I've been intending to write a review of A Game of Thrones for an absolute age, but given that life has been slightly insanely busy recently, I just have not got around to it, despite finishing it a few weeks ago. But here it is now- and don’t worry, I’m going to try to keep this review spoiler-free in case you want to read it and get as annoyed at spoilers as I do. (It’s in the name- it SPOILS things. So don’t do it without a whacking great warning, please)
Wayyy back when I first started blogging, the wonderful Jen of Sunny Sweet Pea organised a blogger book swap. I was paired with Jen herself, and the lovely Jasmine of Life Is My Movie. Given that we had a three way swap, I sent Rebecca to Jen , Jen sent The Book Thief to Jasmine, and Jasmine sent me A Game of Thrones. I had said that I wanted to try something a bit different to my normal rotation of historical fiction/ The Time Traveler’s Wife/ classics/ The Time Traveler’s Wife/ modern classics and so on, and Jasmine suggested this one. I’d heard a lot about the books- my friend J had waxed lyrical about them, and the accompanying TV show (which I’m yet to watch), but while we have very similar taste in books normally, for some reason I really didn’t think that it would be for me. But after yet another recommendation, I thought it was about time I gave A Game of Thrones a chance.
My god am I glad I did.
For the uninitiated, A Game of Thrones is set in a fantasy kingdom (Westeros), and centres on the Starks of Winterfell and the other ruling families of the kingdom, and their interactions. (Which now I’ve written it down, sounds really boring, but I promise that it isn’t). For some reason, I was expecting something kind of Lord Of The Rings-esque, full of fantasy creatures and stuff- and since I’ve never even read the Hobbit, I think this was what put me off reading it.
This isn’t your typical fantasy novel. If anything, I would compare it more to a boy version of historical fiction, as it features all of the political infighting and relationships as novels like The Other Boleyn Girl. You do have Danaerys Targaryen and her brother Viserys, who claim to have the blood of the dragon, and there are a few other magical-type things, but really it just has the typical quasi-medieval setting as most fantasy novels and is set in a made-up land, where apparently incest is somewhat acceptable (weird).
It’s a great story which really does pull you along- and given that it’s the first in a series of novels, you aren’t going to run out of reading material quickly once you’ve started reading this series. The book is split into chapters told by different characters, giving you a different view of the events. As far as characters are concerned, you do have your typical good guys/ bad guys, but I’ve found that now I’m on A Clash of Kings (the second in the series), my opinion of some of these characters is changing. I will say though (and I know I may get lynched for this)- I do not get the obsession with Danaerys Targaryen. I’ve not seen the TV show, so maybe she’s represented differently there, but in the book, she isn’t someone I’ve found myself getting attachd to, and I find it much easier to put the books down when it’s one of her chapters. This could be just because thus far she is quite separate to the rest of the story, but really, I’m not that keen on the girl. Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister, however, I like, and the more I read, the more others are growing on me, or going down in my estimation.
Overall, it is a really good read. It’s not highly intellectual, like some books, so may not please any book snobs who are reading, but if you’re up for something a bit different, or are looking for a new series to get sucked into, I would definitely recommend these books. They are also a great talking point with cute, slightly geeky guys, like the adorable IT man I was chatting to on Wednesday. Oo-er.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to bury my nose in A Clash of Kings...