Back in 2014 this mammoth looking book was published with George R.R. Martin’s name on it. Despite everyone’s hope, no it was not the sixth book. It is however a book to do with A Song of Ice and Fire. The untold history of Westeros and a Game of Thrones to be exact. If you ever wondered if it is worth it to pick it up, here are five good reasons to do so.
Let us be honest, George R.R. Martin takes ages between the books. With how big his books are and how detailed they are, it is hard to remember everything about what happened. Let alone the world and family trees. This books serves as a great refresher to the world and the history of Westeros up to the start of the first book. It also emerges you back into the feeling of the setting and of these people. Of how things work. It would be a great one to pick up before the sixth book to get back into touch with Westeros.
Next to being refreshed about the world we get a lot of new material and details about families. The whole book is written from the viewpoint of a maester and he of course gets a lot of his information from various sources. There are even mentions when there is doubt on whether or not something is real or exaggerated.
One of the things I personally loved reading about is the history of the Targaryens from how they took over Westeros to their fall with the Mad King. One of the things that interested me the most was them. They had dragons, how could that not interest me? It was great to see the differing kind of kings and the family struggles. It puts Viserys in a new light. There was a lot of detail put into their history compared to the coming of the first men to Westeros though.
As said above, the information that was shared about the Targayens put Viserys in a new light for me. A lot of this new material and having everything in this overview has put several conflicts that were already mentioned briefly or there as an underlying feeling into a new perspective and a new understanding of what was going on. This is why I do feel it is a shame that we do not get a more detailed account of what happened with Rhaegar and Robert’s fiancée.
Illustrations and Format
While there are only 326 pages to this hardcover it is incredibly heavy and large. One page of text could as easily be about 2-3 pages in a normal format book. The way it was formed is reminiscent of one of the older tomes. Tomes that the maester would really write or read in. As this is written from a maesters point of view that is very fitting.
There are also gorgeous illustrations scattered throughout the book. Some full page illustrations of dragons and castles. Others are small family portraits. There are also maps, especially in the second half of the book that focuses more on the various areas of Westeros.
Book: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Release Date: October 28th 2014
Tags: Adult / Fantasy / High Fantasy / Fantasy History / Illustrated Book