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.
Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice #1)
Author: George R. R. Martin
Published: August 1996 by Bantam Spectra
Time it took me to read: 21/09 – 9/10
Rating: 5 out of 5
Part two of the book review. Last time I talked about how much I liked the book and the TV series. This time, I will be talking about the story itself.
Last time, I said that when I started watching the TV show, I actually put it on two times before I really started watching it because I couldn’t get through the first few minutes. And that was very similar to my experience while reading the book. The prologue did not draw me in. I actually pretty much skimmed it.
But after that, when the story really began, I was hooked.
The first book is divided between the point of view of 6 people: Eddard Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. It is amazing how well all the people in this book are written. Especially the women. I guess it’s very easy to write different characters that end up sounding the same. But that was definitely not the case here. I love that literally all female characters are strong women, but all are so in a different way. Arya is fierce and fearless, Sansa is determined and is able to stay strong in the face of adversity, Catelyn fights for her family, whatever it takes and Daenerys is sold to a Dorthraki king by her abusive brother but somehow is able to make the best of it. Seriously, it made me very proud.
It has definitely helped that I watched the TV show before reading the books because I don’t think I would have been able to keep the characters apart. It is a very complicated and intricate stories with a lot of minor characters that I, even now, have a hard time keeping straight. I could not remember who Varys was. Which is kind of funny as that’s probably how he likes it. I think that that’s probably the only downside to this series (apart from the prologue). But once you get into it, you get used to it.
Another thing that stood out to me is that the writers for the TV show stayed extremely close to the source material. Seriously, it was almost line for line. Apart from the huge amount of sex that’s in the show. There isn’t nearly as much sex and mentions of nakedness as seen on TV. But still, very impressive.
As in the TV show, Daenerys and Tyrion are definitely my favourite characters to read about. Daenerys is so strong and develops amazingly, and Tyrion is funny and sarcastic and cunning. Both very entertaining. My least favourite is Catelyn. Although she is strong and determined to protect her family, she just doesn’t excite me as much. My favourite part of the Catelyn chapters was when she said this:
“It must not come to war. They must not let it.”
I laughed out loud at that and said “LADY, HAVE I GOT SOME BAD NEWS FOR YOU.” It was pretty funny.
I believe Sansa will become one of my favourites later in the series. I know how she develops and deals with things from the show and I can’t wait to read more about her. I believe she will be one of the few left standing at the end of all this. She is a survivor that one.
What else do I want to say…
Oh yeah.. in the books, the ‘older’ kids (Robb, Jon, Daenerys) are all a couple of years younger than they were depicted as in the show. For example, Daenerys is 13 on her wedding night. I’m choosing to ignore that and imagine them about 3 – 4 years older than the books say. So that’s between 16 en 18 years old. That makes me much more comfortable. Sure, seeing as it sets in an alternative middle ages, the ages of the characters are pretty realistic but still.. for my own comfort, I imagine them older.
Also, my only wish in this whole series is for Arya to be reunited with Nymeria. I don’t care if it’s the last line of the last book while their surrounded by 100 bodies of all their foes and allies, I want Arya to see her Direwolf again. It will happen, I can almost feel it.
So… yea. 5 out of 5 rating for the first book in the Song of Fire and Ice series. I honestly can’t wait till I read the third and fourth book. That’s when shit is really going down. *excitement*. No but seriously, it is amazingly well written, all of the characters are beautiful and brave and interesting and most importantly: different! They all have their own signature. It’s a long read but it’s definitely worth it!
I’m reading a Clash of Kings now but I haven’t made much progress while I’m dealing with this shoulder thing. Which is also why I’ve been absent this past week. Typing with a sling is annoying. But luckily my shoulder is improving every day so I’ll be able to blog like usual again from now on.
Now excuse me while I dive back into the Westeros world.