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5 Fantasy Series with Brilliant Female Characters to Read While You Wait for the Next ‘Game of Thrones’

5 Fantasy Series with Brilliant Female Characters to Read While You Wait for the Next ‘Game of Thrones’

After 10 episodes of laughter, tears, screaming at the TV and one memorable too-close-for-comfort shot of the male member, Game of Thrones is over for another year. *Sob*

With the release date for The Winds of Winter still not set and the best part of a year until the next GoT series comes out, it is time to satisfy those fantasy cravings with other novels.

“But where can I find epic fantasy novels with kick-arse female characters? Isn’t traditional fantasy all about orcs running about with axes and groups of sweaty blokes fighting their way through NZ?”

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{Review} Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

As read for the Once Upon a Time VI Challenge.

Since the 2nd series of the T.V. show started, I’ve been searching for an English-language version of this book. I found a copy a few days ago and have just finished it.

Blurb (from goodreads)
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who hold sway over an age of enforced peace are dead, victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns.

Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

Review

I’m not going to lie; sometimes when I read longer novels the characters start to get tangled in my head and I have to jot the main ones down. No such problems with Clash of Kings though. Martin’s given each POV character a slightly different way of thinking and speaking. Although I do think that Bran (who’s 9 years old) sounds a lot more mature than he is. Maybe the maturity comes from having to be the Lord of Winterfell in his brother’s absence..

The character whose ‘voice’ I enjoy most is Tyrion Lannister. Before I began this series, I never noticed the extent to which handicapped people are vilified in literature. (OK, so the Hunchback of Notre Dame is one exception, but I’ve never read the book, so he could be very different from Disney’s Quasimodo). In the first book, Tyrion always has a riposte at the ready and ‘reads’ situations and people with ease. In Clash of Kings, he is on form and his character develops beautifully and realistically.

The story itself is very good, although I did wish that there had been a more definite ‘ending’ feel to it. Game of Thrones ended with hosts massing and kings coming out of the woodwork. [spoiler alert] Clash of Kings ended with Bran and Rickon fleeing Winterfell and heading into the unknown. [/end spoiler alert] Whilst it is an ending, it feels more like an open ending that will overlap with the third book in a ‘middle of the series’ way.

Overall If you’re looking for lush descriptions that don’t take over the page, witty dialogue that’s as much bite as it is banter, intelligent characters and a story that glues the reader to the page, this is the book for you.

WNI’s verdict? WIN!

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 12, 2012 in 12 in 12, Books, Once Upon a Time VI

 

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WWW Wednesday reads

 WWW Wednesday, as hosted by should be reading:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

 

What are you currently reading?
I’ve just started Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and so far I’m not too enthusiastic about it. To be fair, I have somehow contracted man flu and find reading with a headache a bit of a drag. I’m also reading Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin in the hope that I can overtake the television series.

What did you recently finish reading?
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I’ve started to like steampunk literature against my will recently and this series is one of my favourites so far.
 
What do you think you’ll read next?
L’Amant [The Lover} by Duras (for class) and L’Etoile de Kazan [Star of Kazan] by Eva Ibbotson. It’s a YA book about an orphan called Annika who is raised by a family in Vienna. Only her mother isn’t dead and turns up out of the blue to take her back to her home in Germany. It looks really good.

What are you reading? Or hoping to read? Any reading woes or wins recently? Feel free to comment and say! 🙂

 
19 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Books

 

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What to watch this week (if you haven’t already)

I am always on the look-out for new films or TV. series to watch. Once a week, I’ll post my favourite/ two favourite film/s or TV series I’ve seen in the last seven days. Feel free to comment about your own favourite/s from the part week and/ or post links to reviews (if you’ve written them).

The format will differ to that of the book reviews: there will probably be links to scenes and I’ll only write three small sections that pick up on:
1) How I came to know of its existence
2) One part of the set-up that blew my socks off
3) Plot (no spoilers if I can help it)
4) Why watch it?

Here is my favourite from the last week:

Game of Thrones (First Series)

How I heard about it…
Through
publicity: The posters were unavoidable at the time. They looked interesting to fantasy fans. Or LoTR fans still in mourning for Boromir as they feature Sean Bean sitting on a curiously shaped throne, holding a sword and looking pensive.

One thing I loved…
The theme tune: (by Ramin Djawadi). It effortlessly sets the stage for the intrigues and twists of the plot to follow. Here is a link to the theme tune and opening credits. Reminiscent of ‘Pillars of the Earth’ , I know but I believe it’s a comparison worth making.

The plot (Nb. Condensing 10 hours of TV into a few paragraphs has forced me to sacrifice the equally brilliant sub-plots and other twists in this tale)

‘Winter is coming’.

The King’s Hand is dead and the court is riding from the comfort of the costal capital to Winterfell, an icy northern land . There is only one explanation for this: King Robert has come to ‘ask’ his old comrade-in-arms and last living person whom he can trust, Ser Eddard Stark to become his Hand, dispensing justice in his name.

Ned goes to the capital with his two daughters only to realize that he has led his family into a dangerous web of political intrigue that is proving far more dangerous than any battlefield.

Meanwhile, in Winterfell, his illegitimate son, Jon Snow has decided to join the Night’s Watch. This order was created to protect the land from legendary creatures that are once again awakening from their centuries-long slumber.

Can the House of Stark survive the Game of Thrones that it has been dragged, unwillingly, into or will its name be buried under the rapidly falling darkness?

Why watch it?
The plot moves steadily and realistically forward, never leaving the viewer thinking ‘What!? But why!?’. The script and acting are superb. Also, the author of the book is one of the co-executive producers which probably means that he’s pretty happy with the ‘artistic vision’ of the other people working on it.

 

Has anyone else watched a fantasy series/ film that they particularly liked or loathed? Which one was it?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Films

 

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