Recommend It Monday–A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

I’m running behind…again.  It’s midterm week, and I have papers and exams to get ready for, so my pleasure reading has had to take a back seat for a bit.  The good news is I’m about halfway through.

The second installment of A Song of Ice and Fire is so far carrying its own.  We have the addition of Davros, the onion knight, in this book and I’ll admit when I get to his chapters I forget who he is for a minute.  It doesn’t take me long to remember, though, but it is a bit jarring.  There are a lot of new people in this book, in addition to everyone from the last book.  At this point, I’d be terrified to see Martin’s writing space.  Just thinking about keeping track of all these different families makes my head spin.

Something I appreciate about Martin’s writing is that he writes about the less glamorous parts of life, like going to the loo.  I don’t appreciate this because I’m some weirdo with a bathroom fetish.  For one thing, it adds realism to the story.  There are some fantastical elements to the series (which makes it awesome) but the ultra realism helps to ground the story.  For another, this very real, very unglamorous part of life causes some serious issues for Arya, who is trying to pass as a boy.  Yoren tells her that half would realize who she was and turn her in.  The other half would rape her, then turn her in.  This is a harsh piece of realism that I appreciate even as I am saddened by it.  I can appreciate it because I can identify with it, and in turn it helps me to identify with Arya.  For as long as there have been women, there has been the specter of rape looming over them, but it saddens me that even in an altered reality, the women still need to fear this specter.

I may be putting RIM on hold for next week.  I’ve got a paper on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and a paper on Shakespeare’s Othello to write and a midterm to take.  I won’t have time to do all of that, finish my book, and start and finish a new book.  I’ll do my best, though.


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