Book Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

gameofthronesAKA, In Which I Attempt to Concisely Review a Book Where All the Shit Happens.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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’m not sure that there is much to say about A Game of Thrones that hasn’t already been said. It’s hugely popular, epic, and either well loved or hated by many. It’s the epic piece of that that has kept me from reading it since it was recommended to me… oh, four or five years ago. I did it though, I conquered the first book!

Let’s talk characters. There are so many characters in this book. Parts large and small, people who are truly good, pure evil, somewhere in between, and those who you just don’t know what to do with. The characters were so well written that at times when I didn’t want to like a character I still kind of ended up liking them… With some (obvious) exceptions. It’s quite impressive that there are all these amazingly fleshed out characters in a book as long and involved as this one. Another thing that I give GRRM props for is managing to write a book from as many points of view as he did here and making it work. It wasn’t an overload like I thought it would be, but rather flowed quite nicely from character to character and so on.

The story itself was essentially exactly what I expected. This fantastical, medieval journey in a place just out of one war and on the brink of another was just so well done, plain and simple. The story kept me at the edge of my seat, I savored each page, and spent several nights reading until 5 or 6 am. It ran the gamut from cruel to bittersweet with a few adorable moments – but it was mostly harsh if I’m honest. A Game of Thrones is a book that’s very in your face and I loved it.

While this was a very good, fantastic read, I do have one bone to pick. One story line in particular was just too obvious. So obvious it was painful. And while I appreciate Martin’s attempt to give us this particular back story so to speak, I just wish something about it had been different. That it had kept me guessing more. The anticipation was a huge part of what made my reading experience awesome, yet I lost that for this bit.

That being said, I’m hooked. I can’t wait to dig in to more of the series. I’m really, really curious about where the stories of Arya, Sansa, Robb, Jon, Tyrion, Daenerys, and many others are going to go. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t waiting for a few deaths in particular… mean as that may be! Either way, A Game of Thrones is a win. 4.5/5 stars.

The A Song of Ice and Fire Series:

1. A Game of Thrones
2. A Clash of Kings
3. A Storm of Swords
4. A Feast for Crows
5. A Dance with Dragons
6. The Winds of Winter (To Be Released sometime in 2015)

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