Skip to main content

A song of ice and fire

What happened to a Song of Ice and Fire.
I still remember being gripped and hooked by the first three books in the series. The books were big but never long to read. I devoured the pages. Scenes still stick out in my head. I loved the way Martin confounded my expectations at every turn. How he twisted the characters and how the POV made everyone seem right. I enjoyed the way he turned Jaime Lannister around in a Storm of Swords. Martin was a writer at the height of his powers but then the inevitable fall began. 
The downfall started wtih Feast and it was a torrid bore. It felt big, there was no tension, there was nothing I could take away from the book. Dance I thought would be better but it too disappointed with everyone just walking from point A to point B. I could hardly believe that this was the same Martin who penned scenes like the Red Wedding. The introduction of the Direwolves set everything up wonderfully. In that one scene you knew who the characters were, what sort of world this was. You knew that Jon Snow was a bastard, one of the Starks and yet not one of them, you knew that Eddard Stark was an honorable man. The entrance of the Lannisters was magnificently written. The twists just kept coming and all the while the writing was stellar. Tyrion just delivered. His wit and piercing insight into affairs made him everyone's favorite dwarf. You could almost always feel the pain when Littlefinger spoke of Catelyn Stark. The story always moved forward. There was no room for standing still. Martin possessed this ability of introducing characters but you felt as if you had known them all along but the magic just vanished.
Feast and Dance were soap opersa in which it made absolutely no difference if you skipped pages and scenes because you became reasonably sure that nothing of note would really happen. There was some memorable stuff but they were so scattered and so few in between that it was worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Worse than this was the fact that no mainstream publication seemed to take a stand and say that a Dance with Dragons was boring. Everyone was effusive. It was almost as if they had been paid to do a positive review or they didn't want to risk saying anything contrarian.
Martin was on song in the first three books but he just seems to have lost his muse. I hope he rediscovers it in the Winds of Winter and keeps it focussed and stops it from meandering about. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

What a great read this turned out to be.  I was completely engrossed and fascinated. Jorg Ancrath starts of as a young prince who wants to get his throne back, get back everything he has lost and most importantly get revenge and he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aims. The thing is that Jorg Ancrath is a despicable violent bastard. He does things that should curdle your blood. But despite all of it, Jorg's voice is compelling. I couldn't help but put myself in his shoes. For most of the trilogy I was Jorg Ancrath even through his dastardly deeds(especially through his dastardly deeds). There was a part of me that couldn't help identifying with his ruthless streak of getting what he wants no matter what the cost. I have yet to find another character who embodies "The end justifies the means" more than Jorg Ancrath. The world itself set on an Earth of the far future. (Similar to the dying earth series by Jack Vance and Book of the new sun by Gene

On Hans Zimmer

I have been listening to quite a lot of soundtracks lately. Two composers in particular stand out, Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell. I have written about Clint Mansell over here . Hans Zimmer has somehow managed to score a lot of my favorite movies including Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight , the Gladiator, Sherlock, Pirates of the Caribbean just to name a few. In fact chances are that if there is a movie's score you like in the last decade its by Zimmer.(Apart from Lord of the rings of course :)) The thing about Zimmer though is that he is able to deliver even in movies that are not particularly good. Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons come to mind immediately which feature some great violin solos courtesy Joshua Bell. Here are a few of my favorite tracks. Put your headphones on and listen. Discombulate from Sherlock Red Warrior from The Last Samurai Time from Inception Jack Sparrow's Theme Science and Religion from Angels and Demons

Samit Basu-The Gameworld Trilogy

So this goes out to Samit Basu one of the finest writers of this generation. (Notice that I didn’t add Indian to the phrase) I remember picking up the first part of Samit Basu’s Gameworld trilogy The Simoqin Prophecies at a book store which has now sadly been closed(It was one of those book cafes that open along with CCDs and Nirulas). The book was languishing amongst the other scifi/fantasy titles in a corner and surprisingly the book had received little marketing but nonetheless the book piqued my curiosity. Reading the back cover I decided to give the book a shot. (Besides the title seemed really cool) Little did I know what was in store. The book turned out to be a  gem, plain and simple, written with such playfulness, such wit that one struggles to comprehend how something like this even saw the light of day. The trilogy can be read on many levels and enjoyed on each one of them. Kind of like Asterix and Obelix which have these goofy physical gags but also abound with r