August 5th, 2010

The Best of the Best?

I'm going to skip past Scott Lynch just for now because I have just opened up A Game of Thrones by the infamous George R R Martin and wanted to capture my initial impressions.  It seems as though every fantasy reviewer needs to compare new up and coming authors either to Tolkien or Martin.  These boasts of their talents made me question whether I wanted to read the Song of Ice and Fire set now or later.  I had decided to read a few books first - some by Joe Abercrombie, Peter V Brett and possibly others also.  Of course that was before I finished all of the books on my shelf that I was interested in.  The books I was intending to read next are currently in the shipping process from Amazon though, so I picked up A Game of Thrones.

My initial impression is quite good, though I do believe I prefer authors who stick to fewer characters (simply because then I feel more deeply for each one).  I do think GRRM is brilliant to have labeled each chapter after its prevailing character - it gets me into the storyline quicker, and it means that he is not forced to recap any of the storyline or reintroduce the setting.  The pace seems to be quite nice, and I enjoy the shorter length of the chapters (especially compared to Steven Erikson, whose series I just could not get into no matter how many good reviews I read extolling his virtues).  It is also very interesting to have so many of the characters be young adults or children, it creates for different vantage points concerning the same issues.  I have only just passed the two hundred page mark, so I can't really comment just yet as to the scope of the storyline or to how deeply I will become interested in the plot pertaining to each character. I will wait until I have finished the series I think, or at least the whole of the first book before I decide whether I think GRRM is truly the best of the best.  I will say only that I feel as though I should cut short this blog now simply so I can pick up the book again and see what happens next! 

But first I might just have to turn on one of my other obsessions - So You Think You Can Dance!