Thursday, April 11, 2013

Game of Thrones Withdrawal Syndrome

ISBN-10: 0199931526
ISBN-13: 9780199931521
Published: Oxford University Press
Pages: 273
Language: English
Readers, I have a fever, and the only prescription is more Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, I've read all of the books (multiple times) and the excellent HBO adaptation, believe it or not, takes week-long breaks between episodes! Under the assumption that some of you might be suffering from the same affliction, I have decided to initiate a series of recommendations tentatively entitled: A Song of Books That I Really Like, and That Have Lots of Violence and Politicking and Maybe a Little Romance, Cause, You Know, Girls. It's a working title.

For the first entry, I'd like to recommend the tale of an extremely powerful king, ruling over a vast tract of land, who dies without an apparent heir and leaves his former allies to duke it out in a bloody battle for supremacy. Sounds like the stuff of epic fantasy, right? Well, guess what-- *record scratch*-- it's all true! Histories of Alexander the Great and his impressive conquests often tend to ignore the equally significant and fascinating aftermath, when his talented generals started to carve up the barely established empire into smaller and smaller pieces. Waterfield's history is a fantastic evocation of the rapid shifts in fortune, bloody battles, back-stabbings and diplomatic maneuvering that would eventually produce the stable(ish) Hellenistic political landscape that lasted for centuries on. It's gripping stuff. Plus, Waterfield manages to describe all of that action in about the same amount of pages that George R.R. Martin would devote to one feast (Zing!).

So, dear theoretical reader, take a little stroll through Post-Alexandrian history and ward off those Throne-less blues. If you have any suggestions for later entries in this extremely well-defined series, let me know. The only real requirement is epicness. Be quick about it: winter is coming.

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