Thursday, March 3, 2011

T minus 130 Days

That is how long until A Dance with Dragons hits the bookstores. 

For those unfamiliar, A Dance with Dragons is the fifth novel in George R.R. Martin's commercially- and critically-acclaimed fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.  It has been over 5 years since the last novel, A Feast for Crows, was published.  A Song of Ice and Fire's popularity is largely a result of the wide cast of characters and its gritty, low fantasy realism -- major protagonists (along with antagonists) are killed off or maimed with brutal regularity.  I remember when the first main character died -- I was shocked.  Then more kept dying.  Now it is pretty much expected.

So the series is popular, it is edgy, and its fans have been waiting a long time for the next installment -- hence the noteworthiness of this announcement.  For me personally, it is also worth mentioning, because A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the few series where I violate my fantasy novel rules:
  1. I do not read series more than five books in length.
  2. I do not read as-of-yet-unfinished series.
Why these rules?  Four words: The Wheel of Time.

A Song of Ice and Fire is also notable because HBO will soon be premiering Game of Thrones.  The casting looks pretty darn good and given HBO's track record, I think it has a chance to be a real success.  Not to mention that HBO can give proper treatment to the violence, cursing, and sex that is so common, and frankly integral, to the novels.


  1. Hah! I'm currently plodding through A Game of Thrones, but am having trouble committing to it, precisely because of my experience with Wheel of Time.

  2. I understand your trepidation. The advantage of Martin's series is that because protagonists and antagonists get killed off with such regularity, and that the plot focus shifts during the first four novels, that everything remains more vibrant (in a dark sort of way) than the Wheel of Time. That just dragged, I hated most of the supposedly sympathetic protagonists, and the plot seemed to move nowhere. A Song of Ice and Fire spans a lot of events, big and small.