Saturday, December 10

Book Review: A Game of Thrones

Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 1)

Author: George R. R. Martin

Pages: EBook 773

Summary: Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I’ve put off this series for some time, partially because the amount of time I’d have to invest in reading it and I was hoping to close off other series I’m reading before starting yet another. It’s been a good series so far, the first book was well done and I enjoyed it a lot.

Martin does a good job at creating a clear and different voice for each of his characters, with the focus moving from character to character, I’ve found it harder to differentiate in other novels that have done this, but it works well in this book (and so far the entire series.) While it is in third person, he still manages to create the right tone, thought process for each character, which helps pull you into the story (unless you don’t like the character, but nothing can really help with me with that).
I also enjoyed the detail surrounding his characters and their backstories, only a few things are revealed at a time, although because I’ve watched most of the show I do have some idea what’s coming, the author has done an amazing job at pacing his characters growth and secrets, they are well developed and naturally developing. I have my favourites, ones I hate because they are horrible people, and ones I hate because I find them annoying, but the cast of characters, no matter my feelings for them, is wonderfully done. I’m a Arya and Tyrion fan, they’re the two characters I enjoy the most. Not a big fan of John Snow and Daenerys, which I seem to be in the minority with, but John Snow seems to act very privileged and naive considering the circumstances he’s in, and my dislike for Daenerys has grown more now that I’m in the second book.  Although, I do have to remind myself that these are children in the books, so their ways of thinking that of teenage children.
I’m enjoying the overall story and I’m interested in what will come out of it in the end. I wish there was more detail about the old gods versus the new, although that too is slowly being revealed over the course of the books, I want more now. The first book moved fairly quickly, the pacing was right and I felt everything connected together.

Overall, an enjoyable book and looks like it will be an enjoyable series. I’m, looking forward to seeing the differences between the show and book in the rest of the series (I’ve read all the spoilers and have seen most of the TV series, so I know what’s to come who die, who lives and all that, but I want to see how much has changed).

Would I recommend it to read: The book is well written, engaging story, it is well worth reading. While it’s descriptive and detailed it isn’t overly detailed which is something I know some don’t like about epic fantasy (I love it), so I think a lot of people would like it.

What to read next: The second book in the series, Clash of Kings.

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