I have been working my way through the fifth installment of A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, a wee little book called A Dance With Dragons. At just over 1000 pages, it kept me entertained all through my vacation last month, which spanned 11 days and two loooooooooooong international flights, and I still had half a book to read when I got back home. Fun! That didn’t stop me from taking additional books as well as buying one while in Ireland. (Did you know there’s no sales tax on books in Ireland? How awesome is that????)
Thankfully, I have learned my lesson with A Game of Thrones. In the first four books, I would occasionally get so ticked off as pivotal characters were just cut down in their prime that I’d have to set the book aside. It’s like British television programs, there’s no gentle exit with the possibility of a character returning, they just get killed off in grizzly ways with no hope of resurfacing. Reading this fifth installment, I’m like an experienced, older kid with a jack-in-the-box: wary and cautious, prepared for the horror within to jump out at any moment, steeling myself against the shock. Most importantly, though, I didn’t allow myself to get too attached to any of the characters the way I did Ned Stark. I’m still stinging from that one. Now that I’ve established how to deal with this world Martin has created, I’ll only have another 3 years or so to wait for the next installment. I wonder what will come first? The next Game of Thrones installment, or Sherlock season 4? I have finally determined that the Stark family motto, Winter is Coming, has little to do with the actual books and more to do with the silent wasteland in between publication dates of this series.