With their sprawls of locations and vast casts of characters, Martin's grownup fantasy novels were not supposed to be filmable. Au contraire: the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, now starting its second season, pares Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series down to its sinewy medieval essence. Meanwhile, A Dance with Dragons Book 5 in the cycle renewed readers' faith in his continuing powers. Martin is radically refashioning fantasy for our complex and jaded era, and the results are magnificent.
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