I’ve had a troubled relationship with George R.R. Martin’s Saga of Fire and Ice. It’s been two years since I read the entire extant series over the summer. I hated the way he treated the characters, (read, Red Wedding) but wanted to continue the plot lines of some of my favorite characters. So what to do with the encyclopedia that was just released this year? Well I was curious. And it didn’t kill the cat.
The World of Fire & Ice by GRR Martin, Elio Garcia, JR & Linda Antonsson is a creative take on some of the historical events mentioned in the Saga of Fire and Ice. The creativity is what makes the book interesting. It’s supposedly written by a Maester from the Citadel, so it’s fashioned as a treatise on the history of Westeros and some of the city-states and nations that make up the wider world of Martin’s imagination. The history is divided into four sections. The first is a brief history of the peoples who successively peopled Westeros. Then it’s a history of the Targaryen kings who ruled the Seven Kingdoms for centuries. Then it’s a historical account of each of the realms of Westeros. The book concludes with an account of some of the places that exist outside of Westeros.
The first quarter of the book bored me to tears. The retinue of the kings and their madness gets old and it’s hard to keep the kings and their hereditary squabbles. But I did find the history of each of the former kingdoms interesting. Especially since many of the names and places mentioned in this book play a role in the books of the Fire & Ice saga. So that helped clear up some of the chaos that I encountered during my reading.
If you’re a fan of Westros and it’s ilk, then I do recommend this book. It’s more commentary than encyclopedia. And it could use more maps to help keep all of the places and people in order. I also think that the writers used a lot of artistic license when it comes to some of the historical events and places. Especially considering that some of them are not mentioned in the series, so far. So maybe those not already mentioned will play a role in future works? Who knows. I just wish that he would hurry up and finish this saga of his. Other wise my impatience may just turn me into a Targaryen dragonlord.