GAME OF THRONES
Author: George R.R. Martin
Rating: 5 out of 5
Format: Print e-Book
Release date: August 1996
Recommended Reading: 17+
OVERALL THOUGHTS: As I sit to write this I wonder where to begin. Do I talk about the amazing story telling? Or the realistic characters? Or the incredible realism that comes from losing the characters you love the most, to simple deaths? George R.R. Martin created an amazing world filled with stories that, given a little stretch of the imagination, could be real. The characters are as complex as living people, with multiple allegiances, wants, doubts, fears, and hopes. Martin’s ability to paint a picture transports you to a world unlike anything I have read before. As I sit and write this I twitch with anticipation for what lies ahead. Luckily, this work of genius is just the first piece of what promises to be a magical series.
SYNOPSIS: A Game of Thrones is the tale of the fight for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. There are three main stories told from the perspective of eight of the main characters. There is the story unfolding throughout the Seven Kingdoms, the story at the Wall, and the story coming to life in the East across the sea. In the Seven Kingdoms the Lannisters, Baratheons, and Starks are all fighting for what they believe is right for the Kingdom. At the Wall we follow Jon, the bastard son of Eddard Stark, and the troubles faced by those on the Wall. The Wall was built to keep the Seven Kingdoms safe from what lies beyond, but winter is coming and with it comes dangers that have not been fought for thousands of years. The third storyline follows Daenerys Targaryen and her fight to become queen of the Iron Throne while in exile across the sea to the east. She marries a Dothraki king and uses his power and her own inner strength to make her way home.
THE LOWDOWN: So, let’s start with my favorite aspect of this book, the people. The emotions I feel towards these characters are too strong for literary people, yet I still feel them. From the love I have towards Eddard Stark, to the violent hatred I bear towards Joffrey Baratheon, all of these emotions were handpicked by Martin with the detail in which he wrote them. The characters grew and evolved so much in those 900 pages that it felt like watching someone truly go through life’s trials. When you first meet Daenerys Targaryen she seems like a child, weak, emotional, and incapable of standing up for herself. As she comes into her own, she stands up to her controlling brother, falls in love with a powerful man who she was forced to marry, and becomes a leader of her own people. The character she becomes is so strong and powerful in her own right that you finish the book rooting for her. Tyrion Lannister is another amazingly dynamic character that you want to see succeed, despite the fact that his success means the defeat of other characters that you love. He is true to himself and amazingly aware of his short-comings. Each of the characters presented in this book are relatable, human, believable. Martin has a way with description that helps you to see what he sees and feel what he feels. By the end of the book I had such hatred towards Joffrey, Tywin, and Cersei that I find myself wanting to read the next book to see which of them dies first.
In storytelling through the written word, writing is everything. The ability to make the reader forget everything and transport them to this world the author has created is key. When I read a book it is my escape from reality and a chance to forget my troubles for a while and immerse myself in someone else’s reality. The transportation to the world of A Game of Thrones is as complete as it can be. George R. R. Martin has a way of telling a story with such detail that you can picture the world and see the scenes as Martin imagined them. His story telling leaves no questions to be asked.
This book has a realistic, detailed quality that is lacking in most modern entertainment, which is amazing considering this is a fantasy novel. If you remove the dragons, magic, white walkers, and obedient dire wolves, you have a medieval tale of conquest and war, love and family, loyalty and honor, and the fight for a throne. There are days when reading this book that I would lose track of time and completely engross myself i
n the world that unfolded before me. It has become dinner conversation on many occasions. It has been the source of argument and debate amongst many people I know. The fact that the story is impossible does not even factor in because George R. R. Martin has made us believe that it can happen, and did happen. My hat is off to you Mr. Martin, you have made a devoted fan out of me!