As much as I’m enjoying HBO’s Game of Thrones, and feel that it’s a solid representation of the first book, for myself and so many other A Song of Ice and Fire (the book series on which Thrones is based) fans, it’s the novels that really do it for me. It’s simply hard to draw a series that’s as incredibly epic – and as truly intimate – as this one without the kind of exposition and inner-thought insight that thousands of pages of prose can afford.
So while I’m digging the show, the really exciting recent development on the Westeros front is that the fifth novel has been finished.
Series scribe George R.R. Martin was so busy adapting the first novel into a dramatic series that A Dance With Dragons fell comically behind its release date. But it’s finished – and now, the very first review is out. IO9 calls the Publisher’s Weekly review “slightly spoilerific” so, if you’re worried about hearing too much, here’s the gist:
The general vibe of the review is positive, but it suggests that the novel has the same “feel” as A Feast for Crows, despite more important events due to the book’s focus on more popular and plot-centric characters like Tyrion, Jon and Daenerys.
Hmm. A Feast for Crows was awesome, surely, but it had absolutely nothing on the first three books. So here’s the kicker:
The biggest complaint — though one we already knew about — is that the book leaves things teetering on the brink for the sixth volume which, of course, is years away from publication.
So, when it’s actually published in about five weeks, prepare for a big old tease.
Still, the fact that we’ll actually be getting to hear more about Daenerys’ adventures is more than enough for me. My favorite character by far and away, our young Dothraki queen, is one of the most powerful, badass female characters in the series. And (this is no spoiler to anyone who’s seen the show) she has her share of lady-on-lady love scenes as well, so what’s not to like?
Here’s to hoping that the wait for the final two novels is less arduous (maybe the TV series will help with that), and that everything in this humongous story ties up in the end. It’s a big hope, but it’s certainly not unfounded, given Martin’s talent.