How to quickly relive your favourite fantasy series, and learn something too
By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor
Remember finishing that last page of Return of the King? Or how satisfying it was to close the thousand-paged, fourteenth and final book of the Wheel of Time series? Ever think about how well-crafted the world was, how intricately the story lines intersected, and how important those characters were to you as you read through book after book, but know in your heart that to tackle the entire series all over again simply would not fit in your day-to-day life?
Well, it doesn’t have to. The fine folks over at Tor.com have done a service to all who enjoy the long, determined journeys of our favourite fantasy protagonists. On their website there are read-throughs of many fantasy novels, from Wheel of Time to still-not-yet-finished A Song of Ice and Fire.
These read-throughs provide synopses for each and every chapter of the books, as well as a detailed commentary on the goings on, a vital addition for any reader (myself included) who may have missed some of the hidden foreshadowing or deeper meanings throughout.
I find these to be particularly useful for a series that I have already finished, as I get to enjoy the story and remember all the good—or dangerous, or frightening, or downright deadly—times along the way, without having to lug a series of three-pound books around for the next year or so.
The writing style of the blog posts is conversational, as though a friend who knows waaaay more about the series than you do is explaining it to you over beers, and the blog writer Leigh Butler (who covers WoT and ASoIaF) provides quirks and laughs throughout. The posts are published once a week when they are being worked on, though for the series mentioned above, they are all completed. (Expect for ASoIaF, but that is due to George’s molasses-fast fingers.)
The chapters are usually explained in roughly half a page of text, and an entire book can be “read” through in about an hour or two. While a reader may not get to experience a full immersion into the world created by the writer, the additional commentary can provide a perspective that one may not have noticed upon a first solo read.
So if you’re ever missing the fictional lands that you had once spent countless hours in, but only have a few hours free, here is a nice in-between that consoles that craving and still leaves plenty of time to spare. And, just maybe, a new fact about your favourite book.