Bookworld with Brendle: George R.R. Martin's "A Guild of Men"
The reader is forced to consider whether Vitus, who insists on dismantling the order, advocates reintegration with society, and demands an official admission that the sacred texts are simply profane nonsense can outwit Elderr Gutlon, whose intimate knowledge of the texts, as well as his undying ability to endlessly argue with anyone about them at any time, gives him the upper hand with the rest of the guild. The story culminates in a violent rebellion, with the guild splitting into two factions: those who side with Vitus, and those who desire the uninterrupted continuity of the sacred order, led by Gutlon and Elaze, who find common ground during the struggle. Without giving too much away, fans of Martin's A Dance of Flame and Ice won't be surprised when these seemingly pacifistic monks begin to sharpen the axe.
RR Martin himself commented on his newest work: "This is my most important work to date. Its implications affect all of my previous work and that of those who preceded me. The Elderr must defend the guild against its detractors! Vitus is a clever fiend, my Iago, if you will, and his rhetoric is sharp and powerful. But the keen reader will see through his wicked cleverness, and find that the guild does serve a purpose, and that great books, really, really great books, deserve their sacred following. There's a whole world inside these books, a world of mystery, wonder, and magic. What a shame it would be if we were to forsake that for the so-called 'real world' in which nothing interesting ever happens." Martin then entered a bookstore for a surprise book signing, dressed in full regalia from the HBO Games of the Throne miniseries costume department.
Martin's new book will be available in a special Collector's Edition for $39.99. Enthusiasts are encouraged to buy at least two copies, so they can keep a pristine mint copy in their personal archives.
Andrew Ohlmann designed the Guild of Men cover; you can find more of his work here. Mark Brendle also writes for Et tu,Mr. Destructo; his previous Bookworld update concerned J.K. Rowling. You can follow him on Twitter.