A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I bought the four book set of A Song of Ice and Fire around Christmas and finally got around to starting the series. Though I actually let my brother start the series around the same time, so I’m waiting for him to finish the second book before me (aren’t I so nice?). A Game of Thrones is an 835 page sort of political-science-fiction-fantasy novel. It’s a little difficult to put into one genre, if you can’t tell. The story is complex and difficult to summarize, and to give a little intro, I stole a bit from the blurb of the book, “here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.”

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

The story revolves around MANY third person narratives. I would say the true main family this novel focuses on is the Stark family, who are the lords of Winterfell. Eddard and Catelyn Stark are the father and mother of Robb, Jon (Jon Snow, a bastard child), Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. You get each of their viewpoints besides Rickon, who is only three. The story also revolves around the family that basically rules the kingdom — the Lannisters. Though King Robert Baratheon is the true ruler, his wife Cersei and co. seem to actually be running the show. The Starks are good and the Lannisters are bad okay? But wait… what about the POV of Tyrion Lannister, Cersei’s imp brother who is sarcastic and witty and lovable? I think this book handles covering both sides of a disagreement pretty well. Though I disliked every other Lannister, Tyrion held my attention and favor.

Besides the two main families, across the sea, another viewpoint is given — that of Daenerys Targaryen, the sister to the heir of the throne before the Usurper (King Robert) took the throne from the Targaryens. She is young, and to be married to a khas, or a sort of horse-king of the Dothraki. Her brother is hell bent on recovering power and the throne, which is why he practically sells her to Drogo, the horse-king, in return for a promise of use of his warriors against the Usurper. One of the only mentions of something supernatural happens around Dany, which is in part why I enjoyed reading about her. I am truly hoping that magic is explored a little more in the following novels, though I know the books will be enjoyable regardless.

Luckily for those easily confused or interested in knowing more background, there is basically a family history in the back of the book — information about each major family in the book. Once everyone is known, the plot is truly a game of thrones — while King Robert holds the throne, everything is pretty normal, besides the Targaryens plotting to steal back the throne. However, due to the Hand of the king, Jon Arryn’s death, Eddard Stark is summoned to be the new Hand and has to travel away from his home and family. Once in King’s Landing, many things go amiss  and it seems to pit the Starks against the Lannisters, and as they say, here the plot thickens.

Though this book took me quite a while to finish, I would say that I enjoyed it very much. The plot was intensely complex, and the characters were all great (even if some of them were just great to hate). The only characters that I really didn’t enjoy reading were Sansa and Catelyn. I believe that is because Sansa is practically a simpleton who only cares for things young ladies should care for (unlike Arya who enjoys learning about fighting), and Catelyn who just never did interesting things, besides capture the imp. My favorite characters to read were Arya, Tyrion, and Jon. Towards the end of the book I also really enjoyed Daenerys’s parts. The characters were all extremely well-developed and enjoyable to read about (and really, the characters I disliked were fun to hate). I can’t wait to read more about the world that George R.R. Martin created. Overall, this is a solid political-science-fiction-fantasy book. If you enjoy epic fantasy, you will probably like this book. I plan to continue the series in August, as I’ll be reading The Once and Future King and then doing a reread of The Hobbit until then. I also hope to get into the show, which I’ve heard is amazing.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Adam
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 17:06:42

    Tyrion is easily my favorite character throughout the series and one of the most interesting characters that I’ve read in fiction in quite some time.


  2. Kate Andrews @ Fantasy Romance Novels
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 20:43:32

    I haven’t read any series of this books I would really love too if I could find time a copy of this book really soon.


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