If you cast a wide net across my book list, you’re bound to come back with some controversial books: Wheel of Time, Way of Kings, or Game of Thrones (less controversial in the post-HBO era, I suppose). And I’m not going to lie, when people ask me why they should read these books, I sometimes struggle.
It’s not that these books aren’t good, but they have certain qualities which can make them…unpalatable. And these qualities come out immediately if you talk to anybody about these series. It starts off simple; you ask them about the books and they say ‘oh, it’s like Lord of the Rings, but‘ (oh, not everything is actually like Lord of the Rings, but if you’re explaining a fantasy novel to somebody who doesn’t know fantasy, that’s a pretty good starting place, but then the list of ‘but’s starts to grow longer and longer until you’re not even sure the book is fantasy anymore).
And they start getting excited, they say: