Saturday, October 01, 2011

A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin

I’d heard good things about this series, but nothing that made me think it was anything more than just another multiple volume fantasy epic in the vein of Jordan or Riordan. I don’t subscribe to HBO, but the excitement around their recent adaptation of Martin’s work has been impossible to miss. When a good friend with impeccable taste mentioned she tore through a later 1000+ page entry in the series in a single weekend I knew I had to pick this up. So glad I did!

The intrigue, conspiracies, and familial maneuvering reminded me of The Pillars of the Earth, albeit with dragons and undead monsters here. As with most epics there are several different but loosely connected plot lines, most of foreshadow signs of convergence in later books. The main story is that of a weak king whose death causes a civil war, but the hints of an otherworldly menace and a burgeoning threat from across the sea I found more appealing. The melodrama unfolds from the viewpoint of several of the various characters, with each chapter being told by a different individual. Unfortunately, these characters are generally one dimensional archetypes: noble but dense heroes, venal and calculating villains. While not well-developed, they are compelling, and Martin manages to keep things unpredictable by being unafraid to kill them off.

Enjoyable and entertaining, I look forward to the remaining books in the series.

First Sentence:
“We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.

1 comment:

Game of Thrones said...

Any new fans just getting into this series will get a second chance when HBO airs this season 1 again in December.

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