Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
I’ve always had a bit of trouble reading books. Not that I’m bad at it - it just takes an extremely good story (and no distractions) for me to be able to sit down and read something. Lately I’ve been delving into the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series (and the starting point for the television series): Game of Thrones.
The story begins with a brief prologue in which a group of warriors are attacked by a mysterious force known as "The Others". It’s somewhat confusing and isn’t really relevant until much later in the novel, but it does set the scene for the kind of violence you’ll see all through the story.
The book then kicks off the main plot and we meet the Starks, the main protagonists of the story. Eddard Stark, the head of his house, is taking his sons to watch him execute a deserter. His sons are both less than 15 years of age, but in the medieval setting of the Seven Kingdoms, that’s practically a full-grown man.
The setting is a huge part of the story, and the medieval world Martin creates really comes alive with descriptions of harsh landscapes, peasants working in fields and knights fighting battles (and there are a lot of battles with a lot of harsh wounds). If you’ve seen the TV show, you might have an idea of the kind of damage that gets done.
Each chapter focuses on a specific character's story in relation to the main plot and the role they play. Each character plays an important role, and their choices have a rippling effect on everyone else. The best example of this is when one wrong move by one character manages to start an entire war.
There will be times when you sit there reading about the actions of a character and silently screaming at them for making such a stupid decision. It’s a bit like a train wreck - you just can’t look away. At other times you can’t help but feel sorry for them as they struggle through their lives, trying to achieve their own goals (some more noble than others).
It really doesn’t take much to be drawn into this world of high fantasy, and while it may not have wizards and elves roaming about, it still has a mythical quality about it. There are strange creatures and magic involved, but in a subtle way that doesn't throw it in your face.
The fantasy setting of Game of Thrones is really just an afterthought. What comes first is the story it tells and the characters involved. It’s written in a realistic way: bad things happen to good people, and just when you think you know what’s about to happen you’ll wind up totally confused as the book goes in a completely different direction.
Even if you don’t read very often, this is a series you should really give a chance.
4 out of 5.
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Articles Written by Grace H
Reviews written by Grace H
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