Release Date ~ 8/6/96
Format ~ Mass Market Paperback
Publisher ~ Random House
Interest ~ TV Series
Purchase: The Book Depository
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.I'll admit it. I came late to the George R.R. Martin party. I started watching the first season of the HBO adaptation of this series after watching the premier of the second season, and I realized "Man! Why haven't I payed attention to this phenomenon sooner?" So after watching a couple episodes I figured it was time for me to stop being lazy so I started reading this book. And though the HBO series is so faithful you wouldn't be missing any major plot twists, this book is damn good.
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 endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Though A Game of Thrones has it all, the one thing that stood out for me from chapter one were the characters. It has such a wide cast of characters, all of which were so detailed and extraordinary. Though all of them were wonderfully crafted, my favorite ones to read about were Arya Stark, who I would love to have as a little sister. Jon Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark who is amazingly awesome. Eddard Stark, who though isn't the most huggable person on earth, he has was a humble, noble, and very admirable character. And, my favorite character, Tyrio Lannister, 'The Imp' though he is a member of House Lannister, the main antagonists, his snarky and sarcastic humor makes him so much fun to read about.
Every great story needs a great villain, and A Game of Thrones has the best you could ever wish for. The main antagonist, Joffery Baratheon who under his mother, Cersei Lannister's guidance makes everyone in the Seven Kingdom's life a living hell. I don't think they're's anyone I would want to take a road trip with less. From the first time you meet him, you want to throttle him. He's a prime example of a character you love to hate.
George R.R. Martin's world in A Song of Ice and Fire is the most diverse and amazing setting you'll ever read about. In the far north of The Seven Kingdoms a huge Ice Wall separates the Kingdom from the frigid north where Wildlings and other scary beasts and creatures exist. Then some castles such as Winterfell, home of the Starks. Going down are the middle lands, described to be lush places with lots of greenery. Then in the south is King's Landing, the capitol of the Seven Kingdoms, which is a desert-like place that reminded me a little of Ancient Rome. It's one of the rare worlds where the settings feels like another character, and I loved living in it.
The book is told from a variety of character's perspectives, which often times feels choppy, but Martin is able to create a beautifully flowing story with different narrators giving you their insights into the story that adds a lot, even if the character narrating is someone you want to strangle.
Though the book is bigger then my eight year old brother at a monstrous 835 pages, I actually highly recommend it to reluctant readers because it is so gripping it will keep the pages turning. Filled with action, adventure, romance, and good dialog and plot twists. It's simply so much fun.
Cover Comments: Though the cover is rather plan, the sword stands for a lot in the book. The blue makes a really nice background too.