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I haven’t been neglecting this blog. The lack of updates might make you think so, but it’s not true. I also haven’t been neglecting to read. How is this possible, you are not asking yourself at all, that I read and yet don’t update and yet, have been updating regularly?

It’s because I’m reading The Song of Ice and Fire and Dragons and Wolves and Stuff series and after the end of the first book realized I couldn’t really post a review of it that wasn’t either simply the words “ZOMG! WTFBBQ!” (which ok, not actually words.) or a massive barrage of spoilers. So, I figured I’d finish the whole series and then write one review that would hopefully contain more than “And then that thing that I can’t talk about… but will allude to… but not actually say…” This series, in case you didn’t know, is five books long. Each book is assthousand pages. Give or take.

So, here I am. In the midst of book 3. Nothing but dragons on either side of me. And I’d really like a break. See, I don’t usually read fantasy. And it’s starting to grate on me. Not the dragons. Or the wolves. Or the giants. Or the alchemists. It’s the g-ddamn feudal society porn.

See, what I do read a lot of is historical fiction. I have an especial weakness for the Tudor period and will read just about anything if Anne Boleyn is slated to once again lose her head. So, I’m all too familiar with the clichés that keep sprouting up to remind us that LIFE WAS DIFFERENT, OK. I know that the author wants to remind us that no one was wearing jeans back in Tudor England, but it doesn’t feel sincere to have someone whining about her stomacher being laced up for the thousandth time. OK THEY WEAR STOMACHERS GREAT. The irony here though is that in Tudor England, a stomacher was as common as jeans are here and no one would be going ON about it for PAGES because it would just be “AND THEN I GOT DRESSED.”

I might have some unchecked aggression in Phillipa Gregory’s general direction.

Anyhow. The Ice the Fire the Swords the Blahblahblah.

If this is FANTASY, why is this necessary to adopt the whole medieval/early modern knights and Lords business? And ok, if we have to have that power structure for whatever reason, can we at least get new clichés? If have to read one more time about someone eating meat on a stick and the “juices dripped down his chin” I’m going to lose it. WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE PASS TYRION LANNISTER A FUCKING TACO, OK.

(See also: the phrase “he took his pleasure.” I’m sure he did. But let’s get new euphemisms. That one’s not really creative, sounds rape-y, and makes me sad in my angry place.)

The characters are brilliant. The plot keeps me up way later than my bedtime because George R.R. Martin is an evil genius in the art of the end-of-chapter-cliffhanger. BUT THE JUICES MUST BE STOPPED.

Please kindly recommend anything to me that does not discuss meat & mead, the milk of the poppy, juices dripping down any part of anyone’s person, or anyone’s finest cloaks. Thankyou.


Written by Sonja

November 9, 2011 at 2:54 am

7 Responses

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  1. nothing about the serious struck me as fantasy in particular. the very rare glimpses of dragons. and very occasionally other stuff. its like vaguely re imagined, misspelled medieval fiction. i’m currently reading books about total quality management in education, and collective self-efficacy in school organizations, so you probably don’t want my recommendations.


    November 9, 2011 at 3:25 am

    • I don’t usually read fantasy, so I’m not sure if this is representative of the genre or not. I guess the medieval thing on its own is alright, but you throw in dragons and direwolves and whatnot and my brain is all “Hold up. Why do we have to have ‘meat and mead’ with this? Can’t someone eat like, a burger?” I guess I’m just having trouble reconciling the “fantasy” with being so dead-on in a lot of respects to historical fiction. So, really, I guess what I’m saying is if they can’t imagine a better setting, just throw in Anne Boleyn and I’ll stop grousing.


      November 9, 2011 at 4:17 am

      • 😉 This is the war of the roses (with a bit of some Danish history thrown in for the ironborn). So a bit early for Anne Boleyn. I always liked Catharine of Aragon, myself.

        That said, can I recommend Thieves World? Or Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time (whose worldbuilding, though medieval in conceit, tends more towards “clothing porn” — excessive descriptions of people and what they’re wearing.)

        Asaro’s got some fantasy that actually envisions a -different- world.

        There’s plenty of fantasy out there that isn’t quite so verbose on the descriptions of everything.


        November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      • Ah! Knowing it’s supposed to be *actual* history helps a lot. Though I still don’t know why there have to be so many juices. Doesn’t help that I know exactly squat about the War of the Roses other than it was the Tudors and the Lancasters (LANNISTERS!). Now I feel like if I went to find out it would be like reading spoilers…


        November 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      • It’s not “actually” supposed to be real history — but it is modeled heavily after York (Stark) versus Lancaster (Lannister). Martin really wants you in the mindset of real history — where anything can happen, and often does.
        I think reading the real history would be “maybe, a little, somewhat” spoilery, in that you might have callbacks (like to Richard the Third — who Peter Dinklage also got to play).

        Many authors aren’t nearly so fascinated with the history as Martin is.


        November 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm

  2. I did really like this series – but for me, it was the phrase “as the stallion takes the mare” that made me want to cry. Also, every once in a while, George R.R. Martin picks up a new vocabulary word and WILL NOT PUT IT DOWN. I’m not sure if you’ve gotten to the part where suddenly everyone and their dog starts becoming wroth yet or not.


    November 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    • Haven’t hit that bit, but I look forward to it in an odd way – “wroth” is a pretty great word.

      I don’t remember what exactly it was, but there was one phrase with Jon Snow and Ygritte where I had to put down the book to roll my eyes.


      November 11, 2011 at 2:55 am

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