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    "Life is not a song, sweetling. You may learn that one day to your sorrow."

    "We shall serve him lies and Arbor gold, and he'll drink them down and ask for more, I promise you."

    "Winterfell," she might have said. "I smell snow and smoke and pine needles. I smell the stables. I smell Hodor laughing, and Jon and Robb battling in the yard, and Sansa singing about some stupid lady fair. I smell the crypts where the stone kings sit, I smell hot bread baking, I smell the godswood. I smell my wolf, I smell her fur, almost as if she were still beside me."

    Well, what's one more broken vow to the Kingslayer? Just more shit in the bucket.

    His Grace should have sent another man, a lord or knight or maester, someone who could speak for him without tripping on his own tongue. "Death," he heard himself say, "there will be death, aye. Your lordship lost a son at the Red Wedding. I lost four upon the Blackwater. And why? Because the Lannisters stole the throne. Go to King's Landing and look on Tommen with your own eyes, if you doubt me. A blind man could see it. What does Stannis offer you? Vengance. Vengance for my sons and yours, for your husbands and your fathers and your brothers. Vengance for your murdered lord, your murdered king, your butchered princes. Vengance!"

    "I trust my muse, I suppose, but sometimes my muse leads me down dead alleys and mugs me."

    "Westeros is a violent and cruel world, but no more so than the real Middle Ages. In some ways, Westeros is Disneyland compared to some of the things that really went on during the Crusades or the Hundred Years War. We shouldn't delude ourselves in that. History is written in blood."

    "Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities."

    "Every flight begins with a fall," the crow said.

    "Lady," she whimpered softly, wondering if she would meet her wolf again when she was dead.

    One day there would be Starks in Winterfell again, he told himself, and then he'd send for the Liddles and pay them back a hundredfold for every nut and berry.

    Arya looked at him in astonishment. He's crying like a little baby, she thought.

    "Oh, good," Jaime said. "I only rescue maidens."

    Gods give me courage, Sam prayed. For once, give me a little courage. Just long enough for her to get away.

    Sam's last thoughts were for the mother who had loved him and the father he had failed.

    "I know his name. Was there ever a name so apt? It proclaims his bastardy, his high birth, and the turmoil he brings with him. Edric Storm. There, I have said it. Are you satisfied, my lord Hand?"

    Ygritte, stay away, Go south and raid, go hide in one of those roundtowers you liked so well. You'll find nothing here but death.

    Please, you old gods, he prayed, you took Winterfell, and my father, and my legs, please don't take Summer too. And watch over Jon Snow too, and make the wildlings go away.

    Winter is coming, warned the Stark words, and truly it had come for them with a vengeance.

    A bag of dragons buys a man's silence for a while, but a well-placed quarrel buys it forever.

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  1. My bracket may be a raging dumpster fire, but somehow I'm in first place for now on the Westeros Yahoo group! That's not much consolation for UVA losing though.
  2. Oh no!
  3. Have you ever checked out this article? It is quite compelling: I liked Skahaz even more as a character after I read it.
  4. Yes, like sending him to the wall
  5. Dagmer Cleftjaw has always been a favorite of mine. ETA: Longspear Rik is pretty good too
  6. GRRM broke the writer's rule that no two main characters names can start with the same letter. He tore that rule to smithereens by having some characters with the same exact names. I remember reading that he did this on purpose because he wanted family names like Brandon to repeat through families and have characters named after others like Jon Snow / Jon Arryn and Robb Stark / Robert Baratheon.
  7. I'm excited UVA is playing at Cal this year. I'll actually (hopefully - tickets not on sale yet) get to see a game live for the first time in 20 years.
  8. I finally finished Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy and I have to say I was underwhelmed. I enjoyed the first book, The Darkness That Comes Before particularly the first half. I enjoyed the character introductions and the intrigue with Conphas and the emperor. Kellhus really turned me off so the second half was not so good. I did like the flashbacks to his Dunyain training and I missed them in subsequent books. I particularly liked Achamian and Esmenet's story lines. For me the second book Warrior Prophet was the least enjoyable. I almost stopped there. I could not relate to anyone. All the characters I kind of liked in book 1 really turned me off. At one point I hoped that the second Apocalypse would come just to get rid of all these people. After a while I thought that maybe Proyas was not such a bad guy (arrogant and intolerant, sure but at least had a consistent philosophy) and maybe he could be the one survivor to repopulate the human species. (but then he'd have to have one of the women survive so maybe he should just live out his life as a hermit) The third book was OK mostly I think because it was constant action so at least it was interesting. It was interesting to But I think it suffered from the same problem that there was no major character who I felt like rooting for. Too bad Bakker didn't make the whole thing about the First Apocolypse because Seswatha seemed like maybe a pretty cool dude. Certainly less whiny than Akka! Am I missing something on Bakker here? He seems to be well liked generally on this board. It's easy for me to compare these books to Abercrombie's First Law trilogy which had dark characters and settings but many I think with some redeeming humanity that made them relatable in many ways. I don't think I'll be continuing with my Bakker experiment. Maybe it's time for me to read more Abercrombie. I have read the First Law trilogy and the first of the YA shattered sea novels. Any suggestions on what to read next?
  9. I hate to sound like a broken record but If you are looking for a good story that includes an over the top ruthlessly Machiavellian matriarchal "Drow" society check out Enemy and Outlaw by K Eason. Surprisingly good books, IMO (an opinion shared by I think at least one or two other posters here). PS - this is my 666th post here
  10. Well I'm not there yet (I still don't know what happened to Kellhus after the second chapter!) but still really enjoying Bakker The Darkness That Comes Before. Lots of characters to keep track of and locations too. But I'm not too lost (I think). Similar to The Blade Itself, or A Game of Thrones in the number of characters and settings. Maybe the names are a bit harder than either, but probably not any big deal for anyone who is on this board.
  11. About halfway through Cold by John Sweeney. I think I will be giving up here. I had some high hopes. Within the first few pages saw this line that I really loved: ... he killed the phone and turned his back on London's distant skyline, an old, comfortable face scarred by new, jagged piercings. The book reminded me a lot of the old Jack Ryan Tom Clancy books, but I couldn't get into these characters with the exception of a retired Soviet general trying to discover what happened to his daughter. That guy I really liked. This was a kindle first book so I can't really complain since it was free. My last kindle first book Enemy by K Eason was outstanding. I think I will move on to Bakker now. I'm usually a kindle reader (more precisely I use the kindle app on my phone), so hopefully the maps & appendix will be easy to access!
  12. I've been thinking about trying Bakker for a while now but have been a little scared. I've heard it's a real commitment. But then again I've heard that about ASOIAF too and I'm very happy I started reading that one. Sounds like you took the plunge recently. Was it difficult to get going? I've heard about incomprehensible names of places and characters.
  13. Just finished The Call. Downloaded it this morning. For some reason the first few paragraphs were a little jarring for me. Not sure what it was. It took me a few pages to get used to, but 3 pages in and I couldn't put it down. Based on some of the comments / reviews I read I was expecting it to be more grim than it actually was. Probably since I'm not in the YA target audience, I don't really dig on the whole romance thing that goes with the genre. The way the romance was written was my (minor) annoyance with Half a World, the last YA book I read. I actually thought the romance in The Call was very nicely done since it was much more understated and (IMO) appropriate for the pretty dire setting the characters find themselves in. Loved how I really had no idea what was going to happen. I can't remember the last time I read a book like that. Maybe it was the first time I read A Game of Thrones. I thought the characterization was great. Even the "bad guys" had clear personalities and motivations. Peadar, you clearly have a real talent for this. Congratulations on your creation. I hope it brings you many chocolate bars. I'm excited to read the next one!
  14. Wow you are right now amazon says "1 to 2 months" to receive. I'm super intrigued since Peadar posts here. I don't usually go for horror, but I have read a few YA books recently (Half a World and the Hunger Games books). And a few years ago I accidentally read the Mortal Instruments series - the whole (sort of) incest thing really creeped me out. Somehow it was worse than Cersei and Jaime. But otherwise I kind of liked it. (wouldn't read it again tho). Anyway I will get the Kindle version of The Call. Looking forward to a good read!
  15. Just finished Half a World by Joe Abercrombie. I enjoyed it but I see how it is YA because of the romance angle. I could have done without that but I see why he put it in there to humanize Thorn a little more. I tried to re-read the First Law trilogy a few months ago and just couldn't bring myself to do it since it was so dark. Not a great comparison but sort of like watching Shindler's list again. Once is enough. So it's nice to see that Abercrombie can do some lighter stuff. Same thing happened to me (got Enemy as a Kindle first then paid money for Outlaw because I enjoyed it so much). Definitely recommended even if you have to pay the books are pretty cheap for kindle books so not much to lose. If anyone needs more persuading there are some additional posts about this series on the July/June/May reads threads. Interestingly, I think she (K Eason) is published by Amazon's captive publishing arm.