REVIEW: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R. R. Martin
Publisher: Bantam Books
Release Date: 1996
Source: Bought at One More Page Books
“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.” – Bantam Books
If you have been on the internet or have watched TV lately, you know that HBO has just made George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, the first season starting off with A Game of Thrones. I have been watching the series, and now I know just how true they are to the books. My boyfriend insisted that I read these books, and so I have just started the fourth book, after finishing the first book only a week ago. Believe me, at first I did not want to start a 700 page book with all of the reading I want to get done. Yet, as soon as I got a few chapters into the first book, I was hooked.
If you have read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss , then you are going to love this book. It is so much more involved and intense than any other series I have read in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre. Each chapter tells the story of a different character, all in third person, so it is not at all difficult to follow. If you love action, adventure, intrigue, romance, battle scenes, and political turmoil all mixed into a fantasy world, then this is the book for you. I would caution that A Game of Thrones, and all of the books, are insanely graphic. If you do not like vivid descriptions of gore and sex, I would not read this series.
I think, though, that my favorite aspect of these books is that they feature strong female characters. I have read too many fantasy books where there are no mail female protagonists, or if there are female characters, then they are damsels in distress with nothing better going for them than their looks. Martin is able to create not only believable female characters of every age, but also strong women who are so extremely human in all of their actions. Some might find these books depressing because there is so much death and destruction, but I think that they merely represent life. There are no perfect happy endings, but that does not mean there is no joy in living. I give this book a 4 out of 5.