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A-red-lipstick-wearing bibliophile extraordinaire. Word nerd & Joss Whedon fangirl; Literature lover & book reviewer. Lady Libertine; Tea collector; Potterhead.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Review: A Game of Thrones

It's been a long time since I indulged in some fantasy, I figured this was the perfect book to reimmerse myself in this wonderful genre. People have been raving about A Game of Thrones for a very long time now, mainly the HBO series but I tried (and failed) to avoid any televised works until I picked up the book. The series was a good as they said, with a slightly guilty conscience I began reading, hoping it would be even better.

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.

Rating: ★★★★☆


  1. What I loved about 'A Game of Thrones' was that it felt like I was watching deleted scenes from the HBO series. Both worlds are so well realised, so meticulously detailed.

    The great thing about ASOIAF is that while it's set against a fantasy backdrop, it's ultimately half political thriller, half family drama.

    1. I couldn't agree with you more, it was all too easy to get lost in the realities of the world because they were so wonderfully depicted, in both book and televised form. I'm glad you agree it felt like deleted scenes, though.

      I didn't think of it that way, but you're absolutely right. I can't wait to read A Clash of Kings, I won't go near Series 2 until I have, my only regret was watching the series first. Thank you for taking the time to read my review!

      - Kaveeta.