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Old 10-21-2009, 01:38 PM
Simplicio is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 11,805
Originally Posted by statij View Post
Can someone convince me to read these books? I'm kinda fascinated. Like most people, I read (twice) Lord of the Rings and loved it, I don't read any fantasy but like science fiction some, love historical fiction and LOVE long books. So, yeah, I'm very intrigued. It's obviously not a small undertaking if I start so I want to know if I should. Anyone?
I think you should read them. As I said earlier, after the first book, the story increasingly abandons pretending to have any sort of central plot and degenerates into a bunch of vignettes taking place in the same world and with overlapping casts of tangentially related characters. While this is a little annoying if you're invested in having a central story, it also means the fact that it may never finish doesn't really bother me.

And its a cool series, better then any fantasy I've ever read. It portrays a medieval fantasy world as it would probably be if such a place was inhabited by real humans, life is nasty-brutish and short. The upper class treats the people they rule as almost inconsequential, there's constant fighting and betrayal, main characters die or are maimed almost as easily as non-main characters. And events don't begin and end in nice self-contained story lines, which again, makes the lack of driving plot more of a feature then a bug.

So while it may never end, personally that doesn't really kill my enjoyment of the books. When we first meet the characters in the first book, they're attempting to recover from the unresolved issues and dangers left over from the previous war. If Martin stops writing now, he'll more or less leave his next generation of characters in the same place as we found their mothers and fathers at the beginning of the series, which seems like as close to an ending as The Song of Ice and Fire is likely to get even if the author does write a "final" book.