Fire & Blood
Fire & Blood 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) By Martin, George R. R. Book - 2018

Nope! Couldn't do it.

I love the rest of Game of Thrones, mostly because I deeply adore the way Martin devotes each chapter to a deep dive on one character's perspective, and then weaves all those different perspectives into such epic proportions. I also love how strong the women are; Martin's 3rd-person omniscient narrator is empathic without being sappy, and can really showcase the grit and motives driving women in Westeros' patriarchal systems. I live for Arya, she is a tiny goddess.

None of these things are present here. If you mostly love the world, you'll still love this book, but the frame is very different than other Game of Thrones books. The narrator in this book is a single historian, piecing together events as researched by others who were there. For me, the it had effect of listening to an old man bang on about the glory days for too long at a family gathering. Woof. Also, this old man isn't nearly as intelligent about women as Martin's usual omniscient narrator. WOOF.

This problem is compounded by the art, provided by an artist who typically works in comics. The women, they are busty and statuesque. They are vampy. Or they are virtuous. Most don't seem to be able to close their mouths? Man, those Targaryen genes are something. Or, they are hideous, with no redeeming qualities, and plainly villains. One is smoking from her literal crotch. To reiterate: Nope.

Anyway, this isn't the thing to tide me over until *Winds of Winter,* but if you love the world-building in Westeros and the plotting more than the characters, and tend not to be attached to the chapter-per-character format of previous books, you may still find lots to love.

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