Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: The World of Ice & Fire gives a vast history to a vast world

Hi everyone. I got another book read that I am going to review today. After weeks of reading, I finally finished The World of Ice & Fire.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Unlike most stuff I read this doesn't really have a narrative to tell. However it is still interesting to read what is essentially supposed to be a history book for George R. R. Martin's world of Westeros. Going back to a time before men, Martin tells the history of Westeros and several other lands that serve as the setting for his epic fantasy series. This book also recounts the history of each of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, from the time when they were first settled up to the end of the Mad King's reign. We also get to learn of the lands beyond Westeros, and get some of their history as well. The addition of the illustrations helps to create the image of the events of Westerosi history for those who are getting into the books.
I am greatly impressed with the amount of imagination and creativity Martin put into his fantasy world. There are some things about parts of Martin's world that I don't like, but I understand the point that this is a different world. People will have customs and traditions that I won't agree with, just like people in ancient times didn't agree with some of the ideas that other nations had. Since this is the history of Westeros it's no different than if a person were reading about the Pharaohs of Egypt or how people lived in Medieval Europe. Reading this made me reflect on the history I've been creating for my books, and showed me that I probably still have a lot of work to do to make things fun for readers. Probably not for younger readers, but adults who love fantasy and/or are fans of Martin's books or the show Game of Thrones will want to add this book to their library.
Incest is part of a family's history, though the effects of such a way of life are shown later in their history. Various kingdoms and people are mentioned as taking people as salt wives and concubines. There is a picture that, although faint and not clear, depicts the worship of a love goddess on an island. Some illustrations show cleavage and some outfits are reminiscent of Princess Leia's metal bikini. Wars and battles are listed.
We have such a vast world with complicated histories and cultures. We should seek to learn as much about the histories and cultures of another nations as well as our own.

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