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3.5 

Beyond the Wall

By James Lowder & R. A. Salvatore &
Beyond the Wall by James Lowder & R. A. Salvatore &  digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Get ready for HBO's Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon prequel series with this exploration of George R.R. Martin's iconic novels

The world created by George R.R. Martin in his high fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire—now the basis for the hit HBO series Game of Thrones—is not only richly drawn, but also immensely popular. By A Game of Thrones' debut in May 2011, the series already had more than 6 million copies in print in the US and had sold more than 16 million worldwide.

Since the television series' debut, A Game of Thrones and subsequent titles in the series have appeared consistently on the New York Times bestseller list. The latest title in the series, A Dance with Dragons, sold nearly 300,000 copies on its first day in print.

Beyond the Wall explores the book series' influences, its place in the fantasy pantheon, its challenging narrative choices, and the pull of its stunningly epic scope.

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5 Reviews

3.5
“First of all, this book contains spoilers up untill A Dance with Dragons, so if haven´t read it yet, catch up before reading this book. Before I get to the review, I want to share this quote from the book; "GEORGE R.R. MARTIN’S A Song of Ice and Fire has been a success, in large part, because it has recaptured fans of the fantasy genre who had grown bored and moved away from the standard fare, and because it has reached a wide audience of those who traditionally do not read or watch fantasy genre entertainment." That really includes me, I haven´t read fantasy in a while, because I felt that it became too predictable and cliched. Now, you can say a lot of things about A Song of Ice and Fire; "predictable" and "cliche" are definitely not among them. Now back to the review.Basically this book is a collection of essays on the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, each essay analyzing different aspects of the very complex world that Martin created in his books. It also includes a foreword by R.A Salvatore and a note from editor , both worth reading My favorite essays include; MEN AND MONSTERS Rape, Myth-Making, and the Rise and Fall of Nations in A Song of Ice and Fire by ALYSSA ROSENBERG, which explores the nature of sexual violence in the series. "Rape touches the lives, and shapes the world, of almost all the characters in the series, be they noble or common-born, perpetrators or victims. And while each of them feels pain, and terror, and anger individually, it’s given to us to see the collective impact of these assaults across continents" Another one that was very interesting is AN UNRELIABLE WORLD History and Timekeeping in Westeros by ADAM WHITEHEAD, which explores the history of Westeros, namely the unreliability of it. "To this end, the message of A Song of Ice and Fire may be that nothing is certain, not the world’s history and not the history of any individual within it. Everything is in the eye of the beholder, and the acts of one character may be heinous crimes to some but heroism to others." ART IMITATES WAR Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in A Song of Ice and Fire by MYKE COLE, in which he talks about PTSD and how it affects individuals differently comparing Arya´s and Theon´s very different reactions to trauma. "The behaviors of Arya and Theon, as well as other characters in A Song of Ice and Fire, so closely reflect behaviors I have seen in real combatants returning from war, in real crisis responders dealing with the aftermath of their experiences, that it shouldn’t go unremarked". OF DIREWOLVES AND GODS by ANDREW ZIMMERMAN JONES is a brilliant piece about the religions of westeros and how closely they resemble the religions in the real world. "In fact, the religions portrayed in A Song of Ice and Fire are reflections of the religions in our own world. They require a leap of faith, because the effects of belief are so intangible. The religions of Westeros claim to dictate absolute, perfect truths through imprecise, flawed institutions and beings—just like the religions we encounter every day" . PETYR BAELISH AND THE MASK OF SANITYby MATT STAGGS is another great one exploring the psychopathic behaviors of Littlefinger. " Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish isn’t a normal person: he is a psychopath, and this makes him an unsettlingly skilled player in the game. Littlefinger has no emotional chinks in his armor, mostly because he doesn’t have any real emotions—at least in the way that normal people understand them. Without any of the emotional vulnerabilities of a relatively healthy human being, Littlefinger is insulated against the pitfalls that await others who fight for power in Westeros.". These are just my personal favorites, there are more essays some exploring feminism or magic or outcasts and many other things in the world of Westeros and Essos. There were two essays that didn´t interest me one about the problems of adapting the series to graphic novels by Daniel Abraham, and another one about collecting first editions by John Jos Miller. All in all, this book exceeded my expectations, and is highly recommended to any fan of the series.”

About James Lowder

James Lowder has worked extensively on both sides of the editorial blotter. His bestselling, widely translated dark fantasy novels include Knight of the Black Rose and Prince of Lies, and his short fiction has appeared in such anthologies as Shadows Over Baker Street and The Repentant. As an editor he's helmed over a dozen anthologies, including Curse of the Full Moon and the recent Smart Pop collection Triumph of the Walking Dead, and has directed book lines or series with subjects ranging from Arthurian Britain to zombies. His nonfiction writing on film and comics has seen print in Amazing Stories, Sci-Fi Universe, and the Smart Pop collections King Kong Is Back! and The Unauthorized X-Men.

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