2 Replies to “First Cup of Coffee – May 11, 2021”

  1. Lions of Al-Rassan definitely leans more historical than the Kushiel books so calling it fantasy is a bit of a stretch, I have to admit. There’s really no magic in it. I think the one son who could sense things was about it? Kushiel had the Master of the Straits, etc. I mean, the whole premise is that this version of France was blessed by angels so it’s already steeped in a mythological origin straight out of the gate.

    GGK’s Sarantine Mosaic books, which take place before Lions since it’s heavily implied they are in the same world, has way more magical elements even though both have characters based on actual historical people.

    GRRM vs. Tolkien… For me, yes, they’re both fantasy of the classic flavor with dragons and clashing armies but I think they’re coming at from different angles. Tolkien fought in WWI and had friends who died. The Shire and hobbits represent the life he wanted: Beautiful countryside, good food, safe, surrounded by loved ones. Bilbo and Frodo both leave this lovely place and come back irrevocably changed – Bilbo becoming corrupted by the ring over the years and Frodo suffering from PTSD to the point he sails West. Even the Shire doesn’t escape unscathed in the end.

    GoT, for all that it has dragons and giant walls of ice keeping out the local hooligans, seems to focus more on the political machinations of the characters. There’s no Shire to contrast the rest of the world against, no hope or safe haven. Maybe hope can be considered a fantastical element? It’s certainly something with the underage marriages and siblings sexually harassing each and kids getting chucked out windows. Everyone here is covered in blood and I don’t know how the reader is meant to feel about that. Horror? Glee? Schadenfreude?

    1. I’m really surprised how many people call LoA-R fantasy! I totally agree on that comparison.

      GoT is much more about the political machinations for me. In some ways its message is that there is no such thing as good or evil, and that death comes randomly, sometimes savagely.

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