2015 Reading Challenge: Pair 2

2. Redwall series by Brian Jacques & A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

The two books in this pair are Redwall series by Brian Jacques and A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin.  Here is the note from the BuzzFeed article:

Rich, generation-spanning histories. Magic and mythology. Epic warfare. Feuding families. Badass ladies. So many feasts. Both series are chock-full of all of it. The world of A Song of Ice and Fire just happens to be inhabited by humans, not mice.

Do you agree these were good compliments?  What did you think of the books themselves?

Note: I have linked my reviews to each of the respective books as the titles in the beginning of this post.  Also, if you have not read the books, I may have spoilers below so watch out!

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The thing I love about epic series is that become all-consuming and addictive.  Forget the real world, while reading them I am living and breathing the world the author has created.  And often afterward I have a serious “book hangover” in the form of denial of all things mundane.  As the BuzzFeed article indicates, both Redwall and A Song of Ice and Fire series do have vivid and rich histories, magic, warfare, good vs. evil and badass characters.  Brian Jacques in particular is known for his evocative scenery as his stories were originally written for a school of the blind that he was involved with.

You can tell Redwall will be a happy ending with characters like this.

You can tell Redwall will be a happy ending with characters like this.

That being said I think there are some significant differences as well.  In “Redwall”, the violence is mentioned almost in passing, never detailed, and the story quickly moves on.  This may be because it is a children’s series, but I have certainly read young adult novels with a lot more violence.  George R.R. Martin, as many may know, seems to relish in violence.  Don’t get attached to any characters because he mercilessly removes them as the story demands in as bloody of a way possible.

Both series contain epic battles, but while “Redwall” is good versus evil, A Song of Ice and Fire tends to be more along the lines of “every man for himself”.  Along with that feuding families approach, George R. R. Martin does a lot of background and detailed information about his characters.  The story is more of a slow build culminating in a massive and intense battle.  Brian Jacques’ books tend to be a series of short action scenes that build upon each other like a relay race of obstacles to overcome.  I point this out because I believe fans of Redwall may not be fans of A Song of Ice and Fire for this reason.  George R. R. Martin requires patience to get through and Redwall is fast-moving. 

A Song of Ice and Fire contains gritty, intense characters.

A Song of Ice and Fire contains gritty, intense characters.

Personally, I love both series, but I do not agree that may be the case for the majority of people.  The main things the series have in common are that they’re both long fantasy series with extremely detailed imagery.  The Redwall series certainly may be a stepping-stone for younger audiences to get into longer reads, but I believe there are other fantasy series out there that adult Redwall fans may find friendlier (ex. I think The Lord of the Rings would be a better compliment).

 

Summary: I agree the books have aspects in common, but I DO NOT agree they’re necessarily complimentary.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with my thoughts or that Lord of the Rings might be a better alternative?