Look, I am ride or die A Song of Ice and Fire fan and not even what is effectively the equivalent of a Westerosi history textbook can stop me. Plus so much of what I love about the series is the depth of the lore and the attention to detail and the inner workings of a complex society so this was actually pretty much my happy place, once I learned to tell the players apart. There are multiple Aegons alive at the same time, it gets a little tricky. Apparently this is only the first half and there’s a second in the works and yes please give it to me (insert grabby hands gif here).
Fire & Blood is the story of the Targaryen dynasty from Aegon the Conqueror through the Dance of the Dragons and its aftermath, the story of the uniting and struggling to hold together of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. AND IT IS AWESOME. I definitely get where folks would find it dry but I am a history nerd with a hard on for high fantasy so this really hit me in my happy place. AND THE DRAGONS.
The framing device – that some Westerosi maester is recording all of this for posterity and citing his freaking sources along the way omg so cute – is super solid and spices things up. Especially throughout the back half of the book the “author” references the stories of a royal fool named Mushroom but every time also reminds the readers to take Mushroom’s words with a grain of salt. Honestly, it’s adorable.
The ins and outs of the Targaryens and the high lords of Westeros (and occasionally Essos) with all their splintering and backstabbing and pettiness and power scrapings are just fascinating to me. As much as I want to get back to Dorne and to Sansa and to Tyrion across the Narrow Sea … damn, did I love this.
Bingo Square: Birthday (George R. R. Martin is a September baby!)