A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin
Picture from wikipedia
I picked this up hesitantly, as I tend to when there’s such media hype about a book, having been disappointed by other media hypes (namely The Fault in Our Stars, but I’ll cover that later) in the past. I was worried about all the death and destruction and unnecessary sex, only to discover that the book… wasn’t actually that bad.
I genuinely really enjoyed it and devoured it within a week to my complete surprise. So, here’s my run down of it.
The first thing I thought when I finished the book was, ‘wow, the TV show does add in a ton of unnecessary sex doesn’t it?’
I found that in the book, it was used when necessary, and therefore mostly in Dany’s plotline. Now, having not watched the TV show, and not having any plans to watch the TV show, I understand that my perception of the it is probably quite different from the reality, but my impression is that there’s a lot of ‘sexposition’, so if you’re like me and would really rather not watch that stuff, I would recommend reading the books because its bearable – used only when necessary to the plot. So, mostly with Dany (to show her develop into the strong character everyone loves), a bit with Tyrion (and hence introducing his history with his family) and that one time the Lannisters are caught by Bran doing stuff, which sets the ball rolling.
Obviously there is a lot more to this review than that, but I felt I had to make that clear because that certainly remained as an obstacle for me before I started reading it.
Secondly, to the whole ‘he kills everyone!’ mentality. Again, I am somewhat ignorant here, having not read the rest of the books and I know this impression is for the show and therefore covers more of the plotline than I have read, but really, who does he kill who is important in this book? There may be a high body count when you go and count every character who we see for three pages before they die, but really there’s no way that you could have developed an emotional attachment to these characters before they died.
Except for Ned, but I honestly found I couldn’t wait for him to die. He didn’t develop and he just sang the same old ‘honour’ tune the entire way through the book, so until I read the next main character death, I shall say my conclusion is that the author is unable to sustain and develop characters very much, so they have to die otherwise people will get bored. Although, his death was obviously very important to the plot.
However, it was very enjoyable because it truly was a very good fantasy world with enough development for the characters to feel in place in all of the different locations they travelled to, but it also was a very good reflection on humankind and its struggles with greed, love and consequences.
When I started this review I thought I would give this three stars, but having realised how much I did enjoy it…
4 out of 5 stars – the prologue for books to come I hear, let’s hope the others are just as good.