In the second installment of A Song of Ice and Fire, King Robert Baratheon is dead, and four kings insist their claim to the Iron throne: the boy Joffrey, Robert’s eldest son but is believed to be the fruit of his mother’s incestual relationship with his uncle Jaime, the Kingslayer; the boy Robb, Ned Stark’s eldest son and self-proclaimed King of the North; and Robert’s brothers, Renly Baratheon, who commands several Houses who have sworn their allegiance; and Stannis Baratheon, Robert’s brother, who has dismissed the old gods for the more powerful (but suspicious) Lord of Light. Meanwhile, Sansa Stark is still held hostage by the Lannisters, Jaime Lannister is held hostage by the Starks, Arya serves at the Lannister-controlled Harrenhal but keeps her identity secret, and Daenerys of House Targaryen tries to find a way to land an army on Westeros and unleash her dragon-children. In the sky, a blood-red comet passes, spelling both doom and victory, depending on who is looking.
With such a complex plot and so many characters, a less skilled writer would have ended up confusing readers, and maybe even confusing himself, but Martin’s storytelling is strong and sure. And such twists! And such suspense! Martin is testament to the fact that you can produce a novel that is fast-paced and action-packed, but still let the language shine through. A really good read.
(The third book is A Storm of Swords and is already waiting for me over at Jaykie’s, but I’ll take a break from Martin for a bit to read The River King by Alice Hoffman, which was lent to me by Kat. :) )
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Speaking of Martin, I’ve been seeing this card deck at Jaykie’s
and I’ve been asking him to teach me how to play for days, so on Friday we finally sat down for a round:
I controlled House Lannister:
I lost! LOL. But I found this card game easier to understand than Magic. The art is awesome.
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Speaking of awesome art, after I came back from the weekend I found this sitting on my bed:
Inside the packet are complimentary copies and a letter from GASFI. Thank you so much! :D
I don’t know if the book has already hit the book stores, but if you ever come across a copy, flip through the pages for a preview and maybe buy one for the kiddies? :) The book is published on glossy paper and the art is lively and bright. I really love Ray Sunga’s artwork here. My first children’s book! *squee*
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And speaking of stories, thanks to Don Jaucian for including “The Just World of Helena Jimenez” in his list of spec fic best-reads in 2009. You may read that story here.
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A lovely sound: Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Halfway through this year and I’m lovin’ it.
Mareklamo nga lang ang ating bise-presidente. Hay, kuya. Ang buong Pilipinas AY HINDI MAKATI.
Nakaka-turn off ka. ‘Yun lang.