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A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Posted by Caitie F on September 13, 2011

Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: George R. R. Martin
Paperback:  835 pages (story is 807)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Year Published: 1996
Rating: ++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective wall. To the south, the King’s powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens.

Review:

I finally read it and really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to watching the show. Since this is not a typical book, this will not be a typical review. I want to talk about my favorite (and least favorite) aspects of the book.

Favorite Character(s)

I can’t choose just one…so I am calling it a tie!

First, Jon Snow. The bastard. And in case you ever forget that he is the bastard, he is constantly called it. I think he is the kindest, strongest, and most caring bastard there is. He is so brave and noble. If there is a character to strive to be like, it is Jon (Well Jon and Ned). I loved every time there was a chapter from his perspective from the very first.

And he is tied with his half-sister Arya. She is bright and strong. She is a tomboy and cannot stand it when they try to make her into a little princess. She is outspoken and headstrong. I love characters like this, especially in a young girl. The book ended with her in some peril, so I want to hurry to the next book to make sure she is okay!

Most Improved Character

At first, I really didn’t care for Daenerys (Dany). I wanted the book to get back to the Starks. They were what I cared about and who I wanted to read about.

But then she got married to Drogo and with that wedding she found her voice and her strength of the dragon. She saw her brother was wrong and that she could take control of things too. After that, I couldn’t wait for another Dany chapter. And her ending shocked me even more than the big death (but I did know about the death before reading). I cannot wait to see her story…and it makes it so there is a whole other team of good guys.

Least Favorite Character

While I loved most of the Starks…Sansa annoyed me to no end. She was too naive. She didn’t care that Joffrey lied and hurt her family and wolf directly, she blamed her sister instead. He was cruel to her and she just let it go because he was “her prince”. I did not enjoy her characters and got so annoyed at her. Hopefully, now that Joffrey has shown his true colors, she will get some sense into her pretty little head.

Character I Wanted to Punch in the Face Every Time He/She Was On Page

Speaking of Joffrey…what a jerk! What a prick! I hated him from the second I saw him on the page. He is a spoiled little brat. I wanted to crawl into the book and punch him in the face. It makes him an interesting character since he…rules the entire kingdom. But I still wouldn’t mind watching him suffer.

Best Aspect of Book as a Whole

I love how Martin has managed to juggle so many characters. They all have amazing stories and so many motivations. It makes it hard to know who to cheer for. I love the Starks, but I love Dany too. I can see being torn in furture books when they are pitted against each other.

The story is so intricate, but I trust that it is meaningful. In the first book, some things seemed random at first, but it matters and it means something…for hte most part.

Worst Aspect of Book as a Whole (why not 5 +)

Martin over-describes like crazy. While I love that the world is so vivid, sometimes he just goes too far. I don’t need to know the descriptions of every piece of food they eat. Or three pages of Dany’s wedding gifts. Just focus on what is important and the book would move much faster. I think there could have been a better balanced of the descriptions.

I also found myself confused during big battles. There were actually a few times when I had to read a paragraph four or five times because there were confusing pronouns…I had no idea who the “he” was referring to, since it could have been two or three people.

Scene I Can’t Wait to See in the Show

There are SO many…but I think watching the consequences of Viserys actions will be awesome. I loved reading it (and grimacing), so it should be very graphic.

I am also excited to seeat least one of Arya’s dance lessons and hope they are included (even though I know they may not be).

Cannot wait for the second book!

Agree with me? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

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2 Responses to “A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin”

  1. I’m not surprised that there’s so much description in the book – that’s why it’s so thick!

  2. […] I loved A Game of Thrones and was very excited to read this before season two of the TV show starts. This book did not […]

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