Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beyond The Wall by James Lowder (and other contributors)

Beyond The Wall is one of those books that explores the world behind the books. In this case, it explores the world in the A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin. You may be surprised to see this because I haven't talked about A Song of Fire and Ice before and you're right. Before I picked up this book, I had absolutely no knowledge of this amazing world.

It seems counterintuitive, not to mention spoiler-ish, but I actually became interested in this series because of this book. I'm the otaku kind of fan, so when I become a fan, I like to know as much as possible about the world (you should see how often I'm at the Detective Conan wiki!). I don't mind spoilers because honestly, I like to read for the writing.

And wow, I'm still not even half-way through A Game of Thrones and it's such a great book. It's also a very long book though, so a review will come later. Maybe much later :p

Ok, now back to Beyond The Wall. Beyond The Wall is very easy to read because each chapter is a stand-alone chapter, discussing one particular issue about the series. This means you can jump around chapter sequences and what not, and it wouldn't make much difference.

And well, the topics themselves were interesting (and prepared me, in a good way, for what to expect from the series). They cover things like topics from feminism, sexual violence to things like the challenges of adapting it as a graphic novel and a brief guide to collecting the series (incidentally my favourite chapter, since I like to collect books. And stuff in general). Each essay is written in an interesting (and distinctive) style. The length is just right too, enough to inform me but not long enough to bore me.

With such diverse topics, it's interesting to see that one common feature would be a comparison of A Song of Fire and Ice with Lord Of The Rings. And the comparison is not favourable. Adjectives like "simple" are used often to describe LOTR so if you're a fan, just take note. For the record, I believe that Lord of The Rings is much much deeper than they make it appear to be. And if you have a problem with the moral absolutism in LOTR, then why are you imposing an absolute judgement on the book?

From this, I have a rough idea of the series so far, and it makes me want to read all the books. I'm not sure how I'll deal with some aspects (like the whole sexual violence thing), but at least I'm prepared for it.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.


  1. this sounds especially great *_____* ive only seen the game of thrones series (its quite rated and kind of detracts from the story sometimes) but its always neat to have a book telling you more and more about the backstory of their universe :3

    1. Really? I'm still considering whether to watch the series now that I've started the books....


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