Review: A Game of Thrones

51va4rfs6xl_sl160_A Game of Thrones is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read. This may sound like high praise especially after only reading the first book of the series, but A Song of Ice and Fire series may just well be the Lord of the Rings of my generation.

I know the old saying about not judging a book by its cover, but I had put off reading A Game of Thrones for a while because the cover was so generic with its orange gradient background and silhouetted wolf on the cover. I’m sorry I waited so long. The 800-plus page book is such a page-turner that I read the whole thing in less than a week.

The beginning of the novel may put some people off and I certainly was confused, but just keep with it. The novel is laid out with each chapter coming from the perspective of a revolving set of characters. The first few chapters are hard to read through because there’s not much to go on, but readers who continue will soon be rewarded.

A Song of Ice and Fire is not a fantasy novel for the weak at heart because it spares no punches. There are unexpected deaths, incest, torture, twists, and all sorts of back-stabbings. What really won me respect for this novel is that George R. R. Martin isn’t afraid of killing characters that other authors would keep alive. When good characters die, it opens up a realm of possibilities of where the story can go because readers know that there are no limits.

I took a long hiatus from reading fantasy novels because I was put off from the genre from reading too many Terry Goodkind novels. This series is an awesome welcome back to the genre. Every part of the first novel is exciting, even the political back and forths that usually bore me. I’m probably late to the party on this, but even if you’re on the fence about this book, at least read through the first hundred pages of A Clash of Kings to see if the series is for you.

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  1. says

    How interesting. I’ve been reading a pair of books (Dreamsongs vol.s 1 and 2) featuring Martin’s short works. I’ve been enjoying it and thinking of moving on to his Song of Ice and Fire books. Now I’m convinced I should.

      • says

        started it this weekend. halfway through. the book scores high on the wife irritation index (measured by how many times and how loudly she has to speak my name to get my attention while i’m reading).

  2. says

    I loved A Game of Thrones too! I’m still stuck on A Clash of Kings right now though because I stopped reading it and haven’t gotten back into it yet.

    As for Terry Goodkind, I loved the entire series because it was soo fast-paced. I think my heart was racing through the entire series but I got annoyed at his writing and some of the repetitiveness in the book. But still, the action made me stick with it. I wonder if I’ll be able to reread those books in the future if I tried.

    • says

      Wow, you didn’t finish A Clash of Kings? I couldn’t put down A Game of Thrones as soon as I was 1/3 of the way in.

      You’re right that Goodkind was fast-paced but I just got too annoyed by his repetitive writing to pick up the next book. Even the action kinda blended together for me.

  3. says

    I picked this up at the library and read several pages before returning. I can tell it’s going to be great (and the reviews like yours confirm that). I just want to get some other books out of the way before I tackle these. Something to look forward to! It’s funny buy I was on a plane reading a Robert Jordan book and the person next to me recommended Game of Thrones. Said he was really into it, much more than he was with the Wheel of Time novels.

    • says

      Smart idea to clear out some other books before getting to this one. I guarantee that after reading the first one, you’ll be rushing to start the second.

      I haven’t read the Wheel of Time novels, but from what I hear, they get tiresome and meandering? Is that true?

  4. says

    I am enjoying the WoT so far. I am almost done with book 2 (of 11 so far). They are long and slow in parts. As an example, it doesn’t really get rolling until page 70. But I like the characters and it’s a good escape. It’ll probably take a few years for me to make it all the way through, which is fine with me. An old friend said I am lucky because I can read almost the whole series now, whereas she had to wait a couple years for the next one to be finished (was during the HS years).

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