The Thursday Three #10

  1. The works of John O’Donohue were recommended to me by one of my blog readers, so I found Eternal Echoes (nonfiction) at the library. It’s about how our hearts are always restless and our human need to belong, and it’s written almost like poetry — I could probably write a separate blog post on the good quotes I found. I especially liked the parts about angels and fairies; it’s so important to keep some of the magic and mystery of life alive inside you, so you won’t get beaten down by the real world.
  2. Sometimes I hear a song, and it immediately makes me start thinking about one of my characters. As the song plays, I start to see a mini-movie featuring that character in my head… then I realize that the song was released in 2014, which is 12 or 13 years after the story takes place and after my character faces the particular problem that I based the “mini-movie” around. Even so, the images that I get in my head can still help to advance that character’s path through the story.
  3. This is a useful site that can help you determine exactly which genre the fantasy novel you’re reading (or writing) belongs to. The subgenres of fantasy (kinda like the subgenres of rock and metal) have always confused me, even though when I read or write, I don’t pay attention to genre. Having a list of genres (and example books in each genre) still helps to classify your own writing when you are thinking of pitching it to someone or just practicing writing synopses or query letters.

Disorganized Thoughts and Opinions on A Storm of Swords

Please don’t read this post if you want to read George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords and you don’t want spoilers. Because this post is full of spoilers.

  • All of my favorite characters survived this book!
  • I’m actually somewhat glad that Catelyn died; from the beginning of the series, I never liked her because she wrote off Jon Snow because he was a bastard. But it looks like she came back as a zombie. Ugh.
  • Shae was obviously going to betray Tyrion, and I wish he had realized that sooner, even though I think he knew it deep down.
  • I wanted Sansa to fall in love with Tyrion, but of course, things never end well for the dwarf, and Sansa is way too superficial to see past appearances.
  • Davos’s POV bored me at first, but as the book went on, I started to like him more and more.
  • I’m glad that Samwell Tarly had a POV in this book; he is one of my favorite characters even though his simpering gets annoying sometimes.
  • Brienne is awesome. I wish she had more “screen time” in the book, and I hope she has a POV in the next one.
  • I started off hating Jaime Lannister, but I actually like him now. Still hate Cersei, though.
  • I have never been happier at a fictional character’s death than I was when Joffrey died.
  • I wish Jon Snow hadn’t broken his vows with Ygritte. I sort of wanted to see him as a very pure, honorable person, which he still is, but even so…
  • It seems like Daenerys did the wrong thing by sending Jorah Mormont away. I really want to like Dany, but at the same time, she gets on my nerves because she has so much power and she’s only a kid. I guess I’m jealous because she has dragons, and I don’t. 🙂
  • I actually like Stannis Baratheon, although I’m not quite sure why. I just wish he hadn’t fallen in with Melisande. (And why does it seem like every fantasy novel has a character called Melisande?)
  • Arya is starting to get on my nerves, and I’m glad she ended up traveling with the Hound.
  • There is a lot of repetition of how ugly Tyrion is, how ugly Brienne is, and so on. We are constantly reminded of how characters look, although I still picture Sansa with blond hair rather than auburn.
  • The character I relate to most is probably Sansa. She’s a bit of an airhead and doesn’t have a ton of common sense, and she pretty much has always listened to authority figures, so much that she doesn’t seem to have a mind of her own most of the time. As much as I want to relate to one of the stronger female characters, I just can’t. If I was a character in this series, I’d be Sansa.
  • Lysa was horribly whiny. I have no idea why she loves Petyr Baelish so much… I find him creepy and gross, but I liked him more when he shoved Lysa to her death.

Kings-a-Clashin’

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!