Since I’m not one to follow trends, when I heard that A Games of Thrones (the TV show) was based on a book series, I shrugged them both off. It probably wasn’t that good, I told myself, just like most trends tend to be. But recently the hubs and I decided to give the show a try anyway, and lo and behold, we love it! Because I didn’t want to waste the money, ahem, I asked around until I found a friend who had the books and promptly borrowed them. By the way, no one mentioned these novels are 800+ pages each! I can’t explain the squeal of glee when I first held them in my hands; I have a weird love for super long novels. But, I digress. I just finished A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am that we decided to give this world a try. This novel was incredible, plain and simple.
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.
I have to point out something before I get started. I was told that George. R.R. Martin is a lot like Tolkien. That it’s a lot of information, lots of descriptions, just like Tolkien’s work. At first I didn’t see the similarities, but after a while I started to realize, everyone is totally correct. There is a lot of information in this novel/series, just like in Tolkien’s, to keep track of. However, I’d go so far as to say Martin blows Tolkien out of the water with information, characters and their their back stories. Each chapter is in a different characters voice; there are like 7 (I didn’t actually count, sorry) that it switches between. Each character has multiple threads of storyline to follow, with histories, dreams/plans, you name it. And, each thread leads back to every ‘main’ character many times throughout the story. So don’t go expecting an easy, but super long novel. There is a ton to remember and keep track of, but it is beyond worth it!
Now, if you’ve seen the TV series, you are aware that there are a lot of characters. I loved each one since they all bring a new perspective to the story. Though to save us all some time, I will only discuss a few. I have to say Daenerys Targaryen is my all time favorite. She starts out very timid, very submissive and let’s be honest, weak. But then we see her grow and she becomes something fierce and a force to be reckoned with. LOVE HER! Another character I really enjoyed was Arya Stark, she is a fighter with tons of spunk and someone I have a feeling is going to go far. Then there is the Imp Tyrion, he speaks my language of sarcasm, haha, so of course he’s on my favorite list. And, even though they weren’t characters per say, I love love love the direwolves! Scary, brutal, but loyal to their master like nothing I’ve ever seen! Oh how I want one! Anyway, there really wasn’t a character I didn’t connect with. Well, Joffrey and Arya’s sister Sansa both drove me nuts, but I think they are supposed to. I loved how you get to peak into different aspects of the story. Everyone had a different voice, a different take on their world. It makes total sense why these novels are so long. They have to be otherwise the story wouldn’t be so rich.
At 807 pages, you might think the storyline becomes tired and repetitive by the end, but it doesn’t. Martin keeps the flow going smoothly from beginning to end with one twist after another all leading back to the main storyline- the fight over a kingdom. No one gets left out as the story progresses either; everyone has a job and does it well. Each twist was exciting and well choreographed, I might add. I worried about it being one nasty, bloody battle after another, but it’s not, though there are plenty. The fight scenes weren’t as descriptive as I thought they’d be, but they were still impressive. All of the battles, both bloody and verbal, come and go at a good pace so you don’t become overwhelmed or tired of the fighting. Since something is always happening, there is never a dull moment. And even though there is a lot of treachery going on, nothing becomes repetitive. Bottom line, I was thoroughly impressed by how well written A Game of Thrones was.
To say I loved this novel is an understatement! A Game of Thrones is a magical tale full of excitement and intrigue that tugs at the heart strings. I’m thrilled that I have the rest of the series so I don’t have to wait to find out what happens next. Now if only I can read as fast as lightening, since the hubster wants to get caught up on all the seasons TODAY.