PAGE COUNT: 790 PAGES
“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
“When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”
So I’m late on the train for reviewing A Game Of Thrones I know, but for those folk who have yet to read the series, allow me to persuade you to pick it up. From what I’ve heard you either hate the book or you love it, and I defiantly fall in the later category. This book introduced a lot of people to the world of fantasy books and has been adapted into an extremely popular series that I’m fairly certain everyone and their mother has heard of. I was hesitant at first to dive into the series because I must confess I have stopped watching the series… I know I know, please don’t kill me. I simply got sick of the constant hype and discussion over it, and found the show started to drag a bit. However as soon as I picked up the book I was reminded that the original work is always better…once again please don’t hurt me.
“A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.”
A Game Of Thrones is a classic fantasy through and through with a rich world full of history that is enthralling and characters going on wild adventures. George R.R. Martin writes with descriptive prose which is extremely quotable. I know some people aren’t big fans of lots of description in books but it really works here as the world the characters are surrounded by is huge and filled with colourful people and places.
One thing you have to get used to is the abundance of characters, every page you meet soo many and though at first it is a lot to get your head around you get used to it I promise. As with all books readers will find themselves drawn to particular characters which was absolutely the case in this book!
Before I get into some of my favourite characters I will say I found a certain characters perspective rather annoying. I was really not a fan of Catelyn’s parts as I found them a bit slow and flat for my taste though fortunately this only happened with her sections.
“A bruise is a lesson… and each lesson makes us better.”
I know I’m not alone in my love for the youngest Stark sister. Arya has an astounding sense of self right from the start and refuses to be placed in the box society wishes to put her in. She choses her friends regardless of status and understands the importance of being able to defend herself. Though this is only the beginning of Arya’s journey she is already exceedingly bright for her age and manages to get herself out of trouble swiftly. She is with out a doubt my favourite character so far and I cannot wait to see what the next book has in store for her.
“The man who fears losing has already lost.”
Tyrion aka The Imp
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
Another favourite is of course Tyrion. He has learnt to make himself indispensable in a world that views dwarfs as broken. He is probably one of the smartest characters in the book, using his mind as a weapon and manipulating others with strength to protect him when his mind isn’t enough. I’m especially a fan of how he owns Joffrey on multiple occasions.
“And I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples and bastards and broken things.”
“Life is not a song, sweetling.
Someday you may learn that, to your sorrow.”
Oft so of course Martin intended for Sansa to be ..let’s say trying at first, and I felt that whole heartedly for most of the novel. Many things she did left me internally (and sometimes outwardly) screaming. I will say I noticed some huge character growth towards the end of the novel which was both impressive and makes me intrigued for where her character will go in the future. I love when an Author demonstrates character growth when you least expect it and I believe this is a skill Martin has mastered.
“Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”
Another Stark! I’d say the family has so many characters that readers tend to root for as they are both outsiders and the most down to earth. They are the most well developed, at least in the first book. Bran has had to deal with the most life altering event in that he has lost the ability the walk. A trauma that is hard in any situation let alone in a world where in order to move anywhere he must be carried. Bran has huge character growth in this book and I’m excited to see where the next book takes him.
“What do we say to the Lord of Death?’
Everyones favourite under dog gets a new family in this book and we get to begin to learn about the Nights Watch and the terrors that lie beyond The Wall. Jon’s sections are a lot more intriguing then in the show. Martin’s writing had me on edge whenever Jon was making his way around the white snowy land of the Wall.
“He was no dragon, Dany thought, curiously calm. Fire cannot kill a dragon”
I was excited to read through Daeneys journey as she discovers her strength and the fire within her. I found her sections a bit slow at first, However I was very invested as she started to grow into herself and become confident.
Overall A Game Of Thrones is excellent, it’s very hard to put down and the world in so interesting I can’t wait to find out more. It’s without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year. The first book is very similar the first series but from what I’ve heard the second book is quite different so I’m excited to discover the changes and see the characters grow. If you’ve never thought to read the books I highly recommend you do so! I enjoyed this book so much more them the series (Sorry HBO).