Author: George R. R. Martin
Released: August 6th 1996
Pages: 801 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
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Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must... and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
I think I spent the majority of this book hating on Martin - like I need another amazing fandom to become a part of! I think it's pretty much impossible for anyone to read the first few chapters of A Game of Thrones and not fall immediately in love with it. Martin has created a world to rival that of Middle Earth, and once you're in it, you can't get back out.
A Game of Thrones is set mainly in the Seven Kingdoms, where many fight to gain control of the Iron Throne and to rule over the land. Currently, Robert Baratheon is King, but with the true heirs of House Targaryen rallying together an army, and the twins of House Lannister plotting against him, nothing is as stable as it once seemed.
I hate books that have multiple narratives, as the different storylines are usually difficult to follow, and if the characters are written similarly, it gets quite boring. Martin completely worked multiple narratives - not only was the complex storyline easy to follow, but you could tell whose POV it was without even reading their name. Of course there were some characters' viewpoints I enjoyed more than others, but all of them were easy to read and interesting. And leading on from that, the novel on a whole was well-written - there was a slight medieval tongue to it, and his descriptions created a clear image in my head, no matter the setting.
The characters...I don't know where to start! Although everyone was fantastically characterised, I did have some favourites. Daenerys was brilliant; a lot of authors tend to go for strong heroines, and more often than not, they tend to fall a little bit flat. Martin characterised Dany perfectly. She was strong, intelligent, fiesty; she was everything I have ever looked for in a female character, and I hope there is more of her to come in the next books. Jon Snow was another favourite - and yup, I have a slight book crush on him.
I was mostly impressed with how Martin characterised the children, because they were so realistic; an adult man was capable of writing like a convincing nine-year-old girl. Arya, Bran, Sansa - you could tell how young they were just from how Martin wrote them.
I don't think I can find enough words to describe how amazing this book was. It was long, and there were occasionally boring chapters, but once you began reading the story, you got absolutely swept up in it. For the last 300 pages, I only think I put it down once or twice - and that was to sleep! It is a gripping, fantastic, can't-put-down read, and now I desperately need to get my hands on A Clash of Kings.