Originally Posted by McDman
It is nowhere near Tolkien and Martin is much better. I couldn't put any of his books down, save maybe the fourth which was tough.
Martin is a better writer but I have issues with him too. First, is he kills off too many characters - good characters. I applaud that he is willing to break some eggs. Many writers don't. And I know he wants to create "real fear" for the reader, but by Storm of Swords I was starting to not want to emotionally invest in any character because I figured sooner or later they were going to get killed. And there are so many who are so good it seems like a waste!
He also takes a bit too long to set things up. I'm not crazy about the way his books constantly switch between characters. I realize he has to to get his stage set, especially given the scope of what he does, and he does it pretty well, but it's not a style I'm a fan of. I hate getting into a character, reading a great scene and then you have to "work through" three chapters of characters who are doing something less interesting or who you don't care as much for as the one in a critical situation.
That said, I can empathize with every single character he creates. That alone is amazing. I like his heroes, I like his villains, I like his sub characters. Even some bastard making a helmet is believable. That is what drives good stories for me; Good characters you want to read about. I suppose since he can make so many he has no qualms about discarding them willy-nilly. lol.