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I recently finished the fifth and most recent instalment of the excellent series A Song of Ice and Fire. Some of you may be familiar with the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which is named after the first book. I highly highly recommend it! I have loved the books so far, and am seriously considering starting them all over again. The TV series is also particularly excellent. I mean, it has Sean Bean, how could it not be fantastic? I’ve also developed a bit of a crush on Kit Harington, who plays my crush in the book, John Snow.

But what really stands out for me are the women. The women in the books are amazing. Ranging from young children, to old women, they are so strong! Even sensitive, naive, and vain Sansa. And I promise you will all fall in love with young and feisty Arya. And Daenerys Targaryen!!! Ok, I’ll stop now.

The book doesn’t wash over the violence and exploitation women faced in medieval times and today. The story is very brutal, at times I was completely overwhelmed and had to walk away and have a cup of tea to compose myself. But after five minutes I was curled up on the couch with my new friends again.

If, like me, you like having a sound track for your books, I recommend Bon Iver’s self titled album. It fit perfectly for me. The only problem is, whenever I listen to the album (like right now), I want to pick up the book and start again.

And for those of you who say ‘oh, I don’t read fantasy…’ Get over yourselves, it’s brilliant. Have you ever read a fantasy novel? Probably not. You’re just stereotyping.

Note: It contains a lot of violence and some graphic sex scenes, so don’t read it or watch the series if that will make you uncomfortable.

Note: If you have read fantasy (or science fiction for that matter) and genuinely don’t like it, then please ignore my comment above. It was directed at those (usually women) who dismiss the entire genre without ever having read it, based only on their own bias.

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