A Song of Ice and Fire
I remember a while ago you mentioned you were making your way through A Song of Ice and Fire. Did you make it yet? If so, what are your thoughts?
I'm halfway through A Feast for Crows at the moment, and it's heating up. I shouldn't make many comments because my perceptions are likely to change very quickly as the story progresses. I can say that I'm very impressed with Daenerys as a character, and cannot for the life of me get interested in Brienne's storyline.
You're not alone with the Brienne thing. I didn't mind it, but compared to the rest of the series, her sections were pretty dry. Feast in general is pretty slow, though things pick up towards the end. If you start looking at reviews online, I think a lot of the frustration with the book comes from the fact that people had to wait 7 years for Dance to come out. I only had to wait a year or so, so my opinion isn't as negative. It's definitely the worst of the 5 so far, but that's not to say it's actually bad; just not up to the standards set by the previous ones.
Dance starts out in the first half in the same vein as Feast, but really kicks into gear about halfway through. I don't know how much you're aware of the structure, but the first half takes place during the events of Feast, then they merge and crazy shit really starts happening.
*Book 3 spoilers for anyone else reading this*
What did you think of the Red Wedding? I really can't wait to see the shitstorm the Internet is going to explode into when that happens in the TV series, especially since they're giving Robb a bigger role than he had in the books.
MDB and I were chatting about this the other day. It feels like Brienne was tacked onto the story to flesh it out. He'd written too much for 1 book, but not enough for 2, so needed padding. Same thing with the Greyjoys' drama. It doesn't feel like a part of the greater scheme of things. Dany is a great character, as are Tyrion and Arya. I still the final showdown will be between Dany and Arya.
Actually, I've had the thought that the final conflict will be between Sansa and Dany. Sansa is the one who always wanted to be royalty; my idea is that she'll grow into accepting what it really means to rule (i.e. "it's not all being the beautiful princess to a brave knight") and that Arya will be her little assassin and spy.
One other thought I've had... I desperately hope Cersei lives long enough to see that she's wrong about dragons being extinct, if anything so we can see her face on the TV as dragons burn Lannisport and/or King's Landing to the ground.
Given Martin's sense of justice, I have a feeling Cersei will probably suffer a dragon induced comeuppance.
"too much for 1 book, but not enough for 2"
So much for the adage that a story is exactly as long as it needs to be!
Urgh! No! Sansa needs to go the way of Robb, she's just a big wilting violet. Unless Baelish manages to do something with her. However, if that involves chucking her through the Moon hole (or whatever it's called), I'll cheer.
From what I hear, the events of Feast and the first half of Dance were originally intended to be skipped over entirely, but GRRM couldn't figure out how to easily fill in the actual events afterward, so he decided to write them. It makes sense that they would be a little slow, given how crazy Storm was. I think it ends up being worth it with (Book 4 and 5 spoilers) Cersei's comeuppance
I feel sorry for Sansa and I've developed a certain attachment to her because of that.
Basically, she's this sweet, innocent little girl who has dreamed her entire life of being a princess and marrying a noble knight. And she's learned the hard way that being a princess sucks and most of the knights are jackasses. (And one of the few decent ones is gay, though she doesn't know that...) My idea is that she's eventually going to be hardened and end up like her mother -- strong but still feminine.
I think the one thing she's got going for her is that she's under Baelish's influence and hopefully he has plans for her, other than marrying her off to strengthen his grip on the Vale.