I love history and the pleasure I get reading it is almost equivalent to the pleasure I derive from fiction reading. Not unexpectedly, I do enjoy historical novels for they bring together fiction and history but Martin’s new book is something else. This is fictional history delivered in a gorgeous package, full of little insights into the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. At the same time that it gives you the background history and the big picture of the fictional world, it also provides those details that make you understand better where some of these characters are coming from and what drives them.
The ‘historical’ figure that impressed me the most was Aegon Targeryan, the Conqueror. Just watching the TV series you may have the impression that Aegon invaded Westeros as a plague descending upon the land, in the best fashion of Attila, the Hun. Far from it, Aegon was a just warrior and a wise ruler. The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is a treat to the fans and an important contribution to the construction of Martin’s world.
Martin, G.R.R., Garcia, E.M. and Antonsson, L. (eds) (2014) The World of Ice & Fire. London: HarperCollins.