I apologize for only having tags for the past week or so, but this book was a MONSTER. I finished it as quickly as I could. Also as a warning, I go back to school in a week which will definitely decrease the amount of posting that I do. I’ll try to get in at least 2 or 3 posts a week, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, moving on to the actual review. I was so excited to start this series. I’d heard such wonderful things, both about the book series and the TV series. I have watched the first episode of the TV series, but probably won’t continue on with it until I’ve read the remainder of the books.
I really enjoyed this first book. I thought it was a really great introduction to an intense high-fantasy adult series, something I’ve never really dealt with before. I read mostly YA, so an adult fantasy novel was something new and fascinating to me. I was really surprised at how much more complex and political everything was, and at how ruthless people can really be, even children.
One of my favorite things about this series was the chapters themselves, which alternated between an array of characters whom we meet in the series. To list them, we have: Catelyn Tully (Stark), Bran Stark, Eddard (Ned) Stark, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Stormborn, Arya Stark, and Sansa Stark.
This is something I have never seen in a series. So many characters, each getting to share their full story, is something that for me is new and unique and really enjoyable. I only had trouble telling who was who in the very beginning, maybe the first 50 pages of the book. I think getting to read chapters from so many different characters actually helps the reader learn the characters better, because some characters are only talked about in one chapter, whereas they may be the narrator of another chapter.
My favorite character was probably Tyrion Lannister, just because he is an Imp, and a fantastic one. He is so hilarious and boisterous despite everyone treating him like crap, he somehow has managed to keep himself from going mad. I also really love Daenerys. She’s probably, in my mind, the most innocent of all of the characters, but she is also very mature about her innocence. By the end of the story, she isn’t innocent, but she isn’t corrupted, either. For reasons I won’t get into, I also found myself really intrigued by The Hound, who I would really like to see more of as the series continues. As far as my least favorite character, that changed many times throughout the course of the story. At the beginning, Jaime Lannister, then Cersei Lannister, then finally, Joffrey Lannister ended up being my least favorite character. He’s just such manipulative and petulant brat!
My biggest problem with this book was the missing history. I really wish the previous generation was explained a little better. Without this explanation, it makes it difficult to understand why the realm is the way it is now, and why there is so much tension between certain families and individuals within the story. I also think it would be really interesting to learn the history of the Seven Kingdoms, and it almost makes me want George RR Martin to write a spin-off book/series about the previous generation.
The book did also feel a bit long at times, though most of the time I didn’t really notice the length. Mostly, it just made me scared about how many people Martin could kill of when I still had 300 pages left in the book. Don’t take this book on thinking it will be a light, quick read. It’s not. It moves faster than you would expect, but at 807 pages, it took me over a week to read it, and I can sometimes read up to 100 pages an hour. You really need to take this one a little slower to absorb the story fully, and to keep yourself interested. If you try to fly through it, you end up missing the little details that make this book all the more interesting. Going a little slower also allows you to get more attached to the characters, which helps to keep you from forgetting about certain characters that you may not encounter for a while.
I am really excited to continue on with this series, and I’m a little sad that I didn’t add A CLASH OF KINGS onto my August TBR. I will definitely be continuing on with this series next month.
I gave A GAME OF THRONES by George RR Martin 5 out of 5 stars.
I actually had a really hard time rating this book. I really enjoyed it, but wasn’t sure if it was special enough to have earned 5 stars. I ended up giving it 5 stars because it is so rare for me to become attached to so many characters within one series. Usually you pick your one or two favorites, and the rest fall to the way-side. I can definitely say I had very strong feelings about every character we encounter, whether they be positive or negative emotions.
THE NEXT PART OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED FOR ANY EVENTS THAT OCCUR IN A GAME OF THRONES, PLEASE STOP READING NOW.
Ok, spoilers! haha I’m not entirely sure where to start with this. Let’s see….
The Hound. I really like him. He seems like a genuinely nice person, and a good person, even though he has a very hard exterior. I like his relationship with Sansa, and I really want to see how that relationship develops over the course of the next four books, assuming they both survive that long. I kind of doubt they will.
Joffrey. The brat! I can’t say I didn’t know. I wasn’t spoiled, but I knew of Joffrey’s reputation. Little did I know he was a twelve-year-old. How does a child become so disgustingly cruel? I don’t understand. He had the potential to be such a gentleman, such a good ruler, and yet he somehow managed to pull of the greatest “spoiled child” act of the century. I think, if he was going to kill Eddard anyway, he should have at least kept Sansa in the dark about it, so that she would keep loving him. But maybe he just wanted to torture her that much more.
I can’t say I was a big fan of Sansa’s, simply because I don’t relate to her much. I found myself relating much more to her sister Arya, though Arya was still a little petulant and childish for my tastes. I enjoyed their characters much more when they were together, because I really liked seeing how their completely opposite personalities clashed and wore on each other.
DAENERYS HAS DRAGONS! YAY! Finally, we get to meet the dragons. Of course, this happens on the last page of the book. -,- curse you George RR Martin. Wait until the last page to introduce dragons into the picture. Not fair. Now I have to wait a whole month before I see more of the dragons. I suppose I could skip the other books on my TBR, but I really need to read those books, so, a month of waiting it is. The dragons aren’t going anywhere just yet.
I really like the relationship between Khal Drogo and Dany, but I have to say, I wasn’t too disappointed when Dany kissed Jorah, either. Jorah is completely loyal to Dany, and that’s something I really admire in a character. I don’t know that Khal Drogo was completely loyal to Dany, but he definitely loved her, in his own way. I wish we had gotten to see a little more of his relationship with Dany before he died, just a little more proof that his relationship with her was more than just sexual desires. He definitely admired her spirit, that’s definitely true. But I wanted to see more of his LOVE. His genuine affection for Dany. I suppose that it can’t be helped.
I found that my opinions of Bran varied greatly throughout the book. I went through phases of really liking him to really disliking him, and I’m not entirely sure why. He was just a bit annoying at times.
I can definitely say that one of my favorite scenes was when Rickon and Bran had the same dream that their father had come home and talked to both of them. I knew immediately what it meant, and it made me so happy that Ned might have been able to kind of “reach out” to his children for one final goodbye.
I also really enjoyed the part when the Hound tells Sansa how his face was burned. It really revealed him as a character, and I think it helped define a little of Sansa’s character as well. She grew up a little in that moment, because she experienced compassion for the first time, rather than just sympathy. Why the Hound chose to open up to Sansa, I’m not entirely sure… But, as I said, I’m really excited to see how their relationship develops over the course of the series.
One question I do have is, does Joff know that he isn’t Robert’s son? Does he know that he’s Jaime’s? If not, would he have killed Ned if he knew? If he knew he wasn’t really meant to be king? Would he even want to be king? Or is he being forced into this by his family? Was he corrupted too early by his horrid family to have any heart left? I guess that’s more than one question, but, you know. It happens.