A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

Finally, just finished reading Game of Thrones by George Martin.  What a fantastic read.  I don’t know why I left it so long – probably because it’s such a big book that I needed to have a bit of free time to read it!  But, I’m so glad that I’ve finally started this series and now I have so many more books waiting to be read!

I don’t really think I need to go too deeply into the details of the story.  We start off with an introduction to the Starks of Winterfell, Lord Stark, Ned, his wife Catelyn and their children, Rob, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon.  Ned also has another son, Jon, but not to his wife Catelyn (a sore point to say the least  but he is determined to raise Jon as best he can). The Starks rule in the North where life is hard and winters very cold.  We have a quick insight into their life and characters before everything is torn apart when the King, Robert Baratheon arrives to offer Ned a position at court, to become The Hand to the King.  Of course, refusing the King is not an easy or wise task and particularly difficult if the King was once your most trusted friend and so Ned reluctantly accepts and takes his daughters away to Court with him to start his new position, thus effectively splitting the family.  Of course, life at court is full of intrigue, duplicity and treachery with everyone playing the game of thrones – a game which usually ends in death and despair.

I think this story is really excellent.  Where can I start.

Firstly, the story is told in small chapters in a number of different voices.  This is such an excellent device as it allows us to be everywhere – I love omnipresence in a book.  Seriously though this enables us to read the POV from the girls and Ned in their own chapters down at court, we can hear from Jon (who has now left Winterfell to serve the rest of his life as a guard on the North’s defensive wall or to be back at Winterfell with the rest of the family.  Added to that we have the introduction of a new set of characters and an alternative plot line with the Targaryens.  Really, we are following three story lines, the intrigues and macchinations of court life, the life of the guards on The Wall and the strange happenings in the forest where The Others lurk and tales of giants and other stranger things are whispered, and the story of the Targaryens, Dany and her brother – last of the House of Dragons.  Fairly quickly we are sucked into all three, and, despite the scale of the story, it never feels difficult to follow the plot.  All three storylines move on at a pace together with each gradually gaining more and more tension until the final few chapters where it is impossible to put the book down!

Secondly, the characters.  Totally fantastic and well written.  There is such a lot to choose from, really despicable, mean and treacherous characters who you simply love to hate, courageous and honourable characters who are uplifting to read along with, clever and cunning, slippery and sly, naive and trusting, just such a lot.  Basically I love some of the characters and by the same token really dislike others.  I particularly liked Jon and I really enjoyed reading his chapters.  I also thought Dany was brilliant to read about and Arya and I guess the other character who you just can’t help liking is Tyrion – so insightful. I think it’s brilliant that the author has come up with such a diversity and he manages to make you utterly dislike someone without feeling petty.  Like I said some of these people are so horrible that you hope they do come unstuck and others you are crossing your fingers that they’ll be okay and in managing to stir these feelings you become totally invested in the story and the outcome.

Thirdly, we have the story itself which is epic and mind blowing in its ‘epicness’!!  The scope is stunning and the author’s ability to juggle all the plotlines and come up with twists and turns along the way is staggering.  On top of that this is one author who has no qualms whatsoever in telling things how they are.  We have battles and deaths and they’re not always pretty, some scenes are a bit near the knuckle and there is also no hesitation whatsoever in sacrificing characters as the story moves forward.  (In that respect I would say that this is definitely an adult read).

Fourthly, a great ending which has left me eager to read the next book – I sort of had an inkling what was going to happen – but, I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

In terms of criticisms.  Mmm, don’t have any.  Unless I can say that not having any criticisms is a criticism.

And, lastly, the beauty of appearing so late to the party is there are goodness knows how many books in the series already waiting to be read!  Winner!

I loved reading this book and would definitely recommend.  It’s an amazing adventure story, medieval, full of families at war and secrets and with plot lines that are only just coming to fruition.

I hope the next books are as good.

Rating A+

A Games of Thrones

A Games of Thrones



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

  1. Carl V.

    I read this for the first time last year and loved it. Managed to tear through it in something like three days, which is a real oddity for me with a book this size. Loved the short chapters, found the characters to be very interesting, and just couldn’t put it down. It certainly lived up to all the hype from my friends and from the internet opinions of people who are GRRM fanatics. I had the pleasure of meeting GRRM at a writers convention in Kansas City last year and listening to him read a selection from the now published 5th book in the series prompted me to finally go and give this a try. Glad you liked it.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – I loved this – you did well to get through it in three days – you mustn’t have slept! I think originally I was put off by the sheer scale of books – 5 books, and all pretty huge – in fact No.3 is split into two! But I’m really glad I give it a try. Lynn 😀

      • Carl V.

        It was one of those times where I was taking the book everywhere with me, reading it over lunch, on breaks, reading for hours every night when I got home. I was really hooked into the story. And it was rewarding.

      • lynnsbooks

        Oh, I love it when a book hits you like that! I really loved GoT – can’t wait to read No.2!! – Also, don’t laugh – but I have a comic of GoT – issue No.1 by Dynamite Entertainment – and it’s so good – I’m totally being a geek now, I realise this, and it has to stop!!! 😀

      • Carl V.

        My best friend is a GRRM fanatic. He is the one who gave me a copy of A Game of Thrones. Part of my speed with reading it when I did was that, at the time, his birthday was coming up and I wanted to be able to tell him on his birthday that I finally read it and so we could actually talk about it. He has all the Song of Ice and Fire comics and extra stuff that comes out, so I will not be laughing at all. 🙂

      • lynnsbooks

        I like your best friend already. When you’re reading book No.2 – would you mind letting me know and I’ll pick it up at the same time – I won’t be reading it as fast as you – but then i can at least pester somebody (not really pester so much as discuss) without giving away the plot! BTW – what chapters of ROTK are we reading from and to in the fist read along for Book 3??
        Lynn 😀

      • Carl V.

        I will as long as you are okay with it not being any time soon. I have so much to read. So I’m saying that to say don’t wait on me if you suddenly get the urge to read it. 🙂

        This is the reading schedule for Return of the King:

        part 1 – Minas Tirith – The Battle of the Pelennor Fields Discussion November 12
        part 2 – The pyre of Denethor – The steward and the King Discussion November 19
        part 3 – Many Partings – The Grey Havens Discussion November 26

      • lynnsbooks

        Okay – but not even bought it yet!
        Can’t wait to get back into LOTR.
        Lynn 😀

  2. nrlymrtl

    I recently read this for the first time. Excellent book. My man and I are doing the audio version and I absolutely love Roy Dotrice’s voice for dwarf Tyrian.

    I also love the omnipresenct-layout of the book – small chapters told from different characters. That way I feel smarter as a reader, being able to connect the dots instead of in the dark with 1 or 2 main characters.

    • lynnsbooks

      I think Tyrian is one of my favourite characters. Whether he survives give Martin’s way with his characters remains to be seen – I’m staying away from spoilers so I really don’t know what’s going to happen in the later books.
      Lynn 😀

  3. “Our lives are all different and yet the same.” (Anne Frank) |

    […] A Game of Thrones by GRRMartin –  Tyrion Lannister – also known as the ‘imp’ or ‘half man’ – Tyrion is a dwarf, born to the powerful house of Lannister – he doesn’t really need any introduction!  Definitely one of my favourite characters from the series. […]

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