While BGB isn’t typically the place where epic fantasy series are discussed, since most book groups don’t want to read doorstops (let alone series comprised of five doorstops so far with two more planned), I just had to throw this out there.
George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire aka Game of Thrones, has picked up in popularity ever since HBO aired season one of Game of Thrones, so I imagine there must be some book groups out there tackling the tomes.
I went to see Martin speak when he came to Seattle. He spoke about the complaints he has heard from fans about the wait between books, to which he staunchly defends his right to take his time to make his books the best they can be. He talked about the HBO series and his involvement with casting and in the creative direction of the series. Martin was charming and affable as he answered questions from the crowd.
I dove into the much-anticipated fifth book in the series, my newly signed A Dance with Dragons, with much interest and excitement, eager to learn what twists and turns and surprises would await me.
I had finished the previous book, A Feast for Crows, not long before, having saved it so I could read it closer to the release of book five as I knew Martin had written them to work as a long piece.
I found that while I enjoyed, as before, the fact that each chapter was narrated by a different character, that you never know which character will die next and how complexly layered the politics and plotlines were, I was surprised by how much Martin amped up the sexual violence in books four and five.
If the popularity of Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is any testament, many readers are not bothered by violence or sexual violence if the characters and stories are engaging enough. Some readers enjoy violence in books; I just don’t happen to be one of them. So I found it increasingly difficult to read Martin’s last two books for their (in my mind) excessive suggestions of and acts of sexual violence. I wanted to enjoy the book more, but found these elements distracting.
So I have to ask–have any other readers or groups found this in A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons? Or was it in the first three too to the same degree and I am just forgetting? Or is it just me?