> I’m sure ya’ll have heard about the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin before. If you haven’t heard of it as one of those epic fantasy stories, or walked by it in the bookstore, you’ve probably heard about the new HBO series starting, titled A Game of Thrones after the first novel. I’ve actually been wanting to try this series for quite some time, but never got around to it. Hearing so much about the new show kind of increased my curiosity, even though I won’t be able to watch it since I don’t have HBO. Anyhoo, here’s my review of the first novel.
This novel alone is covers so many different characters that I’m not sure I’m going to make a lot of sense. I’ll try. Here, let’s try it super-simple:
Sarah likes. Story good. Characters awesome.
If you want more info than that, read on…
Basic plot is that there is a king and several major “houses”, basically several major royalty-ish bloodlines. Robert Baratheon is the king. He became king when him and his crew overthrew the Targaryens. Only two Targaryens survived. He’s married to Cersei Lannister. His BFF is Eddard Stark, one of the lords in the North. Some sketchy situations start going down at court, and you know, kingdom-ish, courtly plots and intrigues and stuff start unfolding. Also, there is a big Wall in the North that no one really goes past. The Night Watch keep an eye on it, though even they don’t seem to realize why. Summers and winters last like years. Summers can last a decade or more, and winters even longer.
I really don’t want to go into more than that, because that’s already more than the back of the book tells you. I will go more into the characters though, because the characters are what make this book. The book switches POV’s between 8 different characters. That’s right, EIGHT. It seems like a lot, but the characters are all so different that I didn’t find it confusing at all. I actually really enjoyed it. And those characters are;
Eddard Stark: Lord of Winterfell in the north. Very honorable man. The Starks are kind of known for being hard-asses. Their motto is “Winter is coming.”
Jon Snow: Eddard Stark’s bastard son. I like him. He’s an outcast because he’s a bastard, but he’s a good kid.
Bran Stark: One of Eddard Stark’s sons, about 8 years old. He’s a cool kid. He likes to climb.
Catelyn Stark: Eddard’s wife. She was born a Tully, one of the other great Houses.
Sansa Stark: Eddard’s very prissy 11-year old daughter. She sucks.
Ayra Stark: Eddard’s 9-year old daughter. Complete opposite of Sansa. She rocks.
Tyrion Lannister: One of the Lannister siblings. He’s a dwarf. Kind of snarky, very smart and witty. I like him.
Daenerys Targaryen: An 11-year old girl, one of the remaining Targaryens. She’s hiding out in the East with her older brother, both waiting until he can come back and take back his crown. I like Daenerys, but her brother is a total douche.
George Martin is REALLY skilled at making a complicated storyline with multiple plots move forward through SO many different characters. My only complaint is that Sansa, Ayra, and Bran kind of seem older than their ages. Obviously, since the Starks kind of dominate the POV’s, you can tell that they’re supposed to be the “good guys”. The Lannisters are sneaky jerks. Have you ever seen the movie Billy Madison? Remember the annoying O’Doyles, constantly bullying others and saying “O’Doyle Rules!”. That’s kind of how I picture the Lannisters, but less red-neck.
Anyways, I hope that this made some amount of sense. It’s a pretty big book, with kind of a whole hell of a lot going on in it. Plus I have a headache. LAME.
But this was a good book, and I already bought the next in the series, A Clash of Kings, to start this weekend.
Sarah Says: 4 stars. Winter is coming.