A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1
Published by Bantam on August 6, 1996
Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Adult, Dragons!
Pages: 819 : Paperback edition
Source: Inherited from my late Uncle
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A NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, NOW ON HBO.
Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
A GAME OF THRONES
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.
This is a spoiler free review
Upon completion of reading A Clash of Kings, I came to the realization that I hadn’t even written a review of the first one yet, so here we go!
When I first started reading this I was instantly confused. We’re put right in the middle of a fantasy world that has an extensive (to say the least) backstory and history to it, that slowly becomes clearer as the story progresses. I was put off by the plot even and thought I wouldn’t like this series at all, until I really started hunkering down and paying attention to what was going on.
First off, the characters. We all know there’s probably a thousand of them (and counting) and they are impossible to keep straight with so many different names, surnames, nicknames, etc. I found that listening to the audiobook actually really helped me better understand and connect with each character, since I then knew how to actually pronounce their names in my head and distinguished them with different voices. That being said, I also started watching the TV show along with reading the book, and it became even easier to figure out who was who (even though the TV show is, at times, complete trash, though I still love it. But I’ll get to that in a second).
The first characters/family I fell in love with was, I think like most people, the Starks. They’re a huge, important family that has a lot of history throughout Westeros and a lot of power. However, as I began to meet more members of other family’s and houses, it became harder for me to distinguish who my favorites were. I think now I’ve come to the realization that I have a favorite from each family, and despite all their flaws, this makes them that much easier to connect with. No one is perfect in real life, so why should they be in a novel?
George R.R. Martin does such an excellent job of building up so many different aspects in the novel, and at times I almost feel as if I’m reading half a mystery novel and half a high fantasy novel, because you’re always trying to get to that next piece of information that will reveal what the next characters motivations are going to be, or were all along.
I gasped a lot while I was reading this, and in a good way! I like being surprised by a book and George R.R. Martin delivers that flawlessly. I was very eager to move onto the next one, and figure out what was going to happen next, despite the fact that I had spent hours online scouring discussion boards and forums about theories and speculations about what was to come (which caused me to read A LOT of spoilers).
In regards to the show: I’ve done I think 2 college class projects on the toxicity of sexualization and representation of women in the show and that aside, I do love the show…and at times hate it. The show is great because, like I said before, it’s nice to have a very visual character or world to put an image in your mind while you’re reading. That being said, I don’t like how they stray from the books so much, and wish they would stick to the original source material. I know that can be difficult when it is such an extensive series, but some of the stuff in the show is just so unnecessary (i.e. SO MANY rape scenes).
I do love this series to pieces though and I’ve learned to sort of distinguish that the books are their own entity, and the show is its own entity, which is great. They worked cohesively together towards the start, and as they stray further apart that’s fine, but nothing can hold a candle to George R.R. Martin’s fantastic original series.
(Now all I want to do is binge watch the show again. Help)