May 17, 2012

BOOK REVIEW | A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Basic information
Title: A Game of Thrones (Goodreads)
Author: George R.R. Martin (Website)
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1
Gerne: high-fantasy, adult
Published: August 1996

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 don’t know if I’ll like the whole series but I’m sure A Clash of Kings is one of the next books I’ll read. The only complaint I have about this book is that it takes you a while to get trough. There is at least 700 pages in each book (and for example A Dance with Dragons has over a thousand, WHAT) and somehow it reads slower than other books I’ve read. I don’t know why, maybe the structure of the sentences or simply because it’s an adult book. What I do know is that I’m not the only one struggling with it and reading it for a few weeks. My record is 5 or 6 weeks. I’m sure it’s because I never really sat down with it and read for a few hours and because I read other books in the meantime. I really enjoyed this book though, it’s an epic story, so much details and so many characters (I lost count on how many times I thought to myself ‘and who are you again…?’). It’s kind of medieval themed though it isn’t situated in our world. There is also some fantastical creatures and magic going on.

The story takes place in a world called the Seven Kingdoms though they aren’t really kingdoms anymore. Where our characters live, Westeros, there’s the North and the South (and many other places). Here’s my attempt on explaining this really complicated situation: the Hand of the King (person that does all the dirty work basically, somebody that does the Kings duty when the King himself isn’t there to do them) is dead. It is rumored that the Hand didn’t die a natural death but that he was killed. The King needs a new Hand and travels to the North (King Robert lives in the South..) to ask his loyal friend Eddard Stark to take the job. Eddard doesn’t want to do it but since the King and he are pretty much like brothers, he accepts. This where the plot takes off.

There is more to this story than just Eddard Stark and the King, oooh hell no! There Eddard Stark’s bastard son that joins the Nightwatch, there is the daughter of the previous King that wants her throne back, there is the queen and her family,…

If I wouldn’t have come across the TV series I never would’ve read this book, it’s true. A lot of people started reading the series just recently. A Game of Thrones was first published in 1996 but I was about a year back then. Just a warning: this book probably isn’t for everyone and every age. Even now, when I’m 16, this book isn’t really appropriate for people my age. There is violence, incest, swearing, … Mature content, but I wasn’t bothered by any of these.
I do recommend to watch the series if you have read the books (or not) because it’s really good. Exactly like the books. Only 2 or 3 times I couldn’t recall a scene from the series.

The book is divided into chapters each from a characters point of view, mainly the Starks. There are 8 POV’s in this book I believe but that changes throughout the series.

As I said, I liked A Game of Thrones very much and after weeks of being ‘stuck’ with it I’m honestly gonna miss reading it so I better get A Clash of Kings soon.
I’d recommend it to you if you want to read a high fantasy book, if you’re not bothered by mature content, if you just want a good read and if you have time. A lot of it.

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