Monday, April 9, 2012

A Game of Thrones

A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
by George R.R. Martin
674 pages

This novel is set in a fantasy world where the seasons are messed up.  Seasons last for several years instead of a few months.  Fifteen years ago before this book takes place, a war was fought, and the Targaryen king was slain.  The king's heir was slain, and the king's remaining children were exiled.  One of the victors, Robert Baratheon, took the throne.  However, that did not quite settle things.  Robert Baratheon, though an excellent warrior, is a less than perfect king.  Baratheon's wife is a Lannister, and her family has designs on the throne.  Baratheon's Hand, or chief advisor, has recently died under suspicious circumstances, and King Robert wants Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell to take his place.  Ned dreads this task and does not want to leave his home, but he knows that Robert needs him.  Ned must quickly learn the rules of the "Game of Thrones."

I will stop summarizing here.  This is a huge book, and it is hard to know how much to say.  Let's just say that it's a book full of political intrigue, treachery, honor, duty, and devotion with some magical and horrific elements thrown in for good measure.  This book is written differently than many books.  Each chapter focuses on a different character, with a total of eight (if I counted right) characters being followed through the whole book.  Most of the action is seen through the eyes of members of the Stark family.  Some characters depict what is happening at Winterfell while Ned and others are gone.  One character depicts what is happening north of Winterfell at the Wall, where strange things are brewing.  Some characters, including Ned, help depict what is happening at King's Landing and in the regions south of Winterfell.  The final character is one of the Targaryen exiles outside of the Seven Kingdoms.  Most of the action is intertwined, but it's not yet clear exactly what part the Targaryen exile is going to play in the story.

I definitely enjoyed this novel, though there are a lot of characters and relationships to keep track of.  There are a lot of loose ends at the end of this novel, so don't expect to be satisfied when you are finished with this one.  I'm going to have to read the next book, just to figure out what happens.  (I'm definitely hoping Martin answers some questions about the past as well.  He could definitely write a prequel.)  I'm totally invested in some of these characters, but I know I shouldn't get too attached because "winter is coming."

1 comment:

  1. Are you watching the TV Show? It's so amazing!! If so, we must talk about it-I love talking about each episode with everyone else. I need to read the books, they're just so long.