ABOUT THE AUTHOR

George R. R. Martin is an American novelist, screenwriter, television producer, and short story writer. He was born in 1948 in New Jersey.

Martin has an M.S. in journalism. He started out as a fiction writer in 1970. He also worked as a teacher to supplement his earnings in the 70s.

He is best known for his series A Song of Ice and Fire, which inspired the renowned TV series, Game of Thrones. Martin has collaborated in multiple capacities for this adaptation. His other Westeros-based works include The World of Ice and Fire and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. His latest work, Fire & Blood, has also been adapted for screen. Martin is also the creator of the shared-world Wild Cards universe. He considers Stan Lee one of his literary influences.

He presently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Doug Wheatley is a comic artist, concept designer, and illustrator. He has worked on several well-known projects, such as Star Wars, Aliens, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, and Conan the Barbarian.

SYNOPSIS

Fire & Blood is a fantasy novel covering the history of the Targaryen kings. It is the first of the two-volume series.

The book is a “historical” account of the Targaryen dynasty, from Aegon the Conqueror to Aegon III. Archmaester Gyldayn of the Citadel of Oldtown has been mentioned as the author of this book. He, of course, has cited his references.

The book begins with Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros with his queens, Visenya and Rhaenys. The account includes a brief history of old Valyria and its customs with the core narration revolving around the Targaryen dynasty.

The Targaryens, with their mighty dragons, are the invincible rulers of the seven kingdoms. Despite the odd period of peace and development, there is a history of conflicts over succession. Ensuing wars have resulted in scores of people and several mighty dragons being slain. The Dance of the Dragons was arguably the most notable of these civil wars.

The book discusses the political dynamics between the Great and Noble houses of Westeros and the effect these had on each kingdom.

WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT FIRE & BLOOD

While Fire & Blood feels like a historical account, it is full of drama and intrigue. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the book remains one of the best-written works in the Westeros universe. The Targaryens were always an enigma in Martin’s previous works, but are finally decoded in this book. In fact, Martin has gone so far as to humanize them.

Every principal character has a unique feel to them; everyone including the bad guys has a strong personality. Martin deserves a lot of praise for coming up with strong female characters who are not mere showpieces, but rather influential figures.

An illustration from Fire & Blood

The illustrations in the book are mesmerizing. They perfectly encapsulate its scenes, making the reading experience even more memorable.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT FIRE & BLOOD

Unfortunately, Fire & Blood is far lengthier than it needed to be. There is simply too much information in the book, which often gets confusing because of the involvement of so many characters in a single act.

QUOTES

The seeds of war oft planted during times of peace. So it has been in Westeros.

In the later years of his reign, and during the reign of his successor, he was called the Old King, for obvious reasons, but Jaehaerys was a young and vigorous man for far longer than he was an aged and feeble one, and more thoughtful scholars speak of him reverently as “the Conciliator”.

CONCLUSION

Ameya Score:
4.5/5

Fire & Blood is a must-read for every Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire fan.

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