Author: George R.R Martin.
Published: May 28th 2002 (first published September 1996)
Publisher: Bantam Books.
Sort: Part one of ‘A song of ice and fire’
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavours to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
I absolutely LOVE the TV show and after watching the three seasons in a very short time, I couldn’t ignore the books any longer. Credits to the TV show so far, they follow the storyline perfectly and I even liked the change they made. They adjusted the ages, because a fourteen year old girl having sex with an adult on TV would be weird. I think I even prefer the older characters and I keep these actors in mind when I read the books.
I’m not going into details, because that would be so much work. This book has a truly wonderful, complex world-building with many developed characters. It was easy to keep track of them though. There are some main characters (don’t get too attached though, that doesn’t mean a thing) and many secondary characters. They have distinct voices and important roles in the story and that makes this such a masterpiece. I was happy with the summary at the end, about all the families and their members. It was fun to read.
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
Every chapter tells the story from another POV, like Eddard Stark (Ned) or Tyrion Lannister (one of my favorite characters). It was fascinating to see how everyone feels and thinks in certain situations. There was one POV I disliked though, because I just can’t stand Sansa. There is something about this stupid girl that annoys me and I must admit that I scanned her pages.
One of the things I admire is the fact that every character has it’s strong points and flaws. Nobody is a 100% good or evil and that makes it realistic. I also love the setting and the hints of fantasy, like all the talk of ‘the Others’ or in the TV show ‘white walkers’ and dragons. I can’t wait to see more of this.
Keep in mind that you need to like politics. This book isn’t a hard-core fantasy book, because it’s all about intrigues and betrayal. One family conspiring against the other, with the Lannisters on top of the list. If you follow my blog longer, you know that I like historical fiction especially in The Tudor era – this book reminds me of it. Everyone is trying to gain more power and money, and they will do everything to get it. It’s after all The Game of Thrones and you either win or die.
”Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”If you are interested in a short summary of this book:
There are basically three main lines in this story. One is about Ned Stark who becomes the new Hand of the King after Jon Arryn’s death. The king is one of his friends, Robert Baratheon who is married to Cersei Lannister. They have three children together, but Ned discovers a huge secret and when he tries to tell the truth, he is captured for treason. One of his sons Robb leads an army to free his father. The second one is about Ned Stark’s bastard Jon Snow. He decides that it’s time for him to do something with his life and he joins the Night Watch at the Wall. This Wall protects the seven Kingdoms, also Westeros, from the evil that lurks outside it, especially when Wildlings are gathered together as an army by one man called Mance. The last one is about Danaerys Stormborn, the last Targaeryen with her brother Vicerys. He marries her off to Khal Drogo in order to use his army to cross the sea and capture his thrown, which is currently hold by Ursurper Robert. Robert killed their father, who was called ‘the mad king.’