Book Review: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

13496Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
Author: George R.R. Martin
: Fantasy, Adventure
How I got it: I bought it

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.

I honestly did not expect to be hooked by this series. The moment I saw the first book, I face-palmed myself because it was so. thick. How am I supposed to finish it? Why did I even buy it?

But I was a HUGE fan of the TV series. It started out as a guilty pleasure which turned into an obsession. And after shrieking, squealing, and sobbing my way into and out of season 1, I knew that I just have to know what would happen next to my favorite characters, even if it meant plodding through thick-ass books that are oceans away from my normally preferred genres.

I can’t say I regret it, because damn, it was a fabulous experience. George R.R. Martin is one of those rare authors who could wow you and repulse you at the same time. It was almost like an out-of-body experience because it left me wondering and thinking like, wow, what kind of fuckery is this? How evil are these people? But then I’d be like, ohmygod this is SO AWESOME.

But okay, before I go into full-spaz mode, I should probably tell you as coherently as I can why I fell in-love with this book. Reasons, reasons. Let’s start with the characters. Whether you read YA or other genres of fiction, you and I both know how tired we are of perfect characters and/or Mary Sues. I assure you, you will not find a single perfect character in this book. They all have flaws, errors in judgments, major psychotic tendencies, and even the noblest of them all made me want to punch a wall. It’s this lovely thing called diversity that GRRM employs in his characterization in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, in which this book is installment #1. I honestly couldn’t ask for more, because although the author is writing about a different time and world, his characters reflect the darkest, cruelest, normally hidden side of human nature, as well as it’s lighter side. No character is made up of pure dark or light, everyone is a mixture of both in varying degrees and sometimes, the only thing that makes them different are their motivations in doing what they’re doing.

Another reason why I like this book is the intriguing plotline. So many twists and turns, so many characters that you just couldn’t categorize in neat columns. Is whatshisname evil or not? Don’t trust him! Oh wait, trust him! Ohmygod why did you trust him!??! Jezus. Yeah, you get the picture. You can never guess what will happen next, or maybe you can, but not the way it plays out. So many secrets, so many lies! And not one character that you can just disregard as irrelevant, because even those who seem weakest can surprise you.

This book also has an interesting brand of folklore. Is folklore even the word for it? Hey, whatever. Anyway, what I mean are the beautifully described, sometimes creepy, sometimes endearing creatures that are interspersed inside the whole plot. Dragons, The Others, Direwolves, etc etc. So vividly described that they come alive in your imagination. And don’t even get me started on the wordplay! George R.R. Martin is flawless when it comes to dishing out metaphors, symbolisms, and foreshadowing. Even the vulgar language doesn’t hinder the plot to it’s destined greatness. In fact, in my opinion, it was just right to help it get there.

With its richly textured characters and multi-layered plot, A Game of Thrones totally satisfied my thirst for a good great story. If you feel like this could be your thing, you should stop what you’re doing right now and get your own copy of this epic book. I gave this the rarely seen 5 out of 5 coconuts because it’s nothing like I’ve ever read before. The number of pages was a forgivable oversight because the pace of the novel was intense and fast moving. Before I even knew it, I was turning over the last page and being harassed by an uncontainable frenzy of conflicting emotions. In the end it left me wanting just one simple thing.

It’s called MORE.



3 thoughts on “Book Review: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

  1. Greg says:

    Great review Tara. I’m a big fan of the books too, so your review caught my eye. :) I don’t know about you, but when Renly offered his swords to Ned I was like, TAKE it! Dummy!!

    I agree about the characters too, lots of bad things happen but you just feel for Arya, Jon, etc. Keeps ya reading.

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