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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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

"Winter is Coming"
Author: George R.R. Martin
Paperback: 720 pages
Publisher: Bantam; (March 22, 2011)
Format:Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook 

         Like many people, I began the novel because of the new HBO adaptation, and like many people, I fell in love with it. Maybe it was the politically enriched story, the vivid characters, the gritty realism, or maybe all three. This review is meant to find out.

        A Game of Thrones begins in the land known as Winterfell, where the people are as fierce and cold as the weather. The faction that inhabits Winterfell is the House of Stark, which is led by Lord Eddard Stark (Ned). Ned, and his family, are forced to leave the confines of Winterfell so that Ned can be the Hand of the King. This begins a tale of heartbreak, politics and deceit. You are in for a treat if you enjoy political maneuvering.

        A Game of Thrones biggest strength is its characters. Somehow Martin was able to follow the point of views (POV’s) of eight distinctive characters while providing extensive details and back story.

Here is a list of the POV characters

1.Eddard Stark(Ned)-Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King. Ned’s flaw is his honor.

2.Catlyn Stark (Cat)- Wife of Ned. Though not as fierce or honorable as her husband, Cat should not be mistaken for a fool.

3.Bran Stark-Second youngest son of Ned and Cat Stark. Bran loves to explore and climb the castles of Winterfell.

4.Tyrion Lannister-One of the lords of the wealthy House of Lannister. Though Tyrion is the size of a small child, his intellect and witty lines (you will laugh at many of his lines) gets him out of dangerous situations.

5.Arya Stark-One of two daughters of Ned and Cat Stark. Arya is quick to anger and is more akin to a “tomboy” than a lady of the House of Stark.

6.Sansa Stark- The other daughter of Ned and Cat. Sansa is a pompous princess whose only goal is to marry the prince of the Seven Kingdom.

7. Jon Snow- Bastard son of Ned Stark. Jon is sent to protect the Seven Kingdoms at a place known as the Wall. Jon is arguably the smartest of Ned’s children and is a superb swordsman.

8. Daenerys Targaryen (Dany) - Daughter of the defeated king, Aegon the Conqueror (imagine Hitler). Dani is a timid girl who listens to the orders of her overbearing brother,Viserys.

Though I will not list the extensive cast of side characters, I can ensure you that all of them are fleshed out nicely. Some of the side characters are just as interesting as the main characters.

Gritty Realism-
          Make no mistake; this book is not for those who want a purely black and white story. Martin purposely weaves a tale in which the characters act just like real humans would. There is alcohol, whorehouses, greed, political maneuvering, incest and much more. Martin should not be vilified for showing the true face of humanity; he should be applauded for having the guts to show humanity in this light.

           Though many people will be content with just watching the HBO adaptation, you owe it to yourself to spend the wee hours of the night being immersed in the masterpiece that Martin has created.

A Game of Thrones review score: 47/50

World Building- 9/10
Writing- 9/10
Magic- 9/10 


TylerHughes said...

Great show, ill try the book but it looks so lengthy. How long does it take for you to read a 700 page book? and on a side note, ever notice that the character name Arya appears in fantasy a lot? I'm mostly thinking of Eragon, but i know i've seen it elsewhere

CameronHarris1 said...

it took me about 3 days, but I read about 5-7 hrs each day.

CameronHarris1 said...

Who is your favorite character?

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