There’s a book I’ve been recommending to many of my friends: ‘Raptor,’ by Gary Jennings. I first discovered it (i.e., stole it from my father) when I was in junior high, and I read it again at some point in high school. I picked it up a third time just the other day, and it’s even better than I’d remembered.

It’s a historical fiction about a hermaphrodite in the final days of the Roman Empire. (If that doesn’t capture your interest, nothing will.) Although the story is told as a first-person “memoir,” the writing style very much reminds me of GRRM: the elaborate histories (in this case, very much grounded in fact), the graphic (and quite often disturbing) violence and gore, and the surprising depth to characters who might otherwise have come across as reprobate and shallow. (Think Jaime Lannister.)

A very, very good read. And a means of alleviating those feelings of hopelessness and despondency that inevitably arise when one has to wait YEARS for a new Ice & Fire book.

No dragons or zombies, though. :-\