Literary rebuke to George R. R. Martin's A GAME OF THRONES

Found out about this on Westeros. . .

Evangelical Christian author Vox Day wrote a fantasy novel titled A Throne of Bones, which is meant to be a rebuke to GRRM's A Game of Thrones and the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Here's the blurb:

In Selenoth, the race of Man is on the ascendant. The ancient dragons sleep. The ghastly Witchkings are no more; their evil power destroyed by the courage of Men and the fearsome magic of the Elves. The Dwarves have retreated to the kingdoms of the Underdeep, the trolls hide in their mountains, and even the savage orc tribes have learned to dread the iron discipline of Amorr's mighty legions. But after four hundred years of mutual suspicion, the rivalry between two of the Houses Martial that rule the Amorran Senate threatens to turn violent, and unrest sparks rebellion throughout the imperial provinces. In the north, the barbarian reavers who have long plagued the coasts of the White Sea beg for the royal protection of the King of Savondir, as they flee a vicious race of wolf-demons. In the east, the war drums echo throughout the mountains as orcs and goblins gather in great numbers, summoned by their bestial gods.

And when the Most Holy and Sanctified Father is found dead in his bed, leaving the Ivory Throne of the Apostles unclaimed, the temptation to seize the Sacred College and wield Holy Mother Church as a weapon is more than some fallen souls can resist.


A Throne of Bones is the first in the Marcher Lord Hinterlands imprint. Hinterlands books may contain vulgarity, profanity, nudity, and/or sexual content, but never for gratuitous purposes. Hinterlands allows us to pursue crossover publishing that will put the word of the gospel before people who would never otherwise pick up a Christian novel. It also allows us to examine mature themes in a realistic manner that some Christians will appreciate. We know that not everyone will want to read these books, so we have set them apart into the Hinterlands imprint.

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe


The Speculative Faith Blog has an interview with Day, and here are a few golden nuggets of wisdom to whet your appetite for this book:

And to those who will roll their eyes at the idea of “a Christian answer to George Martin” and imagine it is meant in the Stryper sense, let me hasten to disabuse you of that notion. A THRONE OF BONES is neither an homage nor an imitation, it is a challenge. It is intended as a literary rebuke.

So not “answer to” meaning “imitation of,” but “riposte.” How do you feel A Game of Thrones betrayed fantasy in favor of ugliness, hate, and glorification of sinful appetites?


Now, I very much enjoyed the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire, but the idea that Martin is, or ever could be, “the American Tolkien” should offend anyone who loves Middle Earth. He would be more accurately described as “an anti-Tolkien” in much the same manner that Philip Pullman is a self-avowed “anti-Lewis”.

Don’t get me wrong. A Game of Thrones is an excellent novel when read in its own context. So are A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. But among their various themes is the subversion and overt mocking of concepts that Tolkien honored, concepts such as honor, courage, commitment, love, loyalty, and family. In Martin’s world, nobility is equated with stupidity; evil and treachery prospers abundantly on every side. While there is something to be said for rejecting the tedious old tropes of good, in the persona of the young farmboy, inevitably saving the world by triumphing over cackling, cartoonish, and cretinous evil, the reaction against the shadow of Tolkien that began with Michael Moorcock has gone much too far into nihilism and moral blindness.

I don’t object to the ugliness, hate, and perversion in A Song of Ice and Fire and other modern epic fantasies. Such things exist in all fallen worlds and must be included for the sake of verisimilitude in any work of sufficient seriousness and scope. Is there not ugliness, hate, and even perversion in the Bible? What I object to is the near-complete absence of beauty, love, and normalcy to oppose them. As I have written in other contexts, I don’t object to modern epic fantasy on moral or religious grounds, but on literary and philosophical grounds. Theories abound as to why the Martin series has declined so dramatically, but the fact that it is written from a nihilistic and overtly anti-heroic perspective may well have contributed to the lower quality of the two more recent books.


Follow this link to read the entire interview.

A literary rebuke comprised of elves, dwarves, orcs, and goblins. . . GRRM must have shat himself when he found out about this. HBO will probably cancel Game of Thrones after this season, drop Gaiman's American Gods, and give Vox Day millions of dollars to bring this tale to TV screens around the globe. . .

14 commentaires:

Morrigan said...

All I can say to that is....


JRQ said...

Ah, good old Vox. Of narcissistic ridiculousness there is no finer practitioner.

Chris said...

Personally, I've never read ASOIAF, but I can certainly understand the point. There's certainly a market for the more traditional Tolkein-esque stories, but I do think in some novels you have to read a bit deeper than the surface to find the beauty in them

Steve Erickson, Steven R Donaldson, and even the most avowed Anti-Good Guy Joe Abercrombie all created worlds that are horribly depressing overall, but that's when the good things in their stories shine through the brightest, amiright?

Bob/Sally said...

I'm trying to resist the urge to make a smart-ass comment about Evangelical Christians and their inherent obsession with fantasy, but somethings are just too easy - like critiquing the music of Stryper. :)

amysrevenge said...

I also can understand where this is coming from. The problem with this Day fellow is conflating objective and subjective criticism.

I personally don't care for the Song of Ice and Fire series, for almost the same reasons as Day. However, I fully understand that a) this is a personal preference and not an absolute measure of quality, b) I'm certainly in the minority among Fantasy fans in this regard, and c) there's nothing wrong with either of those.

DMaarten said...

What I've read of Vox in other settings, he's a real self-adoring ass. From the sampling of the interview it appears he's staying in form.

However, much as I hate to say it, I kind of like the cover. Lurid and shiny, like an old D&D manual. That doesn't mean I'm going to be reading the thing...

Neth said...

Really, why bring attention to this? Vox is little more than a loud troll. I like how Scalzi names him - Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit. And I like even better how Scalzi chose to solve his Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit problem:

Neth said...

Really, why bring attention to this? Vox is little more than a loud troll. I like how Scalzi names him - Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit. And I like even better how Scalzi chose to solve his Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit problem:

Kevin B said...

Why people keep giving this guy a platform to spout his nonsense is beyond me.

He's either dangerously delusional or an attention crazed troll, I've never been 100% convinced either way. Maybe he's both.

Jon R said...

I want to condemn this guy for what I've read about him online, because it sounds like he's an idiot, but I haven't read his novel. GRRM himself has some opinionated rants on his not a blog (though not near as bad as Day, and I'm an evangelical Christian too) but his storytelling and contribution to SFF is undeniable. I care about SFF for the novels, not the authors. Unless you are Jim Butcher, then I care about you.

Unknown said...

Reading about who this guy is, and at the risk of giving him more attention than he deserves, I just have to say this:

You have violated the laws of nature, Mr. Beale, and You! Will! Atone!

Funksoul123 said...

Anything a Fundie says should be dismmised outright in the 21st century.

Funksoul123 said...

Anything a Fundie says (of any stripe) should be dismissed outright in the 21st century.
Guy is just trying to make a dollar, pretty obvious.

Rudy Barone said...

Ugh. As predictable as it was, this comment thread gives me a headache. I swear, nothing gets the internet hate parade riled up faster than a Christian with the audacity to speak in public.

If you people have a problem with a religious person writing fantasy, I hope you're prepared to swear off Brandon Sanderson or Brent Weeks.

Look, Vox has said some dumb stuff, but he actually has a couple decent points here. "The American Tolkien" HASN'T really ever fit GRRM well as a moniker - it's meant to describe his influence and talent, not his themes, sure... but intentionally or not, he did get noticed for subverting Tolkien.

And after a while, it DOES actually start to seem a little nihilistic, a little too hopeless.

I don't agree that that's why the last two books haven't been as popular - for one, the reaction to book five has been considerably more positive than book four... and that's just because book four was boring. I got tired of listening to Cersei whine for 300 pages.

Still, I definitely think there's a market for a fantasy that does actually have a few real good guys in it, and some more traditional ideas about good and evil.

Is Vox about to be declared the new "American Tolkien"? No, of course not.

But show the guy a little respect, yeah?