Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Game of Thrones Review

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice #1)
- George R.R. Martin

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men. All will play the Game of Thrones.
Summers span decades.Winter can last a lifetime.And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.It will stretch from the south where heat breeds plot,lusts and intrigues to the vast frozen north,where a 700-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. The Game of Thrones. You win,or you die.

This book has had A LOT of hype over the years – even more so in the last couple of years with the HBO TV Series wowing viewers and existing fans. However, I have to admit the sheer size of it (over 900 pages!) is intimidating and meant it sat on my TBR pile for a long time. Then at the start of the month you guys evilly choose it for me to read this month. I thought it would take me ages – but actually I found myself so absorbed with events in the Seven Kingdoms that it only took six days in the end. And I can now say that the hype is true this once!

Fantasy books are often described as epic but this one truly is – with each chapter focusing on a character of importance to the realm and major events. In fact each chapter can be read as a short story in itself, but building up to a much wider picture. This story really is a tapestry woven out of characters and events vastly different from each other. I loved how events in one part of kingdom would affect what happened elsewhere – even if they didn’t know about it yet. As always some characters are more interesting than others – the dwarf Tyrion Lannister is fascinating and Jon Snow is a true hero in the making. There are slight hints of magic and otherworldly events, but a large proportion of the story is based on political events leading to forays and battles as the Stark family unwittingly get involved in the ‘Game of Thrones’.

I have seen the first season of the TV show and only now I’ve read the book do I truly appreciate how faithfully the series is. Pretty much every scene in the book is in the show – the only major change is the age of some of the main characters – adding a few years to them in order to make the violence and sex involving them more palatable for TV I guess.

The book is truly absorbing and involving – I wanted to move on to the second book straight away when I finished (always a good sign!). However, I will have to wait a while as I have several review books to read by the end of the year – but I plan to regular visits back to this world in 2013. One of the most adult of fantasy books that is rightly deserving of much praise. Highly recommended

Recommended for fans of Robin Hobb and Jacqueline Carey. 10 out of 10


  1. Yes, the first book in the series is pretty impressing. I would call it a thin end of the wedge though.

  2. Eh, everyone dies, bummed me out

  3. I did know they changed some of the ages. Made sense for tv especially. I've only seen the HBO ones when we get free previews. :D Still, curious about this series and a 10? Hm... thinking harder about getting those books.

  4. This one does sound amazing but I am STILL intimidated by the huge size :)
    Great review!

  5. Great review! It is only a matter of time before I cave in and read this book.

  6. I have it on my shelf too and like you I've been pot off reading it by the size of it. Now I know it's worth a 10 out of 10 I want to read it over the Christmas holidays when I'll have more time. Fantastic review Mel.