“Will you not weep?”
“I do not have the time for tears.”
“It was a time for warm embraces, for smiles, for toasts and reconciliations, for renewing old friendships and making new ones, for laughter and kisses.
It was a good time, a golden autumn, a time of peace and plenty.
But winter was coming.”
Let me tell you, this was a rough one, but I enjoyed it. I love the Song of Ice and Fire universe, so much so I sat through a 28-hour audiobook that read like a history lecture. If you bought this book or are planning to buy it, know that is BOOK ONE. I have searched for a release date or title for book two but haven’t found anything. If you know, please tell me!
I did not know Fire and Blood was going to be a history read nor did I know it was going to be massive. All I knew was GRRM was releasing a new book and I was going to read it. It was a bookmas gift to myself. Fire and Blood has received sharp criticism (one-star reviews), but this is uncalled for. GRRM posted on his blog Fire and Blood would be a historical read, I like many of his other readers do not check his blog often enough. I missed it and was frustrated like many readers by the surprise.
I have a physical copy as well as the audiobook, due to the move I choose to listen rather than read the beast of a book. The book itself is impressive. There are illustrations and a map tree in the back of the book. The audiobook great as well. The narrator was terrific and made the book interesting and at times exciting. I highly recommend the audiobook.
Fire and Blood is told through the voice of an Archmaester. Which is interesting, I was left wondering if the Archmaester was merely recording the history of the Targaryen family or explaining it to someone of importance, mayhaps no one. His favorite word is also mayhaps, I have adopted it into my own speech. If you tackle this 900+ pager, you will too. That being said, once you get past the slow start, you will be sucked into the drama of the Targaryen family.
Here are the rulers you will be adventuring with:
- Aegon the first, the Conquerer
- Maegor the Cruel
- Jaehaerys the first, the Conciliator
- Viserys the first
- Aegon the second and Rhaenyra
- Aegon the third, the Dragonbane
You will also learn about their wives, children, siblings, extended family, their dragons, dragons as a whole, illnesses, wars, rivals, laws, and rumors. My favorite part of the book was the rule of Jaehaerys the first. It was odd reading/listening to a book knowing how it ends. You can help but wonder if the Targaryens made different choices, such as marrying outside of their family, would they still be in power? Would there be more dragons? Mayhaps.
At times I was lost in the trail of names and first and seconds of the same name, it is a lot of information to take it. BUT if you have already read A Song of Ice an Fire, then some of the information fits together better. My only complaint is the length. Maybe this story would have fit better in a trilogy, I don’t know. Other than the massive amount of content, I did learn oodles of interesting things if you choose to read/listen to Fire and Blood you will too. If you are no stranger to A Song of Ice and Fire, I would recommend you read Fire and Blood. If you are new to the universe, do not start here.
I will share a few of my favorite facts, but you will have to discover the rest for yourself. Be warned, spoilers ahead.
My favorite things I learned:
- After the rule of Jaehaerys the first/Viserys the first there were a lot of dragon eggs. How did they keep track of all of them? Where are they all now??
- Dragon eggs turn to stone if not hatched. They may or may not ever hatch once this happens.
- Targaryens may have a different type of blood, but they can still catch an illness and be burned. Knowing this, why are more people not interested in the fact Daenerys Targaryen is “the unburned” ????
- Valyria is a strange place where dragons and their riders are wounded. We need to know more about Valyria.
Will you find clues to who will sit on the iron throne? No. Will you learn family secrets? Mayhaps. Will you learn things that will make you wonder about the characters you already know? Most defiantly. Will you meet the Mad King? No, that is for book two.
If you are interested in the universe itself check out GRRM other history/information book called The World of Ice and Fire.
Have you read Fire and Blood? Do you plan too? Have you read A Song of Ice and Fire? Are you interesting in the series?