First let me praise the story for being incredibly complex yet coherent. As an author I don’t even want to imagine how difficult that writing process must be, keeping all the timelines straight and building that many characters. It’s a good story of political intrigue and full of twists, infamously the deaths of beloved protagonists.
And honestly, that’s where the books lost me. The first time a main protagonist was killed, I thought, “Whoa, I did not expect that”! I praised George Martin for having the guts to kill such a likable character, and it reeled me in.
But then it just kept happening. By the fourth book, it became tedious, a trope. Whereas at first the idea that no character was safe was novel and exciting, it had become stale and predictable. The now infamous Red Wedding shocked me not at all.
And on top of that, killing so many protagonists left me with no one to care about. I’ve written before here that most of my failed attempts at writing a story failed because I didn’t care for any of the characters.
And that’s what happened to me with Martin’s books. There remained only one character I kinda liked, but the gap between finishing the third book and starting the fourth was so great that even that attachment broke.
Yes, it’s realistic for likable people to die suddenly (rest in peace Steve Irwin). But if I wanted realism, I’d turn on the news. When I read books, I do it for enjoyment. And if you expect me to read several books all well over 1,000 pages long, you gotta throw me a bone. Give me hope, a character to root for, just one who’s not morally ambiguous. A legitimate hero.
Again, the books are incredibly well-written. Martin has crafted a masterpiece and in ten years sold more books than I could in ten lifetimes. But the story itself, in my humble opinion, doesn’t give the reader anything to care about besides finding out who ends up on the Iron Throne. It fulfills a reader’s curiosity, and that’s it.
If you like a story with characters to love as much as I do, “His Name Was Zach” is available here on Kindle for just 99 cents (Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read it free)! Or you can order a paperback copy and get free shipping with Amazon Prime!