I decided to take a break from YA reading for the vacation, instead I delved into the fourth book of the Song of Fire and Ice series (which is the basis for the HBO series Game of Thrones). I'm not going to review it, because I'm only halfway through (at almost 1000 pages, at least in trade paperback form, they take a while). I will say that I hardly ever read fantasy. In fact, it took me several months to slog through The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I just don't really care for them. Fantasy, by design, creates this other world for us to inhabit, but those worlds generally don't intrigue me. Nor do they operate by similar rules that I'm used to abiding by. Also, fantasy has the tendency to take more than one book to tell the story, and I'm not really into devoting my reading time to series that take so long to finish.
That being said, I found myself drawn into this series, especially after hearing George R.R. Martin speak at this year's ALA conference. He was well-spoken, funny, and incredibly touching about why he was a writer and what the story meant to him. The fantasy world that Martin created is incredibly rich and deep, we're constantly learning more about this world and their beliefs, but it never feels fake (to me, at least). This could be the world we live in, with a few little adjustments and the addition of dragons.
I also really appreciate that he has no fear when it comes to killing characters. There is a point in the first book where he kills someone and I kept thinking "okay, now when are they coming back" or "alright, now how are they going to get out of this". Nope, the character dies and stays dead, which was refreshing because it was the best thing that could happen in the storyline. If that character hadn't died, it would have felt disingenuous and out of place in the story.
As for already reading over 3000 pages of the story, without complaint, it's just a testament to how great the story is.
This week, I'm back to finish Dangerous Days of Daniel X, which I'm already about 150 pages into and, so far, really enjoying it.