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A Game of Groans: A Sonnet of Slush and Soot    by George R. R. Washington order for
Game of Groans
by George R. R. Washington
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've long been a fan of George R. R. Martin's dark epic, Song of Ice and Fire (one of the best fantasy series ever), the latest episode being the fifth, A Dance with Dragons. In his saga of the Starks of Winterfell and of the Night's Watch, dedicated to holding the Wall against growing horrors beyond, Martin paints a world at odds in subtle shades of grey, and is incredibly hard those who populate his brutal medieval reality - beloved characters regularly perish in unspeakable ways.

I also recently watched the first season of the Game of Thrones HBO series, and found it exceptionally well done, remarkably true to the original. So I was well prepared to open George R. R. Washington's A Game of Groans: A Sonnet of Slush and Soot, billed on the back cover as 'a parody of the beloved fantasy doorstop ... er, saga'.

The Wall (which is melting) is there of course, guarded by the Fraternity of the Swatch, and attacked by a most unlikely set of Others, garnered from popular culture. The tale centers on the Barker family, opening on young Allbran's participation in their 'weekly Deserter Demolition'. The direwolves have morphed into direpandas. Sasha Barker is affianced to Goofrey Barfonme. The dwarf is now a giant. Onions - and onion cream pie fights - flavor almost every page. Ravens gossip ... And, of course, Summer is coming.

You get the idea. And if you want more, you'll just have to wait for 'A Crash of Bling: A Sonnet of Slush and Soot, Book 2, coming March 27, 2138' where you can expect that 'little happens, and nothing is resolved.'

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