By: George R.R.Martin
Series: A Song Of Ice and Fire
To be honest I’ve never been much of a fantasy reader. For some reason the fantasy genre never interested me but I decided to watch the Game of Thrones television series to decide if reading the series would be worth it. After reading this book I have new found respect for the fantasy genre and I just can’t wait to dive into the next book in the series!
Note: I do recommend watching the first couple of episodes of the television series before reading the book as it sets the scene and you get a better understanding. However, if you don;t like being spoiled then by all means go ahead and start reading first!
Summary: 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 honour 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. [Source: Goodreads]
I have mixed feelings towards this book but let us start off on a positive note. My favourite part about the book was the characters. George M creates this wide range of people from the young to the old and from the wicked to the innocent. At The start of the book you are able to categorise the characters into black and white as in these are good people and these are the bad ones but towards the end there are these twists and turns, it is revealed who these people are actually loyal to and when the character’s true nature starts showing this is where the lines start getting blurred and you just can’t differ the good from the bad anymore.
The chapters are narrated by the point of views of a group of people: Catelyn (Lord Eddard’s wife), Arya and Sansa (Lord Eddard’s young daughters), Jon Snow (Lord Eddard’s bastard son), Bran (Lord Eddard’s son), Tyrion Lanister (the Queen’s brother and a dwarf) and Daenerys Targaryen (an exiled princess). I did like the fact that the chapters switched between POV’s however what this book lacked was character development, as a reader I didn’t feel the characters grow which was quite disappointing. The only person in the novel whom I felt became stronger and more confident and who changed in some way was Daenerys and I loved that! Also it was very hard to empathise with the feelings that the characters were feeling such as grief and fear, strong emotions can truly make the difference between a good book and a great book.
My favourite characters from this book would have to be definitely Tyrion Lanister- a dwarf with quite a sharp brain and I love his witty ways of thinking which tend to get him out of trouble a lot, other than that Tyrion was the only likable Lanister. I love how Daenerys Targaryen started off as an exiled princess who got married off to some horse lord and then grew into this confident queen ready to take on an army. There were a lot of names and houses and titles in this book and sometimes it did get overwhelming but it didn’t really lead to confusion as to what was happening so that was ok.
There was a lack of world building in this book which gives me the feeling that if I hadn’t watched the show beforehand I would be VERY confused going into this book. Sometimes the history of how the seven kingdoms came to be was mentioned here and there but it was never quite made clear which made it hard for me to envision things at times.
As to the writing Geroge R.R Martin really does know how to set an adventure. It was an engaging storyline with all the political drama and tension. I especially liked all the surprises as they made reading this book just so much more thrilling however there were these certain points during reading this that it just got so bland that I just wanted to put the book down especially because it’s such a long read. The dialogues in this book were fantastic and very interesting to read most of the time.
Overall, A Game of Thrones by George R.R.Martin was an adventurous read which has made me look at the fantasy genre in a different light and I would definitely recommend it to fantasy lovers or those who are trying to get into fantasy like myself.