A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones
by: George R.R. Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

Challenges: Read Your Name Challenge, 1st in a Series Challenge

Published: 1996

# of pages: 835

If you haven't already discovered this from reading my blog - I love fantasy! For the past couple of years I've been meaning to start the series "A Song of Ice and Fire," which I've heard is a classic for fantasy lovers. The first book in the series is A Game of Thrones. And what a beginning it is!

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. For some reason I was thinking this would be one of those fantasy books. It's hard to describe, but it seems like so many fantasy series out there aren't written very well. It's like the authors just wanted to crank out a series to make money. Either that or the series is SO detailed and the world is so unfamiliar that it loses me. Anyway, I figured this book would be the first of one of those types of series. However, I was wrong. This was a very well written book and although the world Martin created is intricate, it's not too "out there" for me to follow. It is similar to medieval Europe actually.

The chapters alternate between different narrators. Ned and his wife Catelyn, who live in a castle in the northern part of the kingdom; their children Bran, Arya, and Sansa; Ned's illegitimate son Jon; Tyrion, the king's brother-in-law; and Daenerys, who used to be the princess of the kingdom and is now an outcast on an eastern island.

Ned is chosen to be the "Hand of the King" and has to move south to live in the capital of the kingdom. He takes his daughters Arya and Sansa with him so they can experience court life. Bran was going to go along, but an "accident" prevents him from leaving his home. Catelyn ends up following her husband and daughters to warn them of treachery as Jon heads farther north to help defend the kingdom's border from otherworldly darkness. Tyrion is a sarcastic dwarf who is caught up in his family's plots to overthrow the kingdom. And Daenerys (the most fascinating character) is married to an eastern lord and goes from being a timid girl to a confident queen who has her own ambitions.

There are so many storylines, but this gives you an idea of what goes on in the book. There's another story about the wolves that are found at the beginning of the book. Each of Ned's children receives a wolf for a pet. They all play a part in the story, but not a major part. However, I feel as if they must still be significant. Wolves and dragons are two major symbols in A Game of Thrones and it will be interesting to see if that continues in the following books.

The only negative to the book is that it is SO LONG. It's very detailed and interesting, but it wasn't easy for me to take the time to read it at this point in my life. I think it would be a great vacation book, something to read when I have large chunks of time. So it will be awhile before I pick up the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings. Yeah...I really do wish it was shorter because I think this is a book my husband and brother would enjoy, but I know neither one will be able to stick with it because of its length!

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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Andi said...

My fellow book bloggers and book groupers have been trying to get me to read this one for YEARS, and the size of it always puts me off. I'm glad you liked it, and maybe I'll grow the courage to try it myself one day.

Steven said...

This is probably the best fantasy series I've read. I just wish Martin would finish the series. He is currently on Book 5, and he still has two more to write.

The dragons and wolves do play a part in the upcoming novels, symbolically and literally. I wouldn't wait too long before reading the next books, because so much is going on in the series and it's easy to lose track of what's happened in the past.

On my site, I've reviewed A Feast for Crows and A Storm of Swords. I never got around to going back and posting reviews of the first two books.

Nymeth said...

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this! I've heard wonderful things about this series and I really thing I'd like it, but the fact that they're all so long does put me off a little bit :P

Andrea said...

Andi & Nymeth, I think you'd both like it! As i said in my post, it would be a good series to read on a long vacation or while traveling. It's so impressive that Martin can write SO MUCH and still do it really well.

Steven, I had no clue the series was still a work in progress! Although it doesn't surprise me. I can only imagine how much work Martin puts into writing each of the books because they are so detailed and well written. Thanks for sharing your posts! I'm going to check them out and will definitely link to them when I read and review those.

Steven said...

Martin has been working on the fifth book A Dance with Dragons for the last five years. Some readers are afraid he'll never finish the series. There are two more books planned after A Dance, for a total of seven books in the series.

At one time, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons was going to be one installment, but it started to run so long that he had to split it into two parts.

dolcebellezza said...

I was pleasantly surprised with A Game of Thrones, too, and I think I'll always remember the woman character (although not her name: D-something). She was so strong and brave! This book caused me to buy thte rest of the series on Amazon.com, but I haven't read them yet. Perhaps for Carl's Once Upon a Time fantasy challenge which begins this March on the 21. If you're interested in joining, too. (www.stainlesssteeldroppings.com)

Andrea said...

Her name is Daenerys, she was my favorite character too!

Thanks for leaving the link to the challenge...I think I will join! I promised myself I wouldn't join anymore challenges, but I read so many fantasy books that this won't be too much. ;-)

Shelley said...

I've been on the fence about this one, so your review is encouraging. I love fantasy as well, but I've learned I don't like some of the newer stuff.
BTW, I love your blog--glad I stumbled upon it!

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