After many, many months of reading this book in chapter chunks, I finally sat down and pushed through it. As the third season of Game of Thrones starts this month, I felt highly motivated to finish the third book in the series.
Fantasy is not a genre that I normally enjoy. I like Martin's series, because they are generally are more realistic than they are heavy on the fantasy elements. I don't mind the occasional dragon. I like the wars between the different houses and all of the scheming. Martin is adept at creating rich characters with even richer dilemmas.
I found his third book to be a lot slower paced than the first two. Much of the story felt like filler and the story didn't really get moving until the last third. As with the previous books, some of the characters were much more interesting than others. I love the whole Lannister clan, Sansa and Daenerys. I could have done with far less Jon, Arya and Davos, they are a snooze fest.
Martin has an amazing ability to write with such attention to detail. However, these details totally bog down the pacing. I don't need three paragraphs describing what they ate at a feast or explaining the intricacies of minor houses. I like stories with a little less detail, so as a reader, I can fill in the blanks with my imagination. Martin creates amazing settings and characters, but doesn't give the reader much of a chance to engage their own imagination. I feel like this is the big fail in his writing.
I am not sure that I would continue with the series, if I wasn't enjoying the HBO show so much. However, I really want to read the books to see the differences between the books and the show. I feel like I have already read three (and own the fourth book), so I should stay the course. I hope that the fourth book is more compelling than the third. It was often a tedious read.
SPOILER ALERT -SPOILER ALERT-SPOILER ALERT!!!
I was really happy when Martin killed off three of the dullest characters in a span of two chapters. i cheered! I thought that this was a great twist and I was happy to see them go. However, he brought two of them back later on in the book. It turns out that it was a false twist. I was not happy with this at all, what a major disappointment.