Winter is coming…
I apologise for this post being late – it’s party because I’ve been making my way back to Australia from Europe, and partly because this is such a huge book. Over 800 pages and definitely not to be taken on lightly. I won’t be going into too much of a detailed summary of what the book is about, because most people have at least heard of Game of Thrones, whether it be the book series, the tv series or both.
However, for those who don’t usually read fantasy or watch that sort of tv show, basically the books are set in a medieval style kingdom in which, you guessed it, there is a constant struggle for the throne. The book begins after the mad king has been killed and Robert Baratheon has taken the throne. However, the decedents of the old king (Viserys and his sister Daenerys) have fled to a faraway land and there is a threat that they could return and try and reclaim the throne. All in all, the main theme of the first book is the different struggles of the main characters and how it is all linked to the throne.
While you may be put off trying to get through such a huge book (especially with the rest of the series being the same) I would definitely say to give it a go. I found it surprisingly easy to read, even though the story switches between about 6 different characters’ views. I found it interesting to hear the story from the different points of view. It definitely made you question who has the right to rule, instead of just believing in one rightful ruler. It is extremely well-written in my opinion, and draws you in to the world. I find some fantasy books hard to follow with all the unusual names and places, but this wasn’t the case with Game of Thrones. However, this may be in part because I had seen the series before reading the book, so I was familiar with all the characters.
An unusual thing about the tv series is that it follows the book pretty much exactly, which is extremely rare these days. I find that usually shows that the tv writers thought that the series was engaging enough to keep as is, rather than having to vary it. So if you find the book confusing at first, perhaps try watching the season 1 of the tv series first. I wouldn’t recommend this usually, but because the tv series is so similar, if you are someone who struggles then it would be great way to get you into the series. Be warned though, the tv series is also very addictive and you might find yourself watching the other seasons as well!
Overall, I found this book very enjoyable, and I will definitely be reading the rest of the series (already bought the next book before I finished reading the first!) I highly recommend it, especially to fantasy lovers. I did read some other reviews that thought that the series wasn’t good at all because it wasn’t strictly fantasy (there are only small elements of magic or the supernatural mentioned) but I disagree. I don’t think a fantasy book is terrible just because it doesn’t fit the conventional fantasy stereotype. Take it for what it is – a great read with an addictive, page-turning feel.