We’ve been talking about it for a while, but now, the Kindle release of A Hymn for Spring is live on Amazon and ready for your reading pleasure. BryndenBFish and I both have contributed essays for the book, and we’ve been waiting eagerly for our readers to dive into them. Jeff goes into great depth explaining how Stannis Baratheon proves to be one of the most flexible commanders and claimants to the Iron Throne in the face of Donal Noye’s quote about Stannis being “hard and brittle,” offering the readers an alternate view of one of the most controversial candidates in the books and decisively proving the equation Stannis = Mannis. I discuss Robert’s Rebellion, drawing parallels between campaigns as varied as the Scipian campaign in Hispania against Hasdrubal Barca to the Sekigahara campaign between Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu. I also offer a revised look at Robert Baratheon himself and discuss what kind of commander could successfully overthrow an entrenched political dynasty, a sample of which follows:
“It’s easy to dismiss Robert Baratheon as an oaf guided by his intellectual superior, Jon Arryn. Robert was skilled in matters relating to the warhammer certainly, and charming as anyone when it came to making friends (his bastards did not father themselves, after all), but not skilled in anything requiring critical thought. Many point to his absentee rule as king as evidence for this argument, but the battle of Summerhall, Robert’s first battle as sole commander, highlights Robert’s keen tactical mind and stands a stern rebuttal to any who believe Robert to have been uneducated or moronic.”
But it’s not just us. You can also read Steven Attewell of Race for the Iron Throne explain how Machiavellian principles only get players in the game of thrones so far and how Littlefinger swindled Westeros. Stefan Sasse of The Nerdstream Era discusses how the Great Fathers of Westeros exert influence and exact a heavy due on Westeros as a whole, the myriad factors that went into the First Blackfyre Rebellion, and the psychological makeup of Barristan Selmy. Amin Javadi of A Podcast of Ice and Fire presents a unique look at the series through examining the singers and minstrels of the story, and the importance of songs to the social fabric and traditions of the mostly-illiterate Westeros. The History of Westeros podcast duo Aziz and Ashaya offer a thorough examination of Harrenhal and debate who among the castle’s many lords did the Curse of Harrenhal strike. John Jasmin of the Tower of the Hand uses board games to offer a surprising and refreshing take on Martin’s work. Finally, Alexander Smith concludes the book decisively by comparing the book series to the show, using six characters as his lens to discuss where the show improves upon the titular work, and where it falls short.
Let us know what you think!