Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Review: A Game of Thrones
I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint. At all. It was a brilliant read.
As far as the plot goes, it's pretty much a staple in the world of sword and sorcery fantasy. Mythical creatures, something supernatural, bouts of sex, bloodshed, and lots and lots of war.
Regardless of it being a not-so-original story arc, Martin excels in it. It was so well written and I was pretty much hooked within the first 50 pages. It sounds like a lot to get through initially but sizing it up against its entirety, a 800+ page epic, it's not very much at all.
It's a difficult one to talk about, there's far too much to say and not enough spoiler free information to say it. The story is centred around the Stark family of Winterfell, Lord Eddard Stark (Ned) has been offered the position as Hand of the King, which requires him to move from the cold north, to the warmer southern climes of King's Landing.
Martin has created a world where the seasons could potentially last lifetimes. Summer has lasted for decades and is now drawing to a close, and the other side of Winterfell's protective Wall isn't the only place where trouble is brewing. Across the seven kingdoms, admist all the lies, manipulation, violence, and betrayal, the quest for the Iron Throne of Winterfell is underway.
The novel is split between the points of view of several of the characters, which include whole House of Stark, a bastard child, a Dragon Heir and the Imp. As always, character jumping gets a little confusing at times but you quickly find your pace with it. I did find myself looking forward to certain character chapters than others, which made parts of the book drag a little. The characters themselves were very well written, I only truly warmed to a few of the characters but it was enough to keep me interested, I was mainly on the edge of my seat hoping that nothing bad will happen to them.
I made the somewhat catastrophic mistake of watching the series before reading the book. It's not something I usually do and I'll let this serve as a fair warning to not do it again. I really loved the first installment in A Song of Ice and Fire but I feel I would have done so even more if I had read it first. It's definitely something I would recommend if you don't want Sean Bean popping up in your head every time Ned's name appears.
Although, if you have watched the series already, I would still encourage you to read this. The televised series pretty much follows it word for word, the extra bits will just seem like extended scenes. The only downside to this book is the weight of it, it's a bit of an inconvenience if you carry it around everywhere like I did.
Trust me though, the pain is worth it.