Fire and blood book cover

🔥Fire and Blood George R.R Martin new novel

Amazing news! George R.R Martin recently published his new book. No, I’m afraid it’s not the long-awaited book The winds of winter (the planned sixth novel in the series A Song of Ice and Fire, which the author revealed wouldn’t be published in 2018) but it’s really close. Instead, the American author has published Fire and Blood (A Song of Ice and Fire).

What is Fire & Blood?

This new book is actually a prequel, telling a story 300 years before A Song of Ice and Fire plot (also known as Game of Thrones, if you are a fan of the TV series). This will be the first volume of two-part history, the second volume publishing date to be determined. It is 640 pages long, and it also eighty black and white illustrations by Doug Wheatley (a veteran comic book artist, concept designer, and illustrator) which, allow me to say, are astonishing.

Fun fact, this book is known as the GRRMarillion, a joke comparing this book to J.R.R Tolkien’s prequel of Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion.

What is this book about

The cover already hints what this novel is about “300 years before A game of thrones dragons ruled Westeros”. Dragons, Westeros… Targaryen!

Exactly, this novel tells the fascinating story of The Targaryens. Remember them? the noble family who reigned for almost three hundred years in Westeros.

This saga will reveal some of the mysteries already introduced in A Song of Ice and Fire such as what happened in Valyria to be so deadly after the doom or what crimes Maegor the Cruel’s did to get such a name? But that’s not all, if you ever wondered how it was when Dragons ruled the skies now you will able to satisfy your curiosity!

Dragons wottaread

Dragons in Fire & Blood? tell me more!

Do I have to read it before A Song of Ice and Fire?

No, definitely not. But considering how long it is going to take until that saga is finished this book is a great way to make the wait shorter. This book provides really interesting information that was only slightly introduced in the original saga and also tells the story about such an acclaimed family as the Targariens are.

Of course, if you are a fan of the saga this book is just a must read.

How has this book been received by fans and critics?

For such a famous and loved saga the critics have been quite more diverse than one would expect.

Hugo Rifkind, published in his review for The Times the following:

“Hugo Rifkind adores the Game of Thrones novels but this book is a yawn”

While Dan Jones wrote in his review for The Sunday Times:

Fire & Blood by George RR Martin — the Game of Thrones prequel is a masterpiece of popular historical fiction

Regarding the fans, opinions are pretty similar. Lots of readers love this book while others (I would say the less) think it’s boring. Seems like either you love this book or you hate it. If you ask my opinion, so far I`m loving it (I haven’t finished it yet). But also, I think this book should have been published after A song of Ice and Fire saga was fully written.

 

In conclusion, if you are a fan you must read this book. Dragons, Targaryen and mysteries resolved, what else you need to start reading Fire and Blood?

 

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The witcher book and videogame

The witcher series

 

The Witcher video games have been a huge success. The third game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, is the most successful of all. It won the  Game of the year award in 2015 (Golden Joystick Awards”, “Game Developers Choice Awards” and “The Game Awards), a prestigious award  given by various gaming publications to a video game that they feel represents the pinnacle of video gaming that year. If that was not enough, it is also considered by tons of fans as the best video game in this Console generation. Its developer, CD Projekt Red, couldn’t be happier, because the figures of this game series have already exceeded the thirty-three million copies sold.

The Witcher is an action role-playing game based on the novel series of The Witcher by polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The story is set in a medieval fantasy world telling the story of the witcher Geralt of Rivia, monster slayer with unnatural abilities like the power of the signs (considered simple magic spells by mages) or accelerated healing. These incredible powers are thanks to both his extensive training and the mysterious ritual that is performed in order to become a witcher.

If this was not enough, is going to be also a TV series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich for Netflix. If you are interested on this TV adaptation check this post.

The Witcher books

 

The witcher books gif

Book covers

Thanks to these games, the witcher novels have gained more notoriety. People want to know more about Geralt of Rivia and his companions, could there be a better way than reading these fantastic series? Nope. The book’s plot happens years before the stories in the video games, it could be considered somehow a prequel, so reading is a perfect way to learn more about this wonderful world and its charismatic characters.

Whether your hobbies include both video games like reading fantasy books and you didn’t know anything about this saga, The Witcher is a great way to complement both worlds.  As I have already said, the video games are a sequel of the books, meaning that a good approach would be to read books and then play the video games (this is what I did by the way, and worked great), thus understanding better the plot and characters that appear. This way you would enjoy the most this literary saga which finds an astonishing sequel in the world of video games.

In case you already played the video games, I won’t spoil you anything, but you will be shocked more than once even so. Also, you will understand a lot of references to the books made during the game (it’s full of them!)

The proper way to read them

So, have you decided to read The Witcher books? Great! This is a fairly long series, and it gets a bit difficult to know the proper order to read them. There is much controversy on what is the correct reading order of these books. In my opinion, the one that makes more sense is reading them in chronological order (with one exception). The saga begins with two short story books after this come the novels, they subsequently end with a prequel. So, in my opinion, the best way to read this saga is the following:

  • The Last Wish (short story collection)
  • Sword of Destiny (short story collection)
  • Blood of Elves (novel begins here)
  • Time of Contempt
  • Baptism of Fire
  • The Tower of Swallows
  • The Lady of the Lake
  • Season of storms (Prequel)

I know, it may sound odd recommending reading the prequel the last one. There is a reason for this, it is true that chronologically it is the first one, but if you read the other books first you will understand its plot way better. This is only a recommendation of course. By the way, this book is not necessary to understand the overall story, but if you read the rest you will surely want to know more about the witcher’s story.

Why should you read the books?

The witcher books

The Witcher is a great literary saga, the plot of the books is certainly fascinating. The series revolves around Ciri a girl tied to the witcher by fate. Its protagonist, Geralt of Rivia has very special charisma, which makes the dialogues being spicy and fun.

Many of the characters have a unique personality that makes them very attractive. One of my favorite characters is Yennefer, a very powerful sorceress of which I already wrote in a previous post. The relationship between Geralt and his troubadour friend Dandelion (or Jaskier) is really inspiring, something that in my opinion you don’t get such  impression while playing the video games.

If you’ve already played video games or intend to do so, these books will provide much information on both the world and the characters depth. In addition, the game makes constant references to previous events that took place in the books. Therefore you will enjoy much more both formats if you read them before.

Lotr lord of the rings

What do I read after The Lord of the Rings? Check this!

 

Hello there. Lovers of reading are in luck, particularly those who love fantasy, medieval and fiction genres. These sagas have always been characterized by causing great admiration among the vast majority of readers, just as The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien caused in its time. If you just watched the movies, here are some reasons why you should read the books .

Today I wanted to take you back to a magical world, where spells are possible and heroic and warlike feats are the order of the day. So here we go:

A Song of ice and fire

a song-of-ice-and-fire game of thrones

 

A series of heroic fantasy novels that have been awarded on multiple occasions. Written by George R.R. Martin. The first volume saw the light in 1996. Although at first it was thought that it was a trilogy, at present, there are five published volumes and it is foreseen that there are two more. You can also find prequel and short novels for specific characters. You also have Fire&Blood, the prequel of this series, learn more here.

Surely many people know the saga for the series “Game of Thrones”. It is situated in a medieval fictional world where different races exist, some more friendly than others.

Martin himself has cited Tolkien as one of his references on more than one occasion, so the similarities with The Lord of the Rings are served.

Dragonlance

Dragon lance

A set of epic novels, where there are several trilogies. It was created by Laura & Tracy Hickman and written almost entirely by Margaret Weis and Tracy herself.

For role lovers, like the mythical game “Dungeons & Dragon”, this saga is just mandatory, since these novels are full of references to this game.

The world of Krynn is divided into several continents, one of the most important is Ansalon. The main story is based on a group of friends and their search for any clue that allows them to prove the existence of the gods that disappeared after the Cataclysm.

A series that are not yet finished and in which you will find different similarities to the Lord of the Rings, as the journeys of its protagonists and the dangers that lurk around every corner. In case you are interested in this series, here you have the Introducing Dragonlace article for further info.

Also, these series have a 3D animated movie and 3D based on the first story in the series, dubbing includes such relevant voice actors as Kiefer Sutherland, Lucy Lawless or Phil LaMarr.

 

Kingkiller Chronicles

King Chronicles Patrick Rothfus

 

Although it is a trilogy, the same author (Patrick Rothfuss) has commented that he does not exclude the idea of extending this wonderful saga. The third and last (for now at least) book still has no publishing date.

Join the story of Kvothe, a famous and adventurous prodigy in practically everything who disappears from public life and is found in a remote village, where a character known as Chronicler persuades him to tell him the story of his life, a story of how he became a legend. Read in more detail here.

 

The Pendragon Cycle

Stephen R. Lawhead The pendragon cycle

Stephen R. Lawhead was commissioned to make a fantastic novel, which is based on Welsh and Atlantean mythology. The story takes place in Britain when the Western Roman Empire is coming to an end.

The last of the five books came to light in 1997, formed by the trilogy and two prequels thanks to the great success of his novels.

As in The Lord of the Rings, you will have magic, cruel battles and an adventure that deserves to be read.

 

Forgotten Realms

 

A fictional universe that is also based on the role play “Dungeons & Dragons”. Ed Greenwood was in charge of giving life to this story.

Faerûn is the continent chosen for the most famous characters, with hundreds of places, organizations, plots, and nods to different video games, such as Baldur’s Gate.

You will be able to find a great number of Races like: Humans, Elves, Dwarfs, Gnomes, Orcs, Dragons, Centaurs, Satyrs, Goblins, Lycanthropes, Trolls, Demons, Wyverns, and a long etcetera.

Currently, there are more than 30 books that count thousands of adventures that you can not miss.

 

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Mortal engines book movie wottaread

Mortal Engines book to movie

 

The cinematographic adaptation of the Mortal Engines saga by Philip Reeve is now a reality. In this case, the first film is based on the first novel.  There is still a lot of story to tell, as there are still three books that will surely make reference in the next movies.

The actress Hera Hilmar and the actor Robert Sheehan, will carry out the role of protagonists in this novel of steampunk thematic. If you still don’t know the plot of the series, you have to know that Mortal Engines is set in a post-apocalyptic universe and it’s part of the fantastic and adventure genre. The film tells the story of how two of the main characters end up crossing their paths in a ruthless world. A dangerous fugitive, played by Hera, and a surviving orphan, Robert Sheeran, are two young people quite opposed in terms of ideas but the circumstances of the moment and the desire to survive in a hostile environment, where cities have literally become predators, make them join forces to change the future.

Book-to-film adaptation

One of the main responsible for this book series adaptation to the world of cinema is one of its producers, Peter Jackson. The well-known film director is a great fan of the saga and wanted to bring his own version to the big screen. You might have noticed I refer this movie as a version, this is because the film is not entirely faithful to the saga. Not in plot terms, which it tries to maintain the same essence, but it has some changes that for the most demanding readers will not go unnoticed.

To begin with, the main characters are older than in the books. While in the novel they were young teenagers, in the cinema, we have somewhat older actors. In this way, the novel also grows in terms of maturity is concerned. Despite maintaining the same plot, you do notice the darkest atmosphere.  Having said this, it is obvious that the movies are aimed at a much more adult audience than the books.

Just for a better understanding, in 2002 this saga won The Gold award in Nestlé Children’s Book Prize (set of annual awards for British children’s books that ran from 1985 to 2007 according to Wikipedia)  in nine to eleven years old category. So yes, this book audience was originally for young teenagers, while the movies will be addressed to a more adult audience.

The success of Mortal Engines

Taking Mortal Engines to the cinema is not an easy feat.  This saga has so many awards that have made it one of the best in terms of children’s fiction novels, a lot of responsibility for the director and the producers.

Knowing how to convey all the magic that has made it worthy of these awards to, as we have said, a more adult world, is a rather complicated task that has turned Mortal Engines into a film with many expectations.

At the moment the producers are cautious about new releases.  Depending on the success of this first film,  they will make future decisions for the development and adaptation of the saga. Time will tell, but having Peter Jackson involved in this project is the key for sure.

 

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FIGHTER WOMAN

Women in fantasy and fiction

 

The world is changing, and so is writing. Stories where women were limited to those stereotyped roles of a damsel in distress who needs a White Knight to save them have long gone away. And that is absolutely great news, it proves that being brave and fighting for what one feels is fair is no longer a matter of gender but attitude. Women in literature, and of course in fantasy and fiction,  fight on their own ⚔️

Many fantasy authors have been able to reflect this change. It’s no longer a fantasy to read about female main character or relevant sidekicks who are self-sufficient, fighters and capable of acting on their own behalf.

I am sure this is encouraging for a lot of people. So I wanted to show some examples of relevant female characters in some epic novels:

Eowyn

Undoubtedly one of the most important characters in The Lord of the Rings (which if you loved you may like these suggestions) saga since she was the only one capable of defeating the fearsome Witch-king of Angmar (the leader of the Nazgûl or Ringwraiths), the one who could not be defeated by any man. Warrior of Rohan, was continuously protected by both his uncle and his brother, not allowing her to fight. She had to deceive both and disguise as a man in order to go to the battlefield. Not only she fought as bravely as anyone, defeated the leader of the Nazgûl was one the reasons their army took advantage over Mordor’s.

I couldn’t resist to include this quote:

“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”

Then Merry heard in all sounds of the hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel.

“But no living man am I! You are looking upon a woman. Eowyn am I, Eomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

Epic, isn’t it?

Katniss Everdeen

The Hunger Games did not seem like a suitable place for a young lady, but Katniss was far beyond all that. From survivor to winner of the games defeating all those who looked like favorites. Proving that after her apparent fragility, there was a warrior spirit, capable of imposing on everyone and everything.

Yennefer

The love of Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher series) smelling like lilac and gooseberries. Not only smells good, But Yennefer is also a powerful sorceress who has cleverly and magically camouflaged both her real age and appearance. Aside from her magical abilities, she also played a very important role as King Demawend’s adviser, a position that until then seemed to be reserved only for men.

Funnily, the writer of the series, Andrzej Sapkowski, said the following:

 

When I created Yennefer’s character I wanted Geralt to fully grow, but then I decided to make things complicated. I created a female character who refuses to be a fantasy stereotype to please the reader.

Brienne of Tarth

Brienne of Tarth is a relevant character of A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) and, in my opinion, a really inspiring one. Daughter of the Lord of Tarth, being she his only heiress, she would behave more like a soldier. After a life of rejection due to both her unattractive appearance and her lack of feminine social graces, she will find her path, the path of the knights.

She started as King Renly’s personal bodyguard and ended up becoming a sword sworn by Catelyn Stark in the search for her daughters. She successfully carried out his mission and ended up protecting both Arya and Sansa. Earning the respect of both friends and enemies, as is seen with the treatment she has with Jaime Lannister. Throughout fiction, we see her as a figure capable of defeating any warrior, however fearsome they may be, as is the case with The Hound. In addition, Brienne goes to the battlefield without hesitation and is shown as a mortal and dangerous enemy.

 

So here you had some examples of some popular books for women to be inspired, I hope they are encouraging enough and hope these are cool good reads for you.

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