A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones

By George R. R. Martin

My brother, who is an avid fan of fantasy books, read this series and raved. I ignored him, as I tend to do when he reviews books or movies because we tend to have very different taste. But then, I had to remind myself that he liked Breaking Bad and Madmen before I had even heard of them and, after endless prods to read this series, it was finally made into an awesome show and I had to face the facts: my brother’s taste might be kinda awesome (bookworm’s note: this is not to say that he also likes terrible things, the second and third Matrix movies being prime examples).

Anyway, I am not the biggest fan of books involving sword fighting, dragons, knights, and all of that sort of stuff, but, this book is a hit for a reason. I tend to view all work of this genre as derivative of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work- which this is, by the way, though it is obvious that Martin worked his ass off to create as different of a world as possible. I was shocked to find (how do I explain this???) how much the show follows the first book and yet how much more complicated and intricate the book is than the show. Does that make sense? Oh well.

The characters are perfectly rounded and far more real than I expected for a story with so many important characters, so much history, and so many separate plots that all function as part of the larger whole. Each of the Stark children feel like separate individuals, no one, not even “stock” characters that hardly seem to matter in the grand scheme of things are without depth. This is a massive undertaking for an author- and also for a reader. It can be difficult to sort it all out, particularly in terms of the interwoven history and the names of the masters, knights, and lords.

Let me say this, I am obsessed with Daenerys Targaryen. Obsessed. I ended this book aching to know what was going to happen to her and her (if you haven’t read the book or seen the show, skip to the next paragraph) newborn dragons. She might be a LITTLE sex crazy- call me a prude but something about wanting to bang your dead hubby as he burns on top of a giant bundle of wood seems a little much to me- but I am intrigued by where her story is going.

One thing is for certain: this book leaves you dying to read the next. I want to know more about the Stark’s connection to the Dire Wolf, about Bran’s dreams, about Sansa’s unexpected battle, about Jon’s journey beyond the wall, about the White Walkers, about what winter will bring, about the war and what will happen to the Lannisters (namely Tyrion who is totally awesome/funny/ complicated), about who will rule the seven kingdoms… I could go on and on but instead, I’ll just sneak in as much of A Clash of Kings as possible in between my PhD reading load.

This book is a lot of fun and a total escape from life, which, take it from me, can be MUCH appreciated and needed! Read it and be prepared to have to read the rest of the series immediately after.

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