It was tough to get through it, but I finally managed to finish A Clash of Kings. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as A Game of Thrones, but in the end, it still kept my attention, and all of my favorite characters are still alive (so far, at least). I must say that I admire the author (and his editors) because of several reasons:

  • He really knows how to develop characters and keep them consistent, even when it would be easy to turn to clichés. I absolutely despise some of the villains, and this is actually a good thing because it keeps me reading the book, hoping that they will get their just deserts.
  • The world is so incredibly detailed that I had to read some of the battle scenes over again just to imagine how hard the author must have worked to get them just right. Back when I wrote a lot of battle/fight scenes, it took an eternity and I didn’t have half as much detail or as many characters as this author.
  • He tells it like it is (or like it would be if it was real). At first, I was put off by the detail of too many rapes and too many brutal killings, but at least it’s not sugar-coated. I am used to reading fantasy novels that shy away from too much bloodshed and too much torture of beloved characters, and they never felt that realistic to me. The content of this book is too dark to shy away from the true horrors of war, so I’m glad that this author doesn’t hold back.

On to A Storm of Swords next!

The Friday Four: Solitude and Loneliness

1. This is the Periodic Table of the Figures of Speech, a beautiful tool you can use to add flavor to your writing. I haven’t heard the names of most of these terms since college!

2. I was thinking about how “solitude” is perceived as a positive thing, while “loneliness” is perceived as a negative. Going to a movie by yourself or going to a restaurant by yourself might be something you consider an activity you do in solitude, but another person might see you by yourself and think, Look at that person all by himself… he must be so lonely. And perhaps they feel sorry for you, when in reality, you’re perfectly happy by yourself. Strange.

3. To me, one of the hardest things about being Catholic is going to confession, mostly because I am disinclined to talk about my problems in general, let alone with a priest, who doesn’t know me as well as other people with whom I might be inclined to talk about problems. But when I went to the penance service, I saw many people who are regulars at Mass and volunteer in different areas of the church. I wondered… what could so-and-so possibly need to confess? What does she possibly do wrong? Then I thought that those people might be thinking the same about me, and I laughed to myself. Confession is a good reminder that we’re all sinners, no matter how “perfect” we may appear on the outside.

4. I am halfway through reading A Clash of Kings (second book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series), and it’s kind of underwhelming. The book is divided into short chapters, each in a different character’s POV. I really would like to skip around to my favorite characters’ POVs, but I would end up missing a lot of the story and getting more confused than I already am. Also, I’m getting tired of the constant references to rape and prostitution. But, for the sake of my favorite characters, I will continue reading the book.

Happy Friday!