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Author: George R. R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire - Book One
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publication Date: 2011 edition (originally published 1996)
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Pages: 807
Buy: The Book Depository

Book Description: In A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Mystery, intrigue, romance and adventure fill the pages of the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.

In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
Cersei Lannister, 488.

I had started reading this book after watching the first two seasons of HBO’s A Game of Thrones and had high hopes for this book. It did not let me down in the slightest. And, in my opinion, the TV series kept quite close to the book in many aspects. I have been an avid fantasy readers for many years but I have missed the epic tales like the ones from The Lord of the Rings. The creation of a new universe with kings and queens and knights; far off lands of mysteries and folk lore; and of course dragons. DRAGONS! The plotting and scheming, the adventures, the romance, the suspense of this story just swept me off my feet to the land of the Seven Kingdoms and the far off lands across the seas. I fell in love with the characters as I read their lives fold throughout the pages and just had to know what sort of drama or new twist George R. R. Martin had in store for them. While it was daunting at first with all the different characters and names to keep track of who was who, having watched the show prior definitely help put a face to the name for me.

Tyrion’s witty remarks and brilliant mind made me laugh and gasp when reading the audacity he had to say the things he said. Jon’s despair and hardship made me want to read more about life on the Wall and talk about the whitewalkers. Arya’s snarky remarks towards Sansa and her brothers were delightful. And Daenerys’s growing strength in herself was inspiring.

Unlike The Lord of the Rings, Martin’s style of writing is much more simpler while still staying detailed enough that the world was so vivid in my head. While the series and books may be daunting by their size, the writing style just flows so easily.

This is a must read for any fantasy lover. The series is now one of my new favorites (even though I’ve only read book 1). Off to start A Clash of Kings!

My Rating: ★★★★★

(Emoticon rating system)