clip, though occasionally the list of lords involved in some activity–be it attending a coronation or dying in battle–gets a mite tedious.

The biggest treat is that you gain insights to certain things in the books Martin has already written. For example, ever wonder where Daenerys’ dragon eggs ¬†came from? Especially since she’s around more than 100 years after the last dragon lived? Read this and you’ll have a good idea.

When I purchased this book I did feel like I was rewarding Martin for bad behavior. His fans have waited over seven years for the next book in his Westeros series and we are waiting still. Now that the HBO series has passed his written plot point, it looks like Martin has lost interest in completing his series. To that I say, “Boo!” However, I’ll take what I can get, which means I devoured this book like a dragon consuming a freshly charred bull. But he hd better not keep me waiting seven years for the second half of this history.

A Little Plot:

Aegon and his two wives decide to take over Westeros, using both their extensive armies and three fearsome dragons. The dragons do most of the work, burning whole cities that don’t surrender. After that, keeping the lords of Westeros in line is a handful for several succeeding kings in the Targaryen line. But that’s not nearly as much trouble as Targaryen family members fighting each other–with dragons–for the crown.

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