I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan. A good friend of mine gave me the first two books to read just before he died, so in many ways, they were special to me even before I read them. I remember him telling me about the Seven Kingdoms over bubble tea, how his favourite character was Tyrion and that the person he hoped would rule Westeros was a girl who was living across the sea. Still, it was several months after he died before I finally got around to reading them. I don't know why it took me so long to start them. I think I was scared that once I finished them, my last connection with my friend would disappear.
Instead I found a world of story. A world of history and magic and politics and warfare and shocking loss. This series more than any other was what made me love fantasy. After reading it, I read more and more. Robin Hobb. Jacqueline Carey. Robert Jordan. Guy Gavriel Kay. Many others I can't name but can tell you where I found them—on a blog called Pat's Fantasy Hotlist that I obsessively followed for book recommendations. I even won a free book in one of his giveaways one time. I think it was called The Blood Knight. Anyways, I finished reading the series (A Storm of Swords was out by then) and quickly searched to find out when the next one came out. In the process of researching the book, I stumbled across the Song of Ice and Fire Forum. This place was a goldmine of discussion, theories, book recommendations, reading groups and so much more. I spent countless hours reading the forum threads, thinking and theorizing about the series and its wonderful characters.Read More