Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honor weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne. (goodreads.com)
A Game of Thrones, the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, is incredible! I am not going to be too detailed because there are thousands of other reviews out there, but hopefully I will provide enough information for you to decide if you want to read this book.
The book is written from multiple viewpoints, but it is easy to read because they are separated by chapters. Each chapter is a different person you are reading about. It is also written in a unique dialogue, but Martin still makes it understandable. I had no difficulty reading through the book. Also, this book flows very well because there are not many places in which you would actually want to stop reading (probably the only one in the series that has such little down-time). Oh! and his writing is fantastic!
The story is original, multi-layered with lots of sub plots, and is non-formulaic (good beats bad against impossible odds). It is incredibly exciting, suspenseful, mysterious, and very unpredictable. There is almost no way for you to know what is going to happen.
The story is also very violent. This may upset some people, so it will be good to know going in that there is a lot of battles, sex, incest, swearing, and just about everything else.
The characters are well developed and enjoyable. Some are even clever and secretive. Unlike most fantasy books, Martin’s characters are not totally good or evil, they are definitely in between. His characters are also very personable. You can think of them as real people and you develop strong emotions towards them throughout the novel. I’m not going to say which characters, but many of his characters are killed off and new ones appear throughout the series. If that bothers you than this may not be the book for you.
If you are tired of reading formulaic fantasy, having the heroes stay alive against impossible odds, and a lot of violence doesn’t bother you, than I would definitely give this series a try. However, this is the only book in the series that can stand alone (just barely since I know I wanted to read more) so be in for a huge time commitment if you read past this book. Also, be in for a disappointment if you love all of the books and then get left without closure on book 5, since the others haven’t been released yet.
Note: If you want to watch the TV show I would definitely read the books first or you will get bored with the books because they become predictable.
My rating: 5/5 stars!
George R.R Martin’s Website is full of information about him and his books
An awesome wiki site gives information about characters, culture, history, houses, and geography, and provides chapter summaries for every book in the series.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ star adopted dog that played her direwolf (nydailynews.com) (Spoiler Alert)
- George R. R. Martin Shows Us What the Iron Throne Really Looks Like Via Terrifying Illustration (tor.com)
*photo provided by wikipedia.org