A Song of Ice and Fire (series)
George R. R. Martin
Many books hinge on plot twists, some genres excel in it. The double-cross, the betrayal, the “out of the blue” and the ulterior motive revealed are pretty common in literature. But when you hold absolutely nothing sacred in your storyline? That’s pretty rare.
Unless you are George R.R. Martin. In his sprawling and lush Ice and Fire series (so far, A Game of Thrones; A Clash of Kings; A Storm of Swords; A Feast for Crows; A Dance with Dragons), it quickly becomes apparent that even being a hero or a major player is not a guarantee of making it into the next chapter. Good does not always triumph – but neither does evil. In fact, it’s often unclear what is good and what is evil – that perspective can change depending on which character is being followed. And in perhaps the most deft touch of all, Martin can easily show us the human side of the monsters and the despicable side of the noble that keep us as readers constantly on our toes.
In Martin’s series, tragedy truly is tragic, and the beauty that is there is all the more rapturous because of the darkness that seems to seep out of the human soul… his books are not easy reads because they do not shy away from that darkness, and yet they remain shot full of honor and hope. I’d love to give you some real examples of some of the more shocking plot twists, but I dare not – because the spoilers in doing so are just too huge. You’ll just have to read them for yourself. You really should.