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Compelling plot, verbal diarrhea, 8. Juni 2013
Tragic and depressing as the tale may be, this is the vibe that Martin seeks to convey. As the characters scatter about the continent, each exhibits a sense of forlornness. Every spark of hope for a happy ending is extinguished in time and soon the reader realizes that things will only get worse. The great variety of story arcs creates a feeling of complexity and continuity that one looks for in a solid fantasy novel.
Sadly Martin's eloquence cannot keep up with the epic premise of his books. Whenever he decides to spell out the thoughts and emotions of his characters, what comes out is unbelievable and clichéd and pulls the reader out of his otherwise beautifully crafted world.
Individual chapters can be languid, but the book is highly diverting and comes alive as unpredictable connections between the different narratives are revealed. Martin's inclination toward cliffhangers and story twists seems a little sensationalist at times but makes me embrace the tragic fates all the more.
If you can look past stylistic weaknesses, give it a read!