Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1)
With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.

Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1) Details

TitleFire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 20th, 2018
PublisherBantam
ISBN-139781524796280
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, High Fantasy, Dragons

Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1) Review

  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    okay cool BUT WHAT ABOUT WINDS OF WINTER
  • Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
    January 1, 1970
    I have chosen to cast aside my frustrations over the long overdue Winds of Winter and to not let it affect my rating of this book. As annoyed as I am (and as annoyed as many of you are), I urge you to read and enjoy this for what it is. That's all we can do. And I surprised myself by writing these words because I honestly expected to write a review lamenting over the fact that we are still waiting for the sixth book in the series, and we will probably be waiting for a few more years to come. But I have chosen to cast aside my frustrations over the long overdue Winds of Winter and to not let it affect my rating of this book. As annoyed as I am (and as annoyed as many of you are), I urge you to read and enjoy this for what it is. That's all we can do. And I surprised myself by writing these words because I honestly expected to write a review lamenting over the fact that we are still waiting for the sixth book in the series, and we will probably be waiting for a few more years to come. But instead I was enthralled by the richness of the history and the lore associated with the Targaryen dynasty. In a way, it has reminded me why I love the series so much. These are the histories of all the long dead and crazy Kings and Queens we’ve heard our favourite characters dream about and wish they were. These are heroes and tyrants, these are noble lords and evil psychopaths. As Ser Barristan tells Daenerys in A Dance With Dragons:"King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land."So there’s a rather eclectic bunch of characters chronicled here. And I can’t fault it whatsoever. For the three days I spent reading this I forgot the outside world existed as I learnt more about my favourite house. I loved hearing about Maegor the cruel, how he got his name and how absolutely ruthless he was towards his own family. Buffs of Westeros lore will know how he met his end; it is referenced a few times in A Game of Thrones so I’ve not bothered with a spoiler warning. But as ever with Martin’s world nothing is quite simple. His death appears straight forward, he was found with his wrists slit having died from exsanguination after cutting himself on the throne. Though this seems exceedingly suspicious; the man was a renowned warrior and tactician, he would not have gone down so easily and stupidly. Someone murdered him, no doubt, because of his tyrannical ways. His history, and that of Aegon’s original conquest, were the most interesting sections for me.The only other work of fantasy that is this ambitious is The Silmarillion. And of course Tolkien’s world is much more developed and finely crafted, but it’s important to realise that many fantasy realms are not even big enough to have such a platform as this. I can’t think of another living writer of fantasy whose world is so extensive that a book like this could be written (and written well.) And that sort of says a lot about how big this book is and how big this world is. It’s a fantastic addition to the A Song of Ice and Fire cannon. And it's a real achievement. Don’t let your frustrations get in the way of you reading it. FBR | Twitter | Facebook | Insta | Academia
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Well, let's just go read about some history & fire & blood & s•••! I loved it! I had to switch from my hardback to the Audible because I couldn't get into it at first. Simon Vance is one of the great narrators so he pulled me right into the book. At first I wasn't going to buy this book because I feel like many that he needs to finish the other books. BUT, after cancer, I can't wait around for shit. Life is too short and I will read what I want when I can so there you have it! And if Well, let's just go read about some history & fire & blood & s•••! I loved it! I had to switch from my hardback to the Audible because I couldn't get into it at first. Simon Vance is one of the great narrators so he pulled me right into the book. At first I wasn't going to buy this book because I feel like many that he needs to finish the other books. BUT, after cancer, I can't wait around for shit. Life is too short and I will read what I want when I can so there you have it! And if you don't like it or me, I don't care. Once again, life is too short to not do what you can manage and worry about people liking you for what you can do for them and their book reviews 😉Took me a minute to get in my head some of the characters I know weren't going to pop up. I still loved it - BECAUSE DRAGONS - and stuff. So happy reading! Read what you can! Who cares what people think! Life is shorter than we think! Have fun peeps! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾PS-I forgot to say I loved the graphics throughout the book!!
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  • Khurram
    January 1, 1970
    I was expecting a lot more from this book. The book reads like a history text book. This is by design, I think to make the book feel more authentic, but this works too well as it comes across a bit dry and boring. It took me a long time to get through this book simply as at time I just did not feel like reading more then a few pages at a time. I can actually say I know the Targaryen family history better the our actual royal family's.I do have to say there were a couple is stories like Argon I a I was expecting a lot more from this book. The book reads like a history text book. This is by design, I think to make the book feel more authentic, but this works too well as it comes across a bit dry and boring. It took me a long time to get through this book simply as at time I just did not feel like reading more then a few pages at a time. I can actually say I know the Targaryen family history better the our actual royal family's.I do have to say there were a couple is stories like Argon I and king Jaehaerys that were really good, and there were hints of things that have not yet been seen in the main series, as well as more of the big families of the realm and free cities. Lots of brutality that Game of Thrones is known for.The main thing that made this a 3 star book rather that 2 for me is the art work. Doug Wheatly did an awesome job on the illustrations. All in all I think only very "leal" of fans or historians will actually enjoy this book.
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  • Ana O
    January 1, 1970
    Like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men. Aegon the Conqueror brought fire and blood to Westeros. Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her. Prince Duncan met and became smitten with the mysterious woman known only as Jenny of Oldstones (a witch, some say), and took her for his wife in defiance of his father the king. I love him, I truly do, I love him as much as Queen Naerys loved Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. He put Like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men. Aegon the Conqueror brought fire and blood to Westeros. Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her. Prince Duncan met and became smitten with the mysterious woman known only as Jenny of Oldstones (a witch, some say), and took her for his wife in defiance of his father the king. I love him, I truly do, I love him as much as Queen Naerys loved Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. He put away his lance the day your lady mother wed your father. Afterward he became most pious, and was heard to say that only the Maiden could replace Queen Rhaella in his heart. A queen stayed there for a night. Alysanne, the wife of King Jaehaerys the Conciliator … The king had matters to discuss with his Warden of the North, and Alysanne grew bored, so she mounted her dragon Silverwing and flew north to see the Wall. Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled. All was well until Rhaegar and Lyanna got involved, and ruined everything for everyone. That's ok though. I still love them. Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it. Rubies flew like drops of blood from the chest of a dying prince, and he sank to his knees in the water and with his last breath murmured a woman's name. I AM HERE FOR THIS. Fire and blood, baby.
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  • Petrik
    January 1, 1970
    A good and unnecessary comprehensive historical overview of the Targaryen Kings.The aesthetic of this book is gorgeous; easily one of the most beautiful books I own. I mean it, the cover art of both editions are stunning, the typography inside the book is beautiful, the font used (Centaur) was easy to read, and most of all, Doug Wheatley’s artworks were simply spectacular to look at. As for enjoyment factor, I really wouldn’t call this an enjoyable read, it was more like a homework reading that A good and unnecessary comprehensive historical overview of the Targaryen Kings.The aesthetic of this book is gorgeous; easily one of the most beautiful books I own. I mean it, the cover art of both editions are stunning, the typography inside the book is beautiful, the font used (Centaur) was easy to read, and most of all, Doug Wheatley’s artworks were simply spectacular to look at. As for enjoyment factor, I really wouldn’t call this an enjoyable read, it was more like a homework reading that I gladly imposed upon myself on my own will. This book took me almost three weeks to read; that’s an extremely long time for me to spend reading on a single book. For a bit of comparison, I finished reading The Crippled God (385k words) in four days and Oathbringer (450k words) in six days.Picture: King Aegon I On Balerion the Black Dread by Doug WheatleyFire and Blood explored the history of the Targaryen Kings from the time of Aegon I’s conquest up to the ascension of Aegon III. If you’ve read The World of Ice and Fire (Page 29-86), you’ve read the abridged version of this book. Now then the question you're probably asking would be: "If I've read The World of Ice and Fire, is it still necessary to read this book?" My answer to that would be nope, it's not necessary at all. In fact, having read this one, I would be satisfied with the information I got from The World of Ice and Fire.Picture: One of the interior artworks by Doug WheatleyThe most significant additional contents here were the intricate expansion of Jaehaerys’s story and The Dance of the Dragons. The World Ice and Fire made me super interested in Jaehaerys, I feel like he was one of the extremely few kings in the history of Westeros who ruled with kindness and justice, and I'm glad to get the chance to read more of his rule. The Dance with the Dragons part in The World of Ice and Fire were too short to make me care, but here it was awesome to see the deaths of each dragon in details. Although I think this was a good read, I will conclude that I can’t actually recommend this to anyone unless they’re extremely fanatics about A Song of Ice and Fire, dying to know every single tiny detail, and wouldn’t mind knowing about every stranger irrelevant to the main series. Just like the existence of this book, a lot of sections felt like fillers. The parts that truly focused on the Targaryens were great, but irrelevancy aside, my problem with this book is that the history tends to focus its narrative for a long period of time on other non-Targaryen characters; which frankly speaking by tomorrow I’ll forget already because I simply don’t give a damn about them. Remember, there’s close to zero emotions within the storytelling of this book; just like The World of Ice and Fire, this imaginary history is told entirely from the writing of an Archmaester. Wheatley’s artwork immensely helped during the boring parts for me, just the fact the next gorgeous artwork awaits me, I was able to push myself reading through the boredom.Picture: Vermithor at the Second Battle of Tumbleton by Doug WheatleyIn my opinion, Fire and Blood is an unnecessary read but overall a better book compared to A Feast for Crows or A Dance with Dragons; that should say what I think of book four and five of the main series. I won’t deny Martin’s importance as a role-model for modern fantasy, it would be idiotic for me to deny that; a myriad of incredible epic fantasy books appeared because of his influences. However, if you’ve read anything he produced after A Storm of Swords, it should be very clear that he doesn’t know how to continue with his series anymore. Martin is praised for the first three books of the main series, not book four and five. With this book finished, I’ve read all the books in A Song of Ice and Fire; main series and spin-offs included. I can say with confidence that Martin isn't even included in my "top 10 favorite authors of all time list" for now. Maybe his next book can change that notion but what's next and when will that happen? Words are wind...You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    You're killing me, Smalls. Seriously, how hard can it be to wrap up the existing ASOIAF series???? Spoiler alert:
  • Irna
    January 1, 1970
    GRRM IS NOT YOUR BITCH.
  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestDNF @ 10% WARNING: This book is NOT a novel. It is written like a history book with no dialogue, and everything is all tell and no show.You're welcome.If you look at the reviews for this book, most of the reviews aren't about the book at all. 90% of the ones I glanced at were fans literally fighting with each other over how entitled they are to take the piss out of George R. R. Martin for publishing Targaryen fanfiction instead of WINDS OF Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestDNF @ 10% WARNING: This book is NOT a novel. It is written like a history book with no dialogue, and everything is all tell and no show.You're welcome.If you look at the reviews for this book, most of the reviews aren't about the book at all. 90% of the ones I glanced at were fans literally fighting with each other over how entitled they are to take the piss out of George R. R. Martin for publishing Targaryen fanfiction instead of WINDS OF WINTER. And as both an author and a reader, I get it. As a reader, I've spent years, years, waiting for sequels to books I have enjoyed, only to sometimes see that the sequels are cancelled or eternally postponed after the author loses interest or the publisher does because it was a bust. And as a writer, I've also felt the frustration of being told to write sequels for books I have no time or inspiration to write (although my fan base is in the thousands and his is in the millions, and I'm not a full-time author, nor can I afford to be). There are always two sides to every issue, but I can definitely understand how his fans might be annoyed and betrayed when, after waiting years for WINDS OF WINTER, Martin comes out with a 600-plus page tome that's mostly irrelevant to the main story, even though it's set in the same world. Yeah, I'd probably be mad, too. In fact, I am mad - but for different reasons.In terms of the Game of Thrones fandom, I am a dilettante at best and utterly disinterested at worst. I've read the first two books in the series and they were okay. The parallels to the War of the Roses and politics are probably the best thing about them, as I found the writing subpar, and it appears to degrade as the books go on. In my review of the first book, A GAME OF THRONES, I write about the similarities the series has to many historical bodice-rippers of the 70s and 80s, and talk about the irony of how some of the book's staunchest fans are the same people who also frequently condemn romance novels and the "females" who read them, despite the fact that many of the OG bodice-rippers featured brutal heroes, a morally ambiguous cast of characters, and all kinds of physical and sexual violence, usually for revenge or for a political coup, but sometimes just to be a d*ck. I continue on that theme in my review of A CLASH OF KINGS, and then I got bored with the series.Part of the reason I wanted to read FIRE & BLOOD was because Daenerys Targaryen was my favorite character in the series. She also gets to go on the coolest adventures and she has three flipping dragons that she rides around like a BAMF. For a fantasy series that really doesn't have that much magic in it, this was a huge draw for me, a fan of the OG swords and sorcery brand of fantasy. Did I want to read more of the Targaryens and their dragons? Of course. So as soon as this book popped up on my radar a while back, I added it to my to-read list despite being done with the series because I was curious to read about the crazy, power-mad Targaryens and their hotbed of dragons and incest that could make even a Lanister blush. They always seemed like the most interesting House.Now that I've tried to actually read FIRE & BLOOD, I am disappointed. This book basically does what the SILMARILLION did for the Lord of the Rings series. It isn't a novel. It's written as nonfiction, with a pretentious AF index in the front of timelines, divided into tedious accounts of marriages and battles. It is NOT a novel, as I stated in my disclaimer at the top - at least, not a novel in the traditional sense. No, this is a novel masquerading as that dry history textbook that cost you $500 in college. You know the one that was so old, it was fabric bound and smelled of mildew? Yeah. And while the concept is interesting and I found myself reading further than I wanted to, it isn't sustainable. Not for 600+ pages. It's such a boring book, I couldn't believe that it would continue on in this vein for 600+ pages. So I skimmed ahead, looking for normal dialogue and narrative descriptions and - nope. It literally continues on in this manner for the full book.And lest you be suckered in by the promise of ILLUSTRATIONS on the cover, those aren't that impressive either. The artist isn't bad... but his art style isn't exactly attractive. Considering Martin's immense popularity, you'd have thought that he could have found an artist to bring the characters to life in a way that the book might be worth buying for the art alone. But no. There's better artwork to be had in the Official Game of Thrones Adult Coloring Book.1 star
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  • Vanessa
    January 1, 1970
    All these people bitching about the next Song of Fire and Ice book and how Fire & Blood is just terrible and how could Martin do this to us? Seriously? I am more than a bit outraged about all this ungratefulness and bitchiness from people.
  • Mohammed Arabey
    January 1, 1970
    George R.R. Martin will publish Fire & Blood, the 640-page Game of Thrones history book no one asked for, this fall.Oh, did you want to read The Winds of Winter? Too badThat's how a News site announced this annoying News..How accurate is that !Source :Chaim Gartenberg - The VergeMohammed Arabey
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    I'm equal parts side-eyeing and fangirling. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Update 2/15/19: Still this.Where The Winds of Winter tho???
  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    I tried to like this book. I really did. I stopped reading it because it wasn't what I was expecting. Picked it up again with a clear mind. Nope. Not for me.If you're expecting a narrative that tells you a story like the one in the Game Of Thrones seriew, beware this is not what you'll find in this book. Here you are going to find a fully packed chronology with tons of names (let it be places or peoples) that will hold your interest when it gets more narrative-y (I know this isn't a word) but th I tried to like this book. I really did. I stopped reading it because it wasn't what I was expecting. Picked it up again with a clear mind. Nope. Not for me.If you're expecting a narrative that tells you a story like the one in the Game Of Thrones seriew, beware this is not what you'll find in this book. Here you are going to find a fully packed chronology with tons of names (let it be places or peoples) that will hold your interest when it gets more narrative-y (I know this isn't a word) but that will kill you with boredom when it wants to cram a thousant details, names, places in a single page. Sorry, not what I was expecting, more confusing than amusing and not a book I want to keep on reading.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    “For the first time since the Doom of Valyria, dragon contended with dragon in the sky, even as battle was joined below. Quicksilver, a quarter the size of Balerion, was no match for the older, fiercer dragon, and her pale white fireballs were engulfed and washed away in great gouts of black flame. Then the Black Dread fell upon her from above, his jaws closing round her neck as he ripped one wing from her body. Screaming and smoking, the young dragon plunged to earth, and Prince Aegon with her… “For the first time since the Doom of Valyria, dragon contended with dragon in the sky, even as battle was joined below. Quicksilver, a quarter the size of Balerion, was no match for the older, fiercer dragon, and her pale white fireballs were engulfed and washed away in great gouts of black flame. Then the Black Dread fell upon her from above, his jaws closing round her neck as he ripped one wing from her body. Screaming and smoking, the young dragon plunged to earth, and Prince Aegon with her…”- George R. R. Martin, Fire and BloodThis is admittedly a difficult book to review with an objective eye. It is only fair to take George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood on its own terms, gauging it for what it sets out to be, rather than what I might have wished. In other words – and despite the difficulty – I feel I must judge this on its own merits, rather than bemoan the fact that this is not The Winds of Winter, the long-gestating, long-promised sixth book of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire cycle. At a certain level, Fire and Blood is the ultimate work of a troll. Once upon a time, Martin had a wonderful relationship with his fans, and interacted with them freely and positively. Lately, however, that has started to change, as those wishing to see the conclusion of A Song of Ice and Fire are forced to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait some more. The trouble is that Martin, despite advancing age, does not seem to care anymore about what his fans want. He gleefully and publicly embarks on other projects, and otherwise occupies his time with such trivialities as filling his blog with updates on the New York Jets (which is a waste, by any measure), rather than devoting himself to finishing the saga of Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen (which is going to be his legacy, or not). Fire and Blood represents a bit of a procrastination flex, an apex exhibit of task avoidance. It is 706 pages that could have been – and many feel should have been – devoted to a better story. The story millions have come to care about a great deal. (A note on the length: Portions of Fire and Blood have been published elsewhere, though nowhere else that I have been. Martin, however, has stated that his manuscript for Fire and Blood was closer to a thousand pages, so I’m guessing there’s a lot of new material, even for people who read everything he produces). But I’m not here to bemoan what Martin does with his free time. Strike that. I won't bemoan it any further. And at a certain level, I can’t begrudge him wanting to spend his generational wealth in the manner that pleases him most. Thus, I have done my honest best to read Fire and Blood with an open mind, and not toss it on the slag heap simply out of spite. With that said, Fire and Blood is not very good. The conceit here is that this is the first volume (more time wasting to come) of a two-volume series covering the Targaryen dynasty of Westeros. It is “written” by Archmaester Gyldayn and “transcribed” (har, har) by Martin. Volume one covers the period from Aegon I to Aegon III (who, despite this tome’s ponderous lack of wit, are not real people, and are not actually worth studying). Fire and Blood has been aptly described as Martin’s version of The Silmarillion, providing a pseudo-scholarly review of the history of the world (or rather, an exceedingly narrow slice of the world) made famous by A Game of Thrones and its progeny. This entry is an interesting career choice for Martin, for two reasons. First, Martin did not start as a prolific world-builder ala J.R.R. Tolkien. To the contrary, to quote Laura Miller’s 2011 New Yorker profile, “[he] sometimes fleshes out only as much of his imaginary world as he needs to make a workable setting for the story.” Indeed, he even copped to the fact that he only “invented seven words of High Valyrian.” (It is the HBO show, not the books, that created the languages you’ll find uttered in line at a comic con). The takeaway is that something in Martin changed since 2011, and the laser-focus on tight story lines and evolving characters has morphed into a self-indulgent wallow in minutiae. I assume this is related to the unrelentingly high expectations created by the global phenomenon of Game of Thrones, which is slowly crushing poor George is a golden vise. Second, Fire and Blood strenuously avoids all of Martin’s strengths as an author, while leaning heavily into his weaknesses. Martin can be a fantastic plotter, setting up glorious long-games, layering twists upon turns, and dropping some of the most gut-wrenching set pieces in literature. (I’m thinking, for instance, of a certain colorful ceremony of holy matrimony). But Fire and Blood has no plot. Martin – or rather, Archmaester Gyldayn – does not spend any time modulating tension, constructing scenes, or building to a climax. Instead, roughly 150 years of Targaryen family history is related with all the fervor, emotion, and verve of a recorder’s deed. (I will allow that occasionally, the mask of Gyldayn slips, and Martin’s talents shine through). Another Martin strength is in his ability to carve incredibly complex and multifaceted characters. Think, for example, of the arc traveled (so far) by Jaime Lannister, from pariah and sister lover to something resembling an honorable knight. Fire and Blood does not care about characters. It only cares about names (and unfortunately, many of the names are recycled over and over again). I assume that most people who read Fire and Blood are fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, which makes it strange that there are so few connecting threads between the two works. With some exceptions that I will not spoil (since A Song of Ice and Fire is ground-zero of the Spoiler Wars), Fire and Blood does nothing to enrich A Song of Ice and Fire and refuses to be enriched in turn. Martin has always been a writer that walks up to the line of good taste, drops his trousers, and poops on the line. It is part of what makes A Song of Ice and Fire so memorable, this willingness to provide a fully un-PC, X-rated take on classic fantasy tropes. Unfortunately, in Fire and Blood, he doubles down on the grosser aspects of his previous novels, to the extent that they feel less like plot-points and more like pathologies. If you read only Fire and Blood and were asked to describe Martin, you would be forced to say he is a man that is obsessed with incest, “lustily” nursing infants, underage sex (try not to throw up when a “beautiful” six year-old is presented for marriage), and underage sex between brother and sister, resulting in a nursing infant. Admittedly, this is not a book designed for my interests. I love A Song of Ice and Fire, and have read the five extant novels three times apiece (which I typically never do). However, neither the Targaryens (with their ridiculous silver hair, purple eyes, and pyromaniacal urges) nor dragons do much to interest me. To the contrary, one of the reasons I started A Game of Thrones, despite a fantasy aversion, was the promise that it was gritty and realistic, with the fantastical elements backgrounded. In Fire and Blood, the two things I like least about A Song of Ice and Fire comprise 99 percent of the novel. The things that I loved – the fantastic locales, the strange rituals, the intricate systems, the ancient tales as told by Old Nan – are nowhere to be seen. Fire and Blood could have worked. It is doomed, though, by Martin’s idiosyncratic decision to channel the mind and pen of a gassy, judgmental, and pious archmaester, which stifles almost every page with a tone seemingly designed to avoid being entertaining. The authorial viewpoint is gods-eye, the prose often formal or stilted. Within these pages, there is a book-within-a-book that Archmaester Gyldayn frequently consults as a reference. The book was written by a dwarf named Mushroom, who was a court fool for the Targaryens. Mushroom’s retellings are raucous and bawdy, joyously embracing the salacious and prurient, the devious and violent. It is a shame that Martin didn't choose Mushroom to write Fire and Blood. It would have been a lot more fun. It would have been a lot like A Song of Ice and Fire. And despite what Martin himself seems to think, that would have been a good thing.
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  • Manuel Antão
    January 1, 1970
    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.A Handful of Nothing: "Fire & Blood" by George R.R. Martin, Doug WheatleyAn apocalyptic battle between the White Walkers and fire-breathing dragons results in the Ice Wall being melted, thus inundating much of the North with a gigantic flood, but causing practically no human casualties, as the Nights Watch by now consists of Jon Snow, Gilly and her baby, all of whom are saved by sitting on top of Sam Tarly, who is in turn holding o If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.A Handful of Nothing: "Fire & Blood" by George R.R. Martin, Doug WheatleyAn apocalyptic battle between the White Walkers and fire-breathing dragons results in the Ice Wall being melted, thus inundating much of the North with a gigantic flood, but causing practically no human casualties, as the Nights Watch by now consists of Jon Snow, Gilly and her baby, all of whom are saved by sitting on top of Sam Tarly, who is in turn holding on to the tail of Jon Snow's direwolf.
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  • Lyn
    January 1, 1970
    Good evening, I’m Ron Burgundy and this is my review of George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire and Blood.COUGHING – where’sTheWindsofWinter?? – COUGHINGUGH, excuse me for that.Of course everyone knows that R.R. stands for Romeo Rapscallion.Senior Martin writes this WINTERY tale of the history of the dragon riding kings of Westeros – the Targaryens. It’s a WINDY story, full of WIND. And WINTER.COUGHING – where’sTheWindsofWinter?? – COUGHINGI must have a tickle in my throat (takes a sip of scotch) I Good evening, I’m Ron Burgundy and this is my review of George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire and Blood.COUGHING – where’sTheWindsofWinter?? – COUGHINGUGH, excuse me for that.Of course everyone knows that R.R. stands for Romeo Rapscallion.Senior Martin writes this WINTERY tale of the history of the dragon riding kings of Westeros – the Targaryens. It’s a WINDY story, full of WIND. And WINTER.COUGHING – where’sTheWindsofWinter?? – COUGHINGI must have a tickle in my throat (takes a sip of scotch) I love scotch. Scotch, Scotch, Scotch.The Targaryens are kind of a big deal. Martin fills us in on their history from when the WINTERY Aegon the Conqueror first took charge of WINDY Westeros with his two sisters. You know I have two sisters. I’m not saying we were like those WINTERY and WINDY siblings, but let’s just say my girls enjoyed the gun show every chance they got.COUGHING – getbackontrack!!! – COUGHINGMy goodness, I’ll need to cancel my jazz flute performance tonight.It’s all good, full of Romeo Rapscallion good writing. My copy is leather bound, finished in mahogany. Quite attractive. And the tales are full of Westeros and Essos and the Summer Isles. I’m really quite impressed. Mr. Martin, I salute you sir!That’s all for now, stay classy George R. R. Martin. I’m … Ron Burgundy?
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  • Mayim de Vries
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, I have it. And yes, I want to read it. But I will read it if and only when A Song of Ice and Fire is finished. Thank you.
  • Greg Bates
    January 1, 1970
    Well done, GRRM. You may be a lazy sack of shit, but your trolling game is god-tier.
  • Charlotte May
    January 1, 1970
    Me: Currently been reading an 800 page book for about 3 months....Also me: I can start this 700 page chunkster. No problem!
  • Marquise
    January 1, 1970
    Since most reviews out there are only complaints about the lack of TWOW, I thought I'd review the actual book. Three stars is perhaps a generous rating for the rather disappointing quality of the story, but it's mostly owing to the art and some parts of the story that were entertaining.The book purports to tell the history of the early Targaryen kings, from Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters to Aegon III, in 23 chapters that narrate the first part of their history as follows:1. The first half o Since most reviews out there are only complaints about the lack of TWOW, I thought I'd review the actual book. Three stars is perhaps a generous rating for the rather disappointing quality of the story, but it's mostly owing to the art and some parts of the story that were entertaining.The book purports to tell the history of the early Targaryen kings, from Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters to Aegon III, in 23 chapters that narrate the first part of their history as follows:1. The first half of the book is about Aegon I, Visenya and Rhaenys, telling their invasion of Westeros and how they conquered the Seven Kingdoms in four chapters. This part isn't new at all, it was already known from the World of Ice and Fire encyclopaedia.2. The middle of the book is about the 50-years-long reign of Jaehaerys I, from his ascendance to the throne at age 14 to his death, and comprises seven chapters that tell the entire history of the king, his Queen Alysanne and their thirteen children. This part is mostly new material, as only a fraction of it was known, and in my opinion it's the most interesting and enjoyable part.3. The second half of the book is about the Dance of the Dragons, narrating in seven chapters the entirety of the civil war over succession between Princess Rhaenyra and Aegon II, the children of Viserys I by his two different queens. This part is also already old news and lacking in novelty, it can be found in the encyclopedia as well as the novellas "The Princess and the Queen" and "The Rogue Prince." 4. The last part of the book is about the Regency during the minority of Aegon III after the Dance, telling the story of the rule of Cregan Stark until the last regent of the Council of Regents and Aegon III becoming of age to rule alone. This part is the most tedious, uninteresting and mostly self-indulgent. Not new, either.Taking the book as a whole, I'd say this isn't worth buying. It's exclusively for completists and ASOIAF history buffs who'll happy dance at the irrelevant bits of new information this contains, and maybe for Targaryen fans. Martin is no Tolkien, and it shows. Not only is the writing dry and rather just barely adequate but the worldbuilding is also lazy, all lifted from English (and European) history and reworked in such recognisable ways that it's hard not to see it as merely changing names and adding dragons. It's so mediocre that the author has resorted to simply taking historical rumours, like the one about Catherine the Great having relations with a horse, and giving it to a ruler in this book with no attempt at dissimulation or making it fresh and new. The lazy writing shows in the names as well, such as Saera (Sara), Aemma (Emma), Helaena (Helena), Larra (Lara)... The anger of the fandom becomes more understandable seeing we're fed subpar bits like this that aren't worth it. Personally, I'm rating it higher than I would otherwise only for the illustrations, as Wheatley's art doesn't deserve to be castigated with low ratings for the writer's shortcomings, and for the Jaehaerys I & Alysanne portion, the only part I liked and from where I got an idea or two to chew on.
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  • Rahul Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    Lord!! Have Mercy on my Soul!! A Whole Goddamn Story on the Targaryens!!I really like the cover:).I have no problem bending the knee for this one!!!Alrighty, I am going out some real heavy hitters at the end of the year. I really need to go ZEN with this one. Dragons and Cultures!!!Yes, channelizing my streams of consciousness towards these words.“In the DARK AGES, MAGIC was a weapon, LOVE was a mystery, ADVENTURE was everywhere and DRAGONS were REAL”1)Chinese dragons, also known as East Asian d Lord!! Have Mercy on my Soul!! A Whole Goddamn Story on the Targaryens!!I really like the cover:).I have no problem bending the knee for this one!!!Alrighty, I am going out some real heavy hitters at the end of the year. I really need to go ZEN with this one. Dragons and Cultures!!!Yes, channelizing my streams of consciousness towards these words.“In the DARK AGES, MAGIC was a weapon, LOVE was a mystery, ADVENTURE was everywhere and DRAGONS were REAL”1)Chinese dragons, also known as East Asian dragons, are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology, folklore, and East Asian culture at large. Chinese dragons have many animal-like forms such as turtles and fish but are most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs. They traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods. The Dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it in East Asian culture. During the days of Imperial China, the Emperor of China usually used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power and strength. 2) The Legend of Ljubljana’s Dragon (Slovenia-Central Europe)Legend has it, this fearsome lizard lurked in the marshes that surround the Ljubljanica river, feeding on fish, otters, river rats.. farming folk, were prey for it. Jason, a Greek hero was in fact on the run from King Aeetes: he had stolen the king’s beautiful daughter, Medea, into the bargain (her magic had helped Jason complete the three tasks Aeetes had set him, and the two were very much in love… at least for now). Naturally Aeetes sent his entire fleet in pursuit of this smooth-talking kidnapper, chasing him across the breadth of the Black Sea; until Jason had been forced to take evasive action, sailing the Argo up the mouth of the Danube river, then into the Sava, and then finally up into the Ljubljanica river, as he tried to make it back to Thessaly, Greece.Having slain the leader of their would-be captors (by underhand treachery, I should probably add), the Argonauts were able to continue their journey relatively unmolested, until, coming towards the spring of the Ljubljanica river, the waters grew too shallow for the hull of such a mighty vessel. Jason decided that his crew had no choice but to dismantle the ship and carry the boat in pieces, across the land to the Adriatic sea (which was nearby), where they could reassemble their vessel and sail for home. But as it was winter already, he also decreed that they would have to spend several months where they were, until the weather was favorable for their journey. So they did just that, building a village on stilts in the marshes surrounding the river. Unwittingly though, they had stumbled into the hunting ground of the dragon.On a cold winter’s day, shortly after the Argonauts had set up their winter camp, the Greeks heard a terrible shrieking and saw the shadow of a giant flying beast rise from the waters next to their new home. Spitting fire and noxious fumes over their wooden houses, the monster set half the village on fire, with many of the Argonauts plunging into the icy marsh waters to save themselves. Several drowned, and one unlucky soldier was plucked by the scaly talons of the dragon and dragged back to its lair for supper.3)Y Draig Goch-In Welsh mythology, after a long battle (which the Welsh King Vortigern witnesses) a red dragon defeats a white dragon; Merlin explains to Vortigern that the red dragon symbolizes the Welsh, and the white dragon symbolizes the Saxons – thus foretelling the ultimate defeat of the English by the Welsh. The ddraig goch appears on the Welsh flag.4) Slavic Dragons (zmey, zmiy, żmij, змей, or zmaj, or drak, or smok)-Similar to the conventional European dragon, but multi-headed. They breathe fire and/or leave fiery wakes as they fly. In Slavic and related tradition, dragons symbolize evil. Specific dragons are often given Turkic names (see Zilant, below), symbolizing the long-standing conflict between the Slavs and Turks. However, in Serbian and Bulgarian folklore, dragons are defenders of the crops in their home regions, fighting against a destructive demon Ala, whom they shoot with lightning.5) Indonesian/Malay Dragon (Naga or Nogo)-Derived from the Indian Nāga, belief in the Indo-Malay dragon spread throughout Maritime Southeast Asia with Hinduism. The word Naga is still the common Malay/Indonesian term for a dragon. Like its Indian counterpart, the Naga is considered divine in nature, benevolent, and often associated with sacred mountains, forests, or certain parts of the sea.6)Greek Dragons(Drakon)- Cadmus fighting the Ismenian dragon (which guarded the sacred spring of Ares) is a legendary story from the Greek lore dating to before ca. 560–550 B.C. Greek dragons commonly had a role of protecting important objects or places. For example, the Colchian dragon watched the Golden Fleece and the Nemean dragon guarded the sacred groves of Zeus.[6] The name comes from the Greek "drakeîn" meaning "to see clearly".Top 5 Dragon tracks:-1) We Didn't Start the Fire-Billy Joel2) Light my Fire-The Doors3) Ring of Fire-Jonny Cash4) Set Fire to the Rain-Adele5) Original Fire-Audio slave"So many Dragons, so little time, Run! Run! Run! Fire on my Bum"-If Frank Zappa wrote on Dragons
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  • leynes
    January 1, 1970
    I know over half of the fandom is throwing a hissy fit over the fact that George decided to release Fire and Blood instead of working on/releasing Winds of Winter; but let's simply disregard these entitled fools with the wise words of Neil Gaiman: "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch." So you can rave all you want and waste your time by spreading negativity over a book you haven't even read, but I for my part cannot fucking relate. Fire and Blood is an amazing piece of work that does for the Wo I know over half of the fandom is throwing a hissy fit over the fact that George decided to release Fire and Blood instead of working on/releasing Winds of Winter; but let's simply disregard these entitled fools with the wise words of Neil Gaiman: "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch." So you can rave all you want and waste your time by spreading negativity over a book you haven't even read, but I for my part cannot fucking relate. Fire and Blood is an amazing piece of work that does for the World of Ice and Fire what The Silmarillion did for Tolkien's Arda. It is an incredibly rich and detailed account of the lore of the world, the wars that were fought and the kings that ascended the throne, whether they were worthy of it, cruel or mad. Fire and Blood details, as the title suggests, the history of the Targaryen Kings; this first volume spans the time from the reign of Aegon the Conqueror to his sixth successor Aegon III, who sat the Iron Throne 130 years after Aegon the Dragon and his sisters first set foot on Westerosi soil. The skeleton of this history was already written down by George in his The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros, but whereas this interesting chapter of Westerosi history only got the space of a mere 50 pages in said work, Fire and Blood gives us 700 of them. So even though there are some repetitions (and even whole passages) that were taken from the preceding work, Fire and Blood broadens the facts we already know to be true and ensnares them in a highly engaging epic. Many of the heroes whose songs are sung in this book will be familiar to attentive fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, as they are referenced there many a times. Those are the people whom our beloved characters aspire to be, to whom they look up to, even 300 years later. One of my favorite stories in Westerosi history will forever be the Conquest. I don't know why but Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys seem so life-like to me, and all the battles they fought to subdue the Seven Kingdoms are pretty fucking epic. I like to call them the Triumvirate of Savageness. ;) When Aegon let Harren know that his "line shall end ... for dragons fly", I was quaking in my seat, and fly they did, indeed. I hope the GoT prequel will do them justice.But as much as I love the Conqueror, my true alliances (and my heart) lie with King Jaehaerys I and his wife, the Good Queen Alysanne. Prior to reading Fire and Blood, I paid both of them no mind, but now I'll never forget them. They are one of my all-time favorite characters. Jaehaerys ascended the throne in 48 AC at the age of fourteen to rule the Seven Kingdoms for the next fifty-five years until his death of natural causes in 103 AC. What a mood! Archmaester Umbert famously declared that Aegon the Dragon and his sisters conquered the Seven Kingdoms, but it was Jaehaerys the Conciliator who truly made them one. And all that I will say about Jaehaerys here is that he really was that bitch: when his court and own mother forbid him to wed his sister (for fear that the Faith would rise in rebellion against them, as they had in Aenys's time), Jaehaerys and Alysanne flew their dragons to Dragonstone to be secretly wed there, heeding neither counsel nor warning; J wanted A to rule beside him (“Aegon had no secrets from Rhaenys and Visenya, and I have none from Alysanne”), and many of the more progressive laws (especially in regards to the protection of women) sprung from her ideas. I love both of them more than life itself. So overall, Fire and Blood is a highly rewarding read if you're a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire and would like to deepen your knowledge of the world and its history. Despite its length, it's an incredibly easy and quick read that will keep you on the edge of your seat (or have you literally quaking in it). However, I couldn't give it five stars due to some silly repetitions that speak of lazy editing (e.g. the last three sentences of one chapter were repeated 1:1 at the beginning of the next chapter for no reason at all) and the fact that certain chapters were written with much less love than others. In my opinion, the whole Dance of the Dragons could have been written in a more engaging way, since it's one of Westeros's most interesting and bloody chapters, but it fell kind of flat in here. Oh well.
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  • Mary Deacon
    January 1, 1970
    I can sum up this book in just one word: Hellmotherfuckinyes!
  • Junkie for the Written Word
    January 1, 1970
    What the actual mother fooping coconut flinging monkey finger shit is this? Hoooo my god. I think I'm having an aneurysm. I. have. waited. for... You know what, nevermind, nevermind. This is fine. FINE. This is great and grand and fabulous. This is perfectly OKAY because obviously NO ONE gives a flying floop about my opinion on the matter. I'm just going to be over here being perfectly FINE with this. (PS: Dear Mister George Arr Arr Martin sir, please finish this fucking series while my ovaries What the actual mother fooping coconut flinging monkey finger shit is this? Hoooo my god. I think I'm having an aneurysm. I. have. waited. for... You know what, nevermind, nevermind. This is fine. FINE. This is great and grand and fabulous. This is perfectly OKAY because obviously NO ONE gives a flying floop about my opinion on the matter. I'm just going to be over here being perfectly FINE with this. (PS: Dear Mister George Arr Arr Martin sir, please finish this fucking series while my ovaries are still young enough to give a shit about things. You started this series exactly one year before I graduated high school and I'd like to read the conclusion to it before my grandchildren do.)PPS: Take your vitamins you drawing junk out as long as possible son of a biscuit eater. EVERY DAY. TAKE THEM.
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  • Ashley Daviau
    January 1, 1970
    Before I get into babbling about how freaking amazing this book was I have one very important thing to say; if you’re a GoT fan, go buy this book now and savour every beautiful page just like I did. This is such a stunning addition to the series and I loved every single page of it. It’s incredibly detailed and gives such an interesting look at how Westeros came to be the world we all know and love. Getting to learn so much about the dragons and their riders and how they conquered the Seven Kingd Before I get into babbling about how freaking amazing this book was I have one very important thing to say; if you’re a GoT fan, go buy this book now and savour every beautiful page just like I did. This is such a stunning addition to the series and I loved every single page of it. It’s incredibly detailed and gives such an interesting look at how Westeros came to be the world we all know and love. Getting to learn so much about the dragons and their riders and how they conquered the Seven Kingdoms was such a treat and I could have kept on reading about it forever! And then when you add in the absolutely STUNNING illustrations, this book is just an all around win!
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  • Mirta (secretlifeofapotterheadgirl)
    January 1, 1970
    Me: News about “Winds of Winter”?GRRM: Do you want a new book in the series?Me: YES, totally!GRRM: No problem, a new book is scheduled for this autumn?Me: “Winds of Winter” will be released this autumn?!?GRRM: ahahah, no no poor child of summer! A book about Targaryen history!Me: And “Winds of Winter”?GRRM: This is about Targaryen. And dragons.Me: D R A G O N S GRRM:... well?Me: WINDS OF WINTER CAN WAIT GIVE ME THIS BOOK
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  • Ivana - Diary of Difference
    January 1, 1970
    It finally happened! I have this book in my hands! I still can't believe I got it as a New Year's gift. *Screams silently*Can't wait to read it. BUT - I have a huge series of A Song Of Ice and Fire to finish...
  • Ian D
    January 1, 1970
    "Note to self: Don't hate this book just because it'll be published before Winds of Winter" έγραφα πριν την κυκλοφορία του και τελικά, όσο κι αν είχα όλη την κακή διάθεση να το αντιπαθήσω, δεν τα κατάφερα. Καταλήγω στο συμπέρασμα πως ο χοντρός (fat shaming θα πείτε αλλά του τα'χω μαζεμένα που δεν κοιτάει να τελειώσει την επταλογία και γράφει σκόρπια βιβλία δεξιά κι αριστερά) κατέχει το αντικείμενο και την τέχνη του. Επίσης, ξέρει να διηγείται ιστορίες που υπό την πένα κάποιου άλλου θα ακουγόντου "Note to self: Don't hate this book just because it'll be published before Winds of Winter" έγραφα πριν την κυκλοφορία του και τελικά, όσο κι αν είχα όλη την κακή διάθεση να το αντιπαθήσω, δεν τα κατάφερα. Καταλήγω στο συμπέρασμα πως ο χοντρός (fat shaming θα πείτε αλλά του τα'χω μαζεμένα που δεν κοιτάει να τελειώσει την επταλογία και γράφει σκόρπια βιβλία δεξιά κι αριστερά) κατέχει το αντικείμενο και την τέχνη του. Επίσης, ξέρει να διηγείται ιστορίες που υπό την πένα κάποιου άλλου θα ακουγόντουσαν ανυπόφορα πληκτικές. Πολλοί χρήστες βαρέθηκαν, λέει, τις αποστειρωμένες αφηγήσεις, την έλλειψη διαλόγων και την απλή παράθεση γεγονότων και πραγματικά απορώ αν μπήκαν στον κόπο να διαβάσουν την περιγραφή. Κάτι σαν την ιστορία δέσμης με δράκους μου φάνηκε εμένα (αν δεν πιάνετε το ρέφερενς, μάλλον είστε πολύ νέοι), πραγματικά απόλαυσα σχεδόν την κάθε σελίδα (λίγο χάθηκα στο Χορό των Δράκων και κρίνω απαραίτητο ένα γενεαλογικό χάρτη - αυτοί οι Targaryen χειρότεροι απ'το σόι μου είναι, που 'χει γεμίσει Γιάννηδες και Μαρίες λες και χάθηκαν τα ονόματα!) και νομίζω πως τελικά άξιζε τον κόπο να ασχοληθούμε με τη συγκεκριμένη οικογένεια. Είναι τόσο καλό που αν επρόκειτο για άλλο συγγραφέα, θα έλεγα πως περιμένω με ανυπομονησία τον επόμενο τόμο (More Fire, More Blood? Blood & Fire? Καλά, δε θα τα χαλάσουμε στον τίτλο, ας το τελειώσει αυτός και θα τα βρούμε). Μετά θυμάμαι να μην έχω πολλές απαιτήσεις για sequel απ'τον συγκεκριμένο κύριο...George, βγάλε με ψεύτη!
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  • Mary S. R.
    January 1, 1970
    5 HUGE STARS! a history book that I could not put down! Full review coming soon “The game of thrones takes many a queer turn.” That. Was. Epic! Never has there been a history half as grand as the Targaryens’; Glorious, treacherous, shattering, horrifying, engrossing, savage, mad, dramatic, eventful, and unmatched.“The Queen Who Never Was; what did Viserys ever have that she did not? A little sausage? Is that all it takes to be a king? Let Mushroom rule, then. My sausage is thrice the size of hi 5 HUGE STARS! a history book that I could not put down! Full review coming soon “The game of thrones takes many a queer turn.” That. Was. Epic! Never has there been a history half as grand as the Targaryens’; Glorious, treacherous, shattering, horrifying, engrossing, savage, mad, dramatic, eventful, and unmatched.“The Queen Who Never Was; what did Viserys ever have that she did not? A little sausage? Is that all it takes to be a king? Let Mushroom rule, then. My sausage is thrice the size of his.”The World of Ice & Fire could not have captured the full scope of this enormous awe-inspiring tale even if it had tried; and while that book was one I adored with its summerized yet captivating accounts of not only the Targaryen history, but the whole of Westeros, Essos, and beyond, Fire & Blood was needed to satisfy my—and the fans’—insatiable curiosity.“The High Septon was the true king of Westeros, in all but name.” So thank you George R.R. Marin! Thank you for your great storytelling, wild imagination, unique creativity, and detailed writing!“It is always winter now.”
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