Review: A Game of Thrones, By George R.R. Martin

I decided to read Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin pretty much because of the T.V show that is currently airing on HBO. My true love, bless him, didn’t want the story spoiled for him and he decided to pick the book up before the show aired.  He read the whole series in a matter of days and insisted that I do the same.  Of course the first thing he did was tell me the entire plot, so it took me quite a while to actually pick the series up.  When we started watching the show and he seemed to know a lot more about the world than I did I decided I had to read the book. I am glad I did.

A Game Of  Thrones is a tale about a man serving a king.  Fifteen years ago, Lord Eddard Stark helped his friend Robert Baratheon take a kingdom from the mad monarch Aerys Targaryen. Since that time Robert has let himself go to pot while Ned has become very comfortable at home in Winterfell with his wife and young family.  When the Hand of the King, John Aryn, dies under mysterious circumstances, Ned is forced to take over his position so that he can discover what has actually become of his old friend and mentor.  All the while, in the North past the great wall that guards the kingdom of Westros from the Wildlings, strange things might be stirring for the first time in millennia.

It was a gripping tale.  I can honestly say that I have rarely enjoyed a book where I wanted to strangle half of the main characters, but that is exactly how I felt.  I think it takes a real artist to make you dislike his fictional people as much as I disliked Catelyn and Sansa. That being said, I also thought it was impressive that he made me adore a drunken, spoiled, whoremongering man like Tyrion Lannister.  Honestly, he is as wonderful as the others are frustrating.

The most impressive thing to me, though, was the fact that the majority of the book was a political drama in the vein of Dune, and the bits of magic necessary for a fantasy novel were subtle and sparse.  It made the fantasy elements seem desperately real and more than a little frightening.  I would recommend this book to any mature fantasy enthusiast (Read: this is NOT YA.  Grown-ups only!) who wants to spend every waking moment for the next few days tearing through a book about politics and zombies.

For the record, despite a few superfluous boob shots I’m also enjoying the show.  Once again, I’d recommend some severe parental guidance if it comes to letting the kiddos watch.  This IS HBO, after all.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about Game of Thrones here: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Thrones-Song-Fire-Book/dp/0553386794/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307263557&sr=1-2

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3 Comments »

  1. Redhead Said:

    You’re right, that much of Game of Thrones is politics and such – binding one noble house to another through marriage, bargaining, negotiating, ambition, quite Dune-ish actually, except no sci-fi! at first the story is more a political soap opera. . . only later do the fantasy elements come out to play.

    oh, and welcome to the “Sansa is an idiotic git” club. 😉

    • mljohn Said:

      There’s a CLUB??? Hallelujah! I dislike Sansa so much I want to talk to somebody about how much I dislike her! When do we meet? I’m kidding, of course. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you swinging by!

  2. […] Review: A Game of Thrones, By George R.R. Martin (mljohn.wordpress.com) […]


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