Let me start this entry by saying: I am not a typical fantasy reader. The dragons, knights, medieval appeal are amazing, but I don't find myself drawn to this genre as I used to be. However, Game of Thrones was said to be an amazing example of fantasy writing. I also need to make a confession...I watched the HBO series BEFORE reading the book. I know, I know, lame, but I have to say it was the series that hooked me, and the books, at least the one I read so far, did not disappoint. It is definitely worth a look, especially if you have fallen in love with the series. HBO does a great job of sticking extremely close to the books, which is always a nice things as well.
I dove into book 1: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Although these fantasy books tend to be at least 600 pages long and a little intimidating, it was completely worth it.
This book takes you through a complete world of fantasy complete with different kingdoms, lands, and people. In my version, there was even a map of the entire realm so you can see the distance between kingdoms. Each chapter is a different character's perspective from Ned Stark (Lord of Winterfell), his wife (Catelyn Stark), his daughters (Arya and Sansa), his son (Bran) his bastard son (Jon), Lord Tyrion (a Lanniester and somewhat enemy of the Starks), and Danerys Targaryen (daughter of the "Mad King" who was killed).
All of these characters hold a different piece to this story, and all are needed in order to weave through.
The story begins when Robert Baratheon (King of all of the realms) comes to Winterfell to speak with Ned. The Hand of the King (John Arryn) has died, so Robert, a long time friend of Ned, wishes his friend to come to King's Landing where he will be the new Hand. Although against his beliefs, Ned agrees and takes his two daughters to accompany him with his duties.
From here, all the characters are separated with different beliefs, motives, and goals. The reader soon discovers not all men and women are trustworthy, some get what they deserve, some are caught in the cross fire, and some are just holding on to what they truly believe is right. You find yourself hating people, loving others, and wanting desperately for all to end well. However, the author himself said he doesn't want anything to be too predictable, so it will be interesting to see what he has in store for his characters in the next books.
A great piece of fantasy, and it truly does take you to a world where nothing is as it seems. There are so many characters, subplots, and destinations that it is difficult to become bored. It also can become confusing, which is why it helped I had the background knowledge of the series to assist with names. Confusion aside, the plot focuses on revenge, greed, desire, betrayal, love, and pride. It is a wonderful story to be apart of. This series will have you wanting more, seeking answers, and hoping your favorites survive the dangerous Game of Thrones.
As Cersei Lanniester stated, "In the game of thrones you win, or you die."