Tor.com is one of the sites I read several times a week, and Leigh Butler’s Read of Ice and Fire is one of the reasons.
The site’s authors have done other “re-reads” of popular works, like Butler’s Wheel of Time re-read or Rajan Khanna’s recent Chronicles of Amber re-read. Sometimes the re-readers notice things we’ve missed or forgotten. Sometimes they love characters we hated or loathe characters we loved. Always they offer a fresh perspective.
What I love about Leigh Butler’s Read of Ice and Fire is that it isn’t a re-read of the George R.R. Martin series. This is her first time through the series, and we get to watch her surprise, delight, and anguish as she encounters plot twists that first started shocking us in 1996. Of course, she also has the benefit of five volumes in print before she began reading.
With a saga as long as A Song of Ice and Fire, it’s a joy to read her concise but complete chapter summaries and then her lively reaction. She’s smart, so often she spots the foreshadowing that many of us missed on first reading the books. But she’s remaining spoiler-free, so sometimes she’s surprised. When her hatred for a character gradually transforms to grudging sympathy and even affection, it’s like experiencing the same emotion again years after our first reading.
Also, Butler’s commentary is ebullient, perceptive, and witty. You can discuss her reactions, spoiler-free, below each post. If you simply must you can alternatively move to the spoiler forums, where you can chat with others who know what’s coming.
Don’t read A Read of Ice and Fire if you haven’t read the books, but do check it out once you have.
If you haven’t yet read the books, I encourage you to try the audio versions narrated by Roy Dotrice. Much as I love the books and the TV show, the audiobooks are by far my favorite expression of the story. Plus, they help the lawn get mowed, the driveway get shoveled, and the dog get walked.