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Fire and Blood: Just arrived!

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I just had my copy of Fire and Blood come to my doorstep. I am just about to leave for work so do I save it for the weekend or do take it to work and read it on my breaks. Decisions, decisions.

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Didn’t even know about it until I saw Joe Abercrombie reply to this tweet

if that’s representative... I might pass too. :stunned: 

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33 minutes ago, Rhom said:

If that’s representative... I might pass too. :stunned: 

I second that. Though I didn't expect much after The Princess and the Queen, so I can't say I'm disappointed.

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I'm about 50 pages in and once you get past the first few pages about the Conquest (already covered in AWOIAF) it's enjoyable. Obviously a 3rd person history is less engaging than reading 1st person POVs in a narrative, but it is still a good read and full of info previously unknown.

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5 hours ago, 3CityApache said:

Yeah, well. Problem is, many people don't go north of Miscellaneous anymore. :)

Yup.  Its scary up there.

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On 11/21/2018 at 1:27 PM, Rhom said:

Didn’t even know about it until I saw Joe Abercrombie reply to this tweet

if that’s representative... I might pass too. :stunned: 

Funny to see a couple of fellow authors being quite critical of Martin as well.

The reviews on Amazon are positively slamming for Martin for doing this book in between. There's some choice comments in there.

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Richard Morgan and Gareth Powell also appear in that thread.  Writers slagging off other writers usually is a no no.

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I think my main problem with Fire and Blood (based on reading some of it in a bookstore yesterday and the excerpts he'd released in various volumes) is that it's fake history done in such a boring and tedious way. It doesn't have the beauty of the Silmarillion or the hilarious satire of academia you find in Vandermeer's "History of Ambergris" or "Shriek" or the use of "historical documents" to develop and shed light on a single character, like in Gore Vidal's Julian. It's just dry political pop history of, to my mind, pretty uninteresting parts of this world's history; it's worldbuilding for the sake of worldbuilding. A long time ago GRRM used to talk about writing an autobiography of Aegon IV; if he had to do a Targaryen history book (or, maybe more accurately, if his publishers demanded one to make money while the iron is still hot), that sounds a lot more interesting to me than this.

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2 hours ago, john said:

Richard Morgan and Gareth Powell also appear in that thread.  Writers slagging off other writers usually is a no no.

Morgan's remark is indeterminate -- could be wowing at the idea that George has a book of any kind out, I suppose. Powell's is an amusing show of character given that his most popular tweet of the last couple of weeks is about how Twitter is a tremendously supportive place for authors to be.

As to Roberts, well, this is obviously not his cup of tea. He's the fellow who parodied The Silmarillion as The Sellamillion, after all.

If you're invested in the characters and plots of the novels, no, F&B is not for you. If you are invested in the world in general, this may be for you. Or not. It's not really narrative fiction.

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14 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

I think my main problem with Fire and Blood (based on reading some of it in a bookstore yesterday and the excerpts he'd released in various volumes) is that it's fake history done in such a boring and tedious way. It doesn't have the beauty of the Silmarillion or the hilarious satire of academia you find in Vandermeer's "History of Ambergris" or "Shriek" or the use of "historical documents" to develop and shed light on a single character, like in Gore Vidal's Julian. It's just dry political pop history of, to my mind, pretty uninteresting parts of this world's history; it's worldbuilding for the sake of worldbuilding. A long time ago GRRM used to talk about writing an autobiography of Aegon IV; if he had to do a Targaryen history book (or, maybe more accurately, if his publishers demanded one to make money while the iron is still hot), that sounds a lot more interesting to me than this.

Not trying to dissuade you in any way, just giving my opinion on it.

For me it is actually very very interesting. I don't find the writing dry at all. Obviously you're not the only one who feels it's dry as this pops up a lot. I guess it's also down to what people were expecting. But this sort of stuff is right up my alley, I've always wanted to see those early Targaryen days filled out and this is filling out it out very properly, and the stories themselves are quite interesting as well. There's a lot of major and minor events of interest IMO.

It's not like the Silmarillion no, and yet on the other hand, there is hardly any Fantasy book more like the Silmarillion than this one.

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I loved it, personally. It's basically a matter of expectations of interests. If you don't enjoy world-building, historical records and second-hand accounts, it's not for you.

 

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6 hours ago, Calibandar said:

Not trying to dissuade you in any way, just giving my opinion on it.

For me it is actually very very interesting. I don't find the writing dry at all. Obviously you're not the only one who feels it's dry as this pops up a lot. I guess it's also down to what people were expecting. But this sort of stuff is right up my alley, I've always wanted to see those early Targaryen days filled out and this is filling out it out very properly, and the stories themselves are quite interesting as well. There's a lot of major and minor events of interest IMO.

It's not like the Silmarillion no, and yet on the other hand, there is hardly any Fantasy book more like the Silmarillion than this one.

Fair enough. I'm a big history buff, so the idea of a history of Westeros should be cool for me; but it just wasn't working from what I read. I'll try giving it another shot and read a few more chapters before deciding whether or not to buy it.

I can't deny that my interest in "the world" of Westeros has probably also declined as the delay between books has increased and I've gotten older, influencing my view of Fire and Blood. As I reread the books, I've tended to find the increased amount of random characters expositing about Targaryen history in Feast and Dance to be less and less interesting, and I think I'm just less interested in worldbuilding in fantasy than I used to be. So it's possible that this book just isn't for me, and that I'm expecting too much by hoping for something along the lines of Vandermeer. 

Edited by Caligula_K3

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This is just up my alley as a history buff & someone working, periodically, on my own textbook of a fantastical setting... but that excerpt is rather dire. I'd really like this sort of project by Bakker, probably would have preferred it to TUC.   

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Currently reading it, and quite enjoying it. But I knew I would enjoy it, from all the excerpts I'd read. I loved The World of Ice and Fire, too.

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14 hours ago, kuenjato said:

This is just up my alley as a history buff & someone working, periodically, on my own textbook of a fantastical setting... but that excerpt is rather dire. I'd really like this sort of project by Bakker, probably would have preferred it to TUC.   

It already exists, I wrote it (with some input from Bakker) and, based on the sales of the series, it may be the closest we ever get to a full, official release.

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

It already exists, I wrote it (with some input from Bakker) and, based on the sales of the series, it may be the closest we ever get to a full, official release.

Oh yes, I did read that and felt it was well put together... but from the feel of the appendix & the online timeline drawn from it, along with your material, it felt as if a 600+ page volume like Fire and Blood could be do-able. But yeah, unlikely.

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