So I've just finished the fifth book of George RR Martin's "Game of Thrones". There are now so many different viewpoints that you can go a whole book without a particular character appearing. I've also had one scene appear from two different narratives. It jarred at first because some of the aspects which, at the time of the scene, were unknown to two characters who appeared in that same scene when narrated from a different characters perspective. I probably need to re-read the two accounts side-by-side! Fortunately this doesn't happen too often otherwise I'd have to accuse Mr Martin of padding!
I am apparently going to have to wait a while before book six appears. With long epic series there is always the concern that the author will die before the book is complete. I might start going to medieval re-enactments in order to start researching ready to line myself up as a ghost-writer! Of course I'm being flippant :)
In all seriousness, the series falls squarely into medieval fantasy. It is clearly influenced by accounts of medieval Britain and the various plots, sub-plots, family feuds and invasions. The magic systems are more subtle than in other fantasy series. There are hints at them and hints at lost magic.
Religion plays a fairly key part in the series. It's a little confusing though. For the first book or two there are two religions: the old gods and the seven (probably inspired by shift in religions from paganism to Christianity. The Red god is introduced quite suddenly. Other religions are introduced as we are introduced to the people who follow them but Rhllor and the "red religion" appears from nowhere. Again, it is a part of the series I should re-read.
I say religion plays a key part but I don't think there is a single religious festival within the series. When I think back to Wheel of Time and how it opens with Beltane/ Beltain, this seems to be a glaring omission. It serves to mark the passage of time.
Overall, this is an impressive achievement and one I shall enjoy re-reading.
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