People who want to read the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin a have to be some of the most self-torturing bastards on the planet.. I am proud to say that i will be one of them, waiting (what could be) a decade for the remaining books to become available.
I started reading the first book in the Fire/Ice series, about a month ago. It took me a little while to actually get into it. Martin introduced what seemed to be at least fifty characters in the first quarter of the book. For a hundred and fifty pages, I was inundated with back story and history for people I should have had no care for. I set the book down at least 3 times and had to come back to it. The problem was that each time I thought I could handle no more of it, some small character point would suck me in just enough to keep moving forward (or return to reading). After that first hundred and fifty pages, the character introductions dwindled and I was mid stride in one of the greatest series I have had the honor of reading.
This book came very well recommended to me, and now I recommend it to you. Great story telling in the Fantasy genre. Foreshadowing of magic in a world manned by steel. Battle on the field and battle in Royal politics. The “War of the Roses” of which this book appears to be loosely based.. If you have interest in any of these things, pick this up and read it..
A Game of Thrones is exactly as the title leans you toward imagining. The story revolves around various families, struggling for power in the Seven Kingdoms. The Starks and Lannisters are the real key families of interest in the novel.
A very high overview is difficult. This book cannot be watered down with out becoming drivel, so take the upcoming as generically as possible.
Forty years of winter are on the doorstep of Eddard (Ned) Stark,? a long time friend and essentially family of the King. King Robert visits and asks Ned to become the “Hand of the King”, the man who will do all the king’s political babysitting and decision making when he himself is unavailable. Ned reluctantly leaves Winterfell in the North and comes to court at Kings Landing, bringing with him some of his children. Ned’s wife, stays behind in Winterfell to manage after he leaves..
To the North of Winterfell, spanning thousands of miles, is a 600 foot wall of stone, aptly called “The Wall”. The Nightwatch, a brotherhood of pardoned criminals and social outcasts, guard the wall and ensure the safety of those in the seven kingdoms. They are never to leave the wall, and they may never participate in a war. They are to guard against the unknown evils of the north. This is a good thing, as The Others have been appearing. Pale with ice blue eyes, they roam the forest silent like death. Ned’s brother and Ned’s bastard son both man the wall as part of the Brotherhood.
The Lannisters, family of the Queen, have proven through out the years to be loathsome and self serving. They are untrustworthy and deceitful. Queen Cersie, twin sister to Jamie Lannister, are twisted pair, with secrets that bear need of investigation. Tyrion, the Dwarf son of Lord Lannister, I hope will become a force of power in books to come.
Across the sea, the deposed and exiled family of the Dragon King are working to build an army and return to the Seven Kingdoms to regain control of their birthright. Descriptions of the Horse Tribe culture the dragon lords are entrenched in was by far my favorite aspect of the Game of Thrones.
Hell breaks loose, and I am now addicted.
A note to all readers who decide to embark on this 7 book series. Make it through the first 150 pages and you are set to complete the whole tale. Once you are invested, you will only find some of the greatest fantasy story telling available in the genre. But do not become to attached to any single character. The Game of Thrones knows no mercy and you are bound to find a few corpses along the way that will make you tear up a bit.
Sub note, HBO is turning this into a series in 2011 and i expect that it will be truly exceptional.
- Pages: 835
- Publisher: Bantam (1997)
- ISBN-10: 1417665998
- ISBN-13: 978-1417665990