I just finished reading ‘A Game of Thrones’ by George R.R. Martin, the first book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. I discovered the series of books once HBO starting making a series of shows of it and it was a type/genre of show that I normally like. I also learned that a friend I knew from college was a big fan of the series and had good things to say about it.
The basic setting for the book is like a medieval/feudal system, with lords and a king and all that you would expect. Throughout the course of the book you follow several noble families and the events surrounding them. The broad over arching story I have heard compared to several times is that of the War of the Roses in England during medieval times. The story is not just a straight medieval adventure, it has a bit of magic and fantasy elements but they are not an over bearing influence, just enough to make the story a bit different and give it a little flair.
Martin manages to handle a large group of characters well and is able to interconnect the different stories with one another eventually once he set things up. Part of how Martin manages those characters is that in each chapter he switches between characters and rotates the chapters among a handful of them, and we see the world through their eyes in each chapter. One Being Lord Edward Stark pictured below. Normally at the end of most chapters I don’t want to leave the character I have been dealing with and start in on the new one. To Martin’s credit I normally end up just getting as interested in the next chapter as I was in the last.
The book is a good mixture of adventure, political intrigue, back stabbing, a bit of war and fighting, and good character growth as the book goes along with the historical/medieval setting I mentioned above. All of those things for me add up to a compelling story and one while it is a larger book, kept me wrapped up and wanting to keep reading until I finished it, which is what a truly good book should do.
In the end if you like a mix of adventure, some fantasy, history and political intrigue you likely will enjoy this book. It is a longer book than I normally read but the story kept me engaged and wanting to read more. Now off to read the next book in the series ‘A Clash of Kings’
Here is the official book description behind the cut.