Monday, 14 October 2013

Caragh Reviews - A Game of Thrones b George R.R. Martin

Published - 6th January 2003
Publisher - HarperVoyager
Format - Paperback
Synopsis - 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.

Hurrah! I finally read this beast! I first started reading this book at the very beginning of June(!) but for various reasons it kept getting put on the back burner in favour of other, admittedly smaller, books. I absolutely love the tv show and my reliable sources (and you guys!) have been telling me that the books are incredible but I guess in some ways i'm a bit of a book snob. I hate to admit it, but when I see a big book my mind automatically converts it. For example - for the amount of pages that A Game of Thrones has, I could have read 3 smaller books. I often take the smaller ones as preference with no good reason at all! However, I promised myself that I would change this horrible habit and get this book done! I am so, so glad I did.

Each chapter in the book is from a different character's perspective. This has a lot of pro's and con's for me as a reader. There's never time to get really bored of the story (which is one of my big concerns with long books) because it flits between characters so quickly. I have favourite perspectives so I found myself reading faster to get to those chapters and therefore ended up reading the book really quickly once I got stuck in. However because it does change around so much, if I left the book for too long it was really confusing to pick the story up again and I didn't feel deeply involved in the story for such a long time because I didn't get enough time with each person. Mostly I found it a really great thing though and I adored the whole book.

I honestly didn't think I would get as emotionally involved with the book as I did. I knew what was happening and I know at least what happens up until book 3 but I was totally there and was immersed in the story. I was surprised by how close it was to the tv series and i'm SO looking forward to getting to the other books to get ahead of the show! Characters such as Arya and Daenerys are my absolute favourites in the tv show and so naturally I also loved them in the book. I was especially happy to get more of an inside view of Catelynn's mind as I think she has great potential but isn't fully explored enough yet.

The writing throughout was incredible and exciting and it also kind of felt timeless. This book was originally published in 1991 but because of it's world and unique setting, it doesn't feel old or over-done at all. Despite the fact that I was initially put off by the length and size of the book, once I started reading it consistently the book didn't feel long enough at all! I can totally understand why it's such a huge, popular and important series and I really would urge anyone who's sitting on the fence about picking up the book to just take a leap and do it! I hope to get through the next book at least by the end of the year.

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