Sunday, August 14, 2011

Roses and magic ...

... George R. R. Martin and the Rise of Fantasy - NYTimes.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Martin possesses two virtues in abundance. First, he’s unapologetically coldblooded. Westeros is a dangerous place governed by the whims of men, not the rule of law, and the first novel in his series is famous for (spoilers follow!) dispatching a thoroughly admirable major character with whom readers have been identifying for most of the book. ... Martin’s second virtue is a nearly supernatural gift for storytelling. All of his hundreds of characters have grace notes of history and personality that advance a plot line. Every town has an elaborately recalled series of triumphs and troubles. Moreover, historical asides are inseparable from the books’ larger narratives, so as you’re propelled through the story, the sensation is like riding a wave that’s somehow moving away from shore, with the water beneath you growing deeper and more shadowed as your speed increases.

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