The Stories of the Northlands Begins

In concrete jungles of brick and stone,
Down in’t south you’ve never known,
Of monsters, ghosts, beasts and boars,
That dwell within the lands up North.
A story told, a whisper shared,
In earnest so a life is spared,
For myths and legends oft come true,
In the lands up to the North of you.

To be continued…

This is an opening poem for the start of my A to Z challenge.
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

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A to Z Challenge Theme Revealed

So the time has come, April is almost upon us and the A to Z Challenge starts. This is my second challenge and I have learnt from last year to prepare, so for over a month I’ve been writing notes and rhymes all on my theme…

The Untold Stories of the Northlands

This is something I’ve worked on before but chose to save it for the April A to Z. Whilst on a trip to Glasgow I wrote The Untold Stories of Scotland and ever since wanted to write something similar about the area I live in. The stories you will read over the month are all based on things around Northumberland England, I can’t promise you these tales are 100% true, in fact you’ll be lucky if they are 1% true…

A huge thank you to Arlee Bird for setting up the challenge! I am looking forward to seeing what the month and challenge brings!
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

A Storm of Swords – George R. R. Martin

***No Spoiling Ahead***

Storm of Swords

The third book from the ‘A song of Ice and fire’ series By George R. R. Martin, A Storm of Swords carries on from where A Clash of Kings left us hanging.

With Series 3 of A Game of Thrones upon us, I couldn’t wait to finish the book. And it took some finishing. A book so vast that it can be bought in 2 halves and the series itself will also be split. It’s took me a few months to finish and my, my has it been emotional.

Book 1, A Game of Thrones, like the Series, sets the scene in Westeros, it introduces you to families and the houses. We learn of the Lannisters, The Baratheons who hold the Iron throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms, The Starks of Winterfell in the North, and the Targereons who ruled before being usurped. You are given first impressions of the characters, taking an instant dislike to the Lannisters and rooting for the Starks, but how this will all change in the books ahead.

Book 2, A Clash of Kings, introduces new characters and families, we learn more of the lesser houses and their alliances. We find the 7 Kingdoms separated by the death of King Robert Baratheon, with 4 possibly 5 people feeling they have rights to the throne, you expect this to be something that isn’t settled amicably, and of course the book ends with a battle of the Black Water, where 2 kings clash in a fight for Kings Landing.

With the first 2 books, merely a build up, people moving about and preparing for war, building their armies and defending. You expect book 3, A Storm of Swords to be a big one, with battles, beheading and more betrayal. But this book is more than you could ever even take a stab at. You develop a love for characters you were hoping would take a good bloody beating in the first 2, the chapters in the first 2 which were slightly a little boring (I’m talking about Catelyn and Sansa) are some of the best, with every chapter leaving you in suspense, by ending with a shocker.

In true George R R Martin Style there are deaths (a-plenty) that are sudden and you just won’t see you coming, so expect many twists and turns in the upcoming series.

If you are a fan of the TV series, the books are not going to disappoint. They are everything the series is and more. I feel they are a tad more fantasy than the series, and one thing I love is you hear more stories, told as tales about aurochs and giants and dragons. The book plays with your emotions and I have high hopes for book 4; A Feast for Crows.

The only negative thing about A Storm if Swords was the amount of people in the book, for this I am glad I watched series 1 and 2 before reading, as I already had an understanding of the characters and had an image of what they look like. There is also a section in the back of the book explaining who people are and I do have to refer to this often.

In summary, Im now a game of thrones geek, I even follow them on twitter and this book is by far the best thing I’ve read, I’d give it 10 out of 10 and I recommend you to read A Song of Ice and Fire series.