Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Review 5 of 5 Stars
I mostly review independent books in this spot, but a lot of times I am reading other things as well that I don’t review. I recently revisited a bunch of Robert Heinlein books I had not read in years, I’m currently on a Game of Thrones kick and this leads to somewhat erratic posting. So I thought I would just start reviewing whatever it is that I read and readers can decide whether they want to view it or not. Anyway, on with the book.
I did a marathon of the HBO series before starting on the books. I was not a follower from the beginning, but during a particularly long and cold week this winter I watched the whole series up to where the current season would start. I really enjoyed the TV series, but was curious what tidbits might have been left out from the written version. There are always differences between a TV series and the books, nuances that you miss, foreshadowing and outright changes to the story though I do have to say that the first season of the series was pretty much right to the book.
I’m enjoying reading the books though sometimes the descriptions drag on a bit long for me. Of course, I’m inpatient by nature so that may not be a problem for others. The story as a whole is complex and well done. I immediately became a fan of the Stark clan and their direwolves and I’ve enjoyed every moment of the time I have spent in this fantasy realm. I suspect that I will read all of the books since I’m finishing the second one and have the third one waiting for me on my desk. The first book introduces all the characters, sets the scene for the story to come and is long enough to give you time to really get familiar with the characters and start to love or hate them as they deserve.
Martin did an excellent job with this book. The characters have obvious depth and the world building was done well enough to suck me in at once. I read a lot of science fiction, but I enjoy a well crafted fantasy from time to time. There are more hints at the usual fantasy elements of magic and dark things in the first book than actual experiences for the characters with such things, more ancient tales that people wonder if they are true. I’m going to leave it there for anyone who hasn’t read the books or watched the series and would like to. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying my adventures with the characters on both sides of the Narrow Sea and hope my fascination with this world continues as I’ve had such a good time up until now.