25 June, 2012

The Book... by Emma Duncan

Time for the second guest post in my "The Book..." series. Today our book recommendation is from Emma Duncan.

The Book... currently making my heart race.

Photo courtesy of: Wikipedia
If I told you I was being held hostage - not permitted to go to sleep at night; awoken in the early hours of the morning having just dozed off; my fellow hostages being killed off one by one and others coming to take their place; living in fear of what's to come and deep uncertainty about who of us would make it out alive - this would not be an underestimation of my feelings for the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin (adapted into the TV series, Game of Thrones).

Never have so many of my most beloved characters died in a book, and more arisen to take their place, if possible even more beloved! I can't decide if that's because there were gaps to fill and my heart latched on to new people, or if I would have loved the new characters should the old ones have remained alive as well. The characters are all filled with depth and development, intrigue and twisted connections; vague insinuations connect the most random of people and places. Martin uses the old one-character-per-chapter-and-then-5-people-in-between trick to keep me reading until I can no longer hold the book up and it smacks me in the face as I fall asleep. I can't bear to not know what's going to happen to that character next but I am also unable to flick forwards - too rule-sy about that!

He also uses the end-the-book-half-way-through-the-latest-plot trick to keep me purchasing his books in a panic at the nearest (and usually most expensive) book shop! These aren't thin, large-print books; these are tomes of epic proportion with pages of maps and lists of the important 'houses' that the reader needs to refer to frequently in the first couple of books. Now though, they are as familiar as my own family tree and the maps I know possibly even better than the British Isles!

Although Martin's prose is sometimes repetitive and sometimes pretty crude, the story is just so engaging, and the twists and turns so completely unpredictable, that I have to admit that I love these books. I am almost at the end of number seven and apparently number eight is coming. I anticipate a cruel wait.

Thanks, Emma!
Have you read these books? I have to admit that I haven't, despite hearing a lot of hype about them recently. Are you in love with any books/series where the plot is so engaging, the quality of the prose no longer matters to you - good or bad?

Emma Duncan is a proofreader and Learning Support Assistant. She is from Northern Ireland and lives in Bristol where she is currently studying for an MSc in Counselling (when not reading Song of Ice and Fire books, clearly!). She is passionate about reading, music and admiring the Irish rugby team.


  1. I have read the first three of a series by Jean M. Auel - starting with 'The Clan of the Cave Bear'. Perhaps it's because I'm an anthropology geek and they're set in the times of prehistoric man/neaderthals, but I love the stories. Even though some of the writing is so clumsy it makes me nearly very angry, I still want to read on. The story is great, even if the writing isn't. (I'm no expert, but I can't imagine there are many worse sex scenes in literature than the ones in this series!)


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