Help! I’m trapped in the middle of George R.R. Martin’s monumental A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels!
I started reading the books after Kish and I enjoyed the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. We got the first four books in paperback, and I read them at a good clip. It took a while, because the books are huge — almost 1000 pages each. Then I got the fifth book from the library and read it with pleasure.
I’m not a big fan of the fantasy genre, but these books aren’t your standard fantasy fare. They are vast, sprawling, richly charactered, carefully plotted epics that drench you in the reality of this strange world where the seasons are out of whack and human development seemed to stop in the medieval era, where it has remained frozen and unchanging for millennia. The books are fascinating just as works of fiction and are well worth reading.
But here’s the problem — the fifth book ends mid-story with cliffhangers galore, and the sixth book is nowhere in sight. What’s more, the sixth book won’t be the end of the tale; a seventh book will follow. And to give you an idea of how long I might be waiting, consider the publication dates of the first five books: A Game of Thrones (1996), A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), A Feast for Crows (2005), and A Dance with Dragons (2011). It may be optimistic to think that the next book will be out before the next presidential election.
So I sit, with countless characters and subplots and storylines fresh in my head, knowing that I will lose the golden thread by the time the next book in the series appears. I’ll have to go back and re-read those thousands of pages to get refreshed and ready for book six, and then when I finish the sixth book I’ll have to do it all over again when the seventh book appears sometime after I become eligible for Social Security. O, sweet misery!
It’s ridiculous to pine for years for a book, but it’s the reality. Martin has set the hook so firmly I can’t walk away. I want to know how the story ends.