Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: George R. R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire
Original Date Started: July 18, 2013
Original Date Finished: July 24, 2013
Format: Mass Trade Paperback from my own shelf
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last four years, you know that there is this huge popular TV show over on HBO that is all about fantasy with dragons and that always claims that winter is coming. That series is based on the book series (that is still ongoing) by George R.R. Martin. Three years ago, I decided to give this series a try and borrowed the first book from the digital library. It took me forever – and multiple charges of my device – to get through and you know what I liked it. But I had a lot of other reading to do and never got the second book. By the time I got around to picking up the series again too much time had passed and I didn’t really remember what had happened in book 1. Not wanting to put my eyes through the strain of reading a screen for a long time – these books are seriously long – I bought the box set of the five paperbacks at Wal-Mart for like $15 and put them away.
A week ago, I finally got the time to start it again and have been devouring as many pages as I can when I got the time. This book was 807 pages, and I wish that it was a justified page count, but alas… I’m jumping ahead of myself though. A Game of Thrones takes place in a fictional land called Westeros and there are seven kingdoms (houses really) that make up the land. The three main families that you need to keep in mind are the House of Stark – they rule the land to the North and Eddard Stark, the head of the family, is good friends with the king and has been forever; House of Lannister – they are a very powerful (and deceitful) family, the eldest son Jamie killed the previous king, the daughter Cercei is married to the king and birthed three children, and the youngest son Tywin is an Imp and hilarious to boot; and then there is the Targaryens – the family who used to be on the Iron Throne and consists of Viserys the eldest son and Daenerys the only daughter who is at the whim of her older brother as he tries everything in his power to win back the crown that they lost. But as it is put home a lot in this book, when you play the game of thrones you either live or you die and winter is coming.
Right, as mentioned, this books is lengthy and that was one thing I remember from my reading of it three years ago, it was just too long. There are a lot of details that shouldn’t be included and there were some chapters that really had no place and actually distracted from the important stuff that was happening to other characters. And then there are the characters! There are so many that it was hard to keep track of who was who – and I’m so clad that this book had an appendix so I could flip back and figure out which house that person belonged to (although if they died, it didn’t really matter).
The main group of characters though made me feel all kinds of things. I felt anger towards Sansa Stark – Eddard’s eldest daughter – who was caught up in a fantasy world and didn’t see the truth until she lost too much. I also felt anger towards Joffery – the king’s eldest son – who acts like a petulant child and should not be on the throne. I loved the rest of the Stark family because they were so strong and did so much. The Lannister’s though are something else entirely the only one that I liked was Tywin he was very sarcastic for an imp. I also liked Daenerys – or Dany for short – is so freaking strong. Between being abused physically and sexually by her brother, being sold to some warlord in marriage in exchange for troops and then losing that warlord – who she eventually fell in love with – to death and his men was insane.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Too long of a book. The ending was great though and now I’m curious as to what is going to happen next. Although the next book is 1100+ pages, so who knows how long that one is going to take for me to finish?
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