Game of Thrones

Yesterday I finished the latest book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, (better known as the “Game of Thrones” series), “A Dance with Dragons”.
I read the first book back in 1996 when it initially came out. Actually I read it before it came out, as the parts with Danerys Targaryen were printed in my copy of Asimov magazine. I thought it was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to continue it. But I didn’t want to be burnt; I had seen epic series go uncompleted because their author had died. So I decided that I would wait until the author finished the series before I read it. This would also let me only have to go through them once instead of continually rereading to remember what had previously happened.
At the time, I didn’t think it would be that hard. The author had only planned a trilogy and it shouldn’t take too long. That was nearly 25 years ago, and five books have come out in this “trilogy”. According to the author, he only has two more to go, but the last book came out nine years ago.
With the television series out, and increasing popularity, it was becoming impossible not to have the books spoiled for me. I knew there was an event called the “Red Wedding”. I knew the fate of various characters. So I surrendered and started reading again. I reread the first book in 2017 and have been slowly going through them ever since. (Although I finished the second one in two weeks.)
They are still fantastic books, but they are also long slogs. The writing is good, but it didn’t grab me. It might be because there are a lot of characters and they are hard to all follow. I’m never sure who is the protagonist that I’m supposed to identify with and root for. It doesn’t help that whenever you start to like someone, they get killed. It’s safer not to read. There is a lot of politics which makes it have less action.
I compare this all to other books. I snuck in a few other novels while I was doing the big read and I could absolutely inhale them. (I highly recommend the Old Man’s War series. That was gone in a few weeks.)
I’ve started watching the TV show as well, making sure not to go so fast that I don’t go past what I’ve read. The show has helped my compression a bit as the characters and their personality stick out more in my head.
But now there is nothing holding me back. I can mainline the TV show. When the last two books come out, IF they come out, they will not hold as many surprises. Such is life.