Takes a bit of time to get into the characters but easier if you have seen the series
The first volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. GAME OF THRONES is now a major TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.
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.
Takes a bit of time to get into the characters but easier if you have seen the series
FIRST PUBLISHED BACK in 1996, the opening volume of the fantasy epic called A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is immediately captivating, enthralling, entertaining, and even shocking. This is epic fantasy at its best. Well, for some of the book, anyway. It is also immediately obvious why and how this book (and in fact the whole series) has become one of the most watched, and most loved TV shows ever made. I won't say that it was written just to be adapted, but the genius of the author has created a fictional world so well populated with amazing characters, who in turn love each other and hate each other with such passion that at times the book simply sizzles. At certain points in the book some characters are seen to be doing unmentionables to each other, and when discovered by innocent parties, take further measures so extreme in order to protect themselves you may well find yourself in such shock that you literally wont be able to put the book down. Long term fans of the genre will make immediate comparisons to other giants (!) of the field, and the first name to spring to mind will, of course, be J R R Tolkien, with his breathtaking LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. On a superficial level, Martin's books are longer (by a looooong way) and yet despite the extra length and time involved in writing and reading them, he has failed to gift the reader with the quality of prose, and downright beauty, that is the trademark of Gandalf, Frodon, Elrond and company. Humour has a minor role in the book, but only with certain clans. I am thinking of the Lannisters here, folks, but only the loveable and highly durable Tyrion (the imp) demonstrates qualities of this nature worth mentioning. And of course he uses humour as a defence mechanism in order to cope with the situations and compromises he finds himself in on a daily basis. For the rest of the cast, life is much, much, much too serious to be caught laughing. And it's only going to get worse. Winter is coming, you see. One of the plethora of strong features of GOT is character development, and they oftentimes grow and develop right before your eyes. Obviously time passes in this book but i found it immensely satisfying seeing how some of the younger generations of the book's populace cope with, and grow into, roles they find themselves in. Some under duress, some at the hands of fate and some, Gods forbid, at the result of their own engineering. There is the subtle hint of dragons making an appearance in the story, but having just reached page 604 out of 780 I do believe that the reader is running out of time and words if they are going to be blessed with the presence of these magnificent creatures in the first book of this epic fable. Of course there is a lot more going on than just the re-emergence of dragons; like i just mentioned, Winter is Coming, and even though that is a saying strongly favoured by the Starks, it may well turn out to be a metaphor that affects the entire world that Mr Martin has so wonderfully crafted. The pace of the book ebbs and flows. It started off well, with several major emotional shocks hitting the reader full in the face early on. By page 300 I was ready to declare my personal love for Catelyn Stark (I still am) but then things slowed down and i found myself forced to carry on the exploration of this fantastic world i have become lost in. And for every page i forced myself to read, i found myself resenting the time doing so, and not spent playing hide and seek in Middle Earth with Sauron and company. But then the pace of the book picked up again, new characters came to life and a multitude of betrayals took place which made my investment more than worthwhile. Some of the locations described in the book are truly breath taking. Some of the ideas, too, are good enough to make you yearn to become one with the book and morph yourself right there. This book is incredibly deep. Characters that are presumably killed off are spoken of with such fervour and respect that you may well find yourself hoping against hope that they will be found again. There are many aspect of the book that have moved me, or grabbed my imagination by the throat and not let go. I have attempted to keep this review spoiler free and purposely vague at times. I can fully imagine myself reading GAME OF THRONES multiple times. Not for the beauty of the prose, because that is not its strong point. But certainly in order to relieve the drama, and the excitement, the cliffhangers and the shocks, you could certainly call me a fan. Four stars for a dead set modern day classic. It is not perfect by any means, and i can only assume the story will get stronger as i make progress through the books. Watch this space and I will let you know. Summer is over. Winter is coming. Books rule.
I've watched the TV series and enjoyed it, however, as usual, the book takes things to a whole new level. Loved it.
Bec the Bookworm
Wagga Wagga, AU
I am not usually into this medieval style genre but I am hooked on this book. The character development and twists in the plot makes it appealing to a wide spread of readers. The perspective changes between characters each chapter and this is very effective. I would recommend to anyone, regardless of whether they have seen the Game of Thrones series.
Broken Hill, Australia
It's a complicated book, but that's because it's a complicated story. It will take a while to read, but it's totally worth it, along with the rest of the series.
I have decided this book is vigorously over rated. I remember reading one review on this book saying it was better than Lord of the rings which is a silly thing to say simply because both books are written by two different authors at a different point in history. The Tv series sucked and jumped through characters fast. I tolerated the first season and the second season amplified. So I decided to give the books a go and I can honestly say it was a dramatic improvement. Each character has a chapter dedicated to them. This helps one understand whats going on. Reading is simple and leaves little to ones imagination, which I do not like. I like it when an author lets you create the scene. The book is to long and is full of padding. It is a good read but will I read it again, no.
Let's be honest, the only reason you're considering this book is because you've seen the awesome TV show. Well, take it from someone who read the book BEFORE it was a TV show, this is a seriously, SERIOUSLY depressing book. Whilst it is well written, and the plot is very intriguing, the author is a bit TOO concise in the old, medieval-style intrigue. This does admittedly make the story more real to the reader, but the high levels of betrayal and backstabbing that occurred throughout the novel knocked me off my rocker. I'm not calling the novel bad, I'm just saying you might want some happy gas or prozac nearby when you get hit by the sheer ferocity of depressing events. If you've watched the TV show, you know what's going to happen, meaning you won't find it as depressing. Therefore, I guess the real point I'm trying to make is watch the show before you read the book. Good luck.
So many people say "the book is better than the series..." and it is definitely the case in The Game of Thrones. I am addicted to the series but the book just adds another depth to those characters. So compelling, so captivating, a true fantasy fiction to get completely lost in.
Well written with such diverse characters that jump from the page. Constantly keeps you guessing.
This series is incredible, personally it beat Lord of the rings hands down.
'Of those who work in the grand epic fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best' Time Magazine
'Colossal, staggering... Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome' SFX '
The sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads ... Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias' Guardian
Series: Song of Ice and Fire
Number Of Pages: 864
Published: 1st October 1997
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 11.2 x 5.1
Weight (kg): 0.43