The new HBO original series 'A Game of Thrones' has bolstered the fans of the fantasy novel series upon which it is based. All four of the existing books in the 'Song of Ice & Fire' series have been thrust onto the New York Times Bestseller List as fans of the show begin devouring the fantasy epic in its original format. However, longtime fans of George R.R. Martin's series have been ravenous for more for the past six years, when the fourth book in the series, 'A Feast for Crows,' was released. Those fans can finally be satiated: 'A Dance With Dragons,' the fifth book in the planned seven-novel series, hits the bookshelves today.
The series concerns a kingdom in a rather grim swords & (to a much lesser degree) sorcery setting and focuses primarily on the Stark family, the hereditary rulers of the kingdom's far north. However, a vast array of characters are spotlighted and developed; 'A Dance with Dragons,' for instance, promises 16 "point of view" characters. It is this level of detail that helps to make the series compelling to fans, and what makes its creation so difficult.
Martin, a longtime author of books and an experienced television writer, explained to CNN that the latest book "was very difficult to finish." His draft manuscript was about 1,500 pages -- 500 more than he'd intended -- and thus was more complex than anticipated.
The book is available nationwide in bookstores for $35 hardcover ($18.81 via Amazon as of publication), or about $15 for the Kindle (eBook) edition.
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