Book of the Week: 'Dying of the Light' by George R.R. Martin

Book of the Week: 'Dying of the Light' by George R.R. Martin

Wow, I expected more from the genius behind Westoros.

I never thought I’d find myself being disappointed with a book by one of the greatest modern day fantasy writers alive. Dying of The Light has so much potential of being a great story but it just fails in so many ways.

The story takes place on the planet Worlorn, a rogue planet that has no true gravitational orbit with any star system and drifts through the universe. For the past few decades, it had been within life-giving range of a six-star system, but now that it's moving away, the planet is slowly dying. The cast is a group of characters who are also flirting with death. Dirk t'Larien, the protagonist, finds life empty and of little attraction, after his girlfriend, Gwen Delvano leaves him. Most poignant of all, the Kavalar race, into which she has "married," is dying culturally. Their home planet has survived numerous attacks in a planetary war, and in response, they have evolved social institutions and human relationship patterns to cope with the deprivation of the war. Yet now that the war is long past, they find themselves trapped between those who would recognize that the old ways need to be reviewed for the current day and those who believe that any dilution of the old ways spells the end of Kavalar culture.

The problem I have with this book is it seems to go from one plot to another leaving each unresolved. At the beginning of the book, Dirk is summoned to Worlorn by Gwen, seemingly desperate for his company. Dirk goes there in hopes of rekindling a romance that fell apart years ago. Then it turns out that Gwen is married or I should say “owned” in this case to a Kavalar named Jaan, who has studied cultures outside of Worlorn so it’s a very big deal that he, in fact, welcomed Dirk upon his arrival since he is an outsider to the planet. It’s very clear that there is no romantic passion in this marriage by the way.

Gwen also is trying to study the dying ecosystem of the planet, despite knowing the planets days are numbered, a plot point that is barely acknowledged throughout the story and is only there to give Gwen a purpose into why she hasn’t left the planet. Also the supposed budding romance between Dirk and Gwen is just aweful, because there are so many moments when Dirk has his head in the clouds and Gwen constantly rebuffs his advances despite CONSTANTLY insisting she needs him!!

Throughout the book, there are these highly conservative Kavalar’s who are after Jaan, Dirk and Gwen, because Jaan is apparently a lot more left wing in terms of his customs and breaking of Kavalar traditions, which does make sense considering the Kavalar is a dying culture so it makes sense to have Kavalar who are very conservative in tradition taking extreme measures to maintain its culture. And yet I am asking myself WHAT IS THE WHOLE POINT!?!

The planet is dying anyway, the 90% of the population has left the planet, unless this is a fictional version of Heaven’s Gate and they all plan to die together at the end of the world, I can’t find any reason they would be so militant in keeping tradition. AND AT THE VERY END OF THE BOOK IT JUST STOPS! Literally on the very last page, the Kavalar’s had caught up with Dirk and challenge him to a duel because earlier in the book, they caught Dirk trying to steal their hovercar, and he had pissed them off by refusing to show up to the first duel that was to take place.

Literally it stops right on what could’ve been a climax!! The only subplot that actually gets an ending is the supposed romance between Dirk and Gwen. Gwen finally decides she is going to stay with Jaan simply because she feels she owes it to him, even though it’s a completely loveless relationship and she was so desperate to get out of it, and constantly hinted that she still wanted Dirk. You know, now that I think of it, George R.R. Martin has a talent for writing characters that I hate. I know he’s notorious for killing off characters without warning, but if he’s not killing me off, he’s making me wish they were killed, or at least maimed.

I think the worst part of all this is that the book has such redeeming features that make it so it could’ve been a great book. The planet Worlorn has such an interesting history, each City has a unique trait about them, and their origins are very complex. The idea of an impending doom is mentioned but never acknowledged by any of the characters, and considering this planet was dying you would think that it would be central to the plot.

There are these creatures called Banshees with fly in the sky of Worlorn, they kind of resemble a cross between manta rays and a flying cloak, (I know that sounds a little silly but it did give their flight patter such a creepy vibe and sort of gave them a ghost-like appearance), but with a large mouth on their underside, they attack their prey by wrapping themselves around its pray and basically its entire underside is its mouth. It’s so creepy but it was amazingly written. The study of the cultures and traditions are so interesting they create the universe within the book. All of this and almost 75% has no effect on the overall plot.

This book had such a thin plot, but there was so much to explore. I only wished there was more to the story. I don’t hate the book, but it was a disappointment.

But these are just my opinions. Have you read the book? Comment below and look out for more of my reviews.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Mania

Popular Right Now

Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.

There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Hannah B. Named The Next Bachelorette: Get Excited!!

Roll Tide.


On the season finale of the hit reality TV show 'The Bachelor' Chris Harrison announced the new Bachelorette to be Hannah Brown, affectionately referred to as "Hannah Beast." Hannah made it far in Colton's season of the Bachelor, but hit some bumps along the way. She was involved in serious drama with costar and fellow pageant competitor Caelynn. Not only is Hannah B. known for drama and tears, she is also known for her awkward and often uncomfortable behavior around the cameras. And let's not forget the most awkward first date and toast of all time...Roll Tide!

Despite her awkward and quirky personality, I think the Alabama native is truly a sweetheart. She cannot be judged based on the controversy that took place between her and Caelynn because no one knows the full truth of the story. In my opinion, no one was completely innocent in their "cat fight" but the way in which each girl handled themselves in the resolution of this drama was mature and, quite frankly, impressive. I think Hannah B's season will be full of more tears and could potentially be very uncomfortable to watch at some moments, but at the end of the say, Hannah B. deserves to find love just like any other 'Bachelor' hopeful. It will definitely be an interesting season to watch, so get excited!!

Related Content

Facebook Comments