|A Song of Ice and Fire|
Fantasy, high fantasy
Want to read, I own the first four volumes. Published in 7 volumes:
- A Game of Thrones (1996)
- A Clash of Kings (1998)
- A Storm of Swords (2000)
- A Feast for Crows (2005)
- A Dance with Dragons (2011)
- The Winds of Winter (upcoming)
- A Dream of Spring (upcoming)
I got A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords amongst the collection of books Aunty Suzanne passed on to me after my cousins were done with them (including lots of Raymond E. Feist and some Terry Pratchet, I think). I bought A Game of Thrones myself in May 2012 after the TV series was getting popular, and A Feast for Crows in October 2013 when I was looking for something else with a 'buy one get one half price' sticker along with World War Z.
- A Game of Thrones - my paperback is 780 pages long, something like 738 with blank space subtracted. I tried to work out a standard page count and estimated 924, using page 12 as a model, but I think that's an overestimate. According to http://www.charcounter.com/ there are 1288154 non-whitespace characters in one version I checked, but I've found that my standardised average of words with 5.5 characters I usually use with Notepad++ is possibly including spaces. So using 4.5 I get 817 standard pages.
First read (May-July 2012)Edit
A Game of Thrones: Paperback Harper Voyager 2011 edition, bought from Waterstones on May 9th. 780 pages, 36 lines per page, 42 blank pages. 12.8 words per line implying 340956 words in total, and 66.9 characters per line implying 1778580 characters in total. 924 'standard' pages (350 5.5-character words).
A Game of Thrones (May-July 2012)Edit
Bought the first volume, A Game of Thrones, at Waterstones on May 9th, along with Dragonflight, The Player of Games, and The Magician's Apprentice, as I was about to finish Consider Phlebas and wanted to move right on to something, and these leapt out at me from the shelves.
Started reading it on the 26th of May, on the way back from Andrew's wedding where I finished The Player of Games. Took a month to get about a third of a way in and was thinking of stopping, due to it being not that great and not worth the large amount of time it would take to finish it. In June I read some of HPMoR and all of Blindsight to get some relief. I think it was the large amount of characters (something it's (in)famous for), and I didn't trust that the author knew what he was doing - the way the direwolves were found was just absurd. My general feeling was that it was a fantasy-Shogun with a poor writer.
On June the 30th to July the 15th I was on holiday in California and finished it off at a rate of 33 pages a day, which still isn't great I guess although it felt like I was reading it quite a bit! Whether it was having lots of time sat in a car to read or that it really did kick off after the first third, I got quite into it and was tingling with anticipation of further fantasy elements. The way the book is built on a strong, heavy, consistent political/strategy flavour makes every little drop of fantasy all the more compelling for its realism and grittiness.
Previous book: Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games
Simultaneous books: Eliezer Yudkowsky, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (third read), Peter Watts, Blindsight
Second read (June 2014...)Edit
A Game of Thrones (11th-27th June 2014)Edit
I never got round to reading further into the series the first time around, so in June 2014 I was getting sick of The Redemption of Althalus and for some reason this returned to my thoughts. I started the first volume on the 11th.
As of the 23rd I'm on page 505 of 780. I've been devoting a lot of time to reading it so I can get to the next one, and it's good but sometimes a bit annoying when the pace slacks off in the middle of good bits.
I finished it in bed on the 27th. I managed an average of 45 pages a day, which took some dedication and amounts to about 54 'standard' pages a day, according to my length analysis from last time. That's over an hour of reading per day, anyway. I worked out that it was about 20 hours reading in total, based on how much I read in one hour once, which was about 1.3 minutes per standard pages. My general estimated reading speed is about 1.5 minutes per standard page, for comparison.
I enjoyed it again, more I think this time - I didn't get bored for any length of the book - and I can't imagine not reading onwards this time!
Previous book: The Redemption of Althalus
Simultaneous books: The Metropolitan Man
Next book: A Clash of Kings
A Clash of Kings (28th June - 16th August 2014)Edit
1999 paperback Voyager edition, inherited from my cousins through Aunty Suzanne.
I started it straight after finishing A Game of Thrones for the second time, but didn't make much progress as the end of the academic year loomed and I spent less time reading in the staff room at the school I was working at. Around the beginning of August, however, I returned to it with earnest and read the second half in 9 days.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I think it's probably that it's such a different take on fantasy, with enough consistency and skill to give it weight. We'll have to see how the series progresses - it is quite long - but I'm hoping I'll be able to read it to the end and find it very satisfying.
It reminds me of Anne Rice's vampire novels in its poetic bleakness.
Previous book: A Game of Thrones
Next book: 'Sir Poley', Harry Potter and the Natural 20