Book Review: A Game of Thrones

Review on: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Rating: 4.5/5

First book in the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire

Welcome to Westeros, where most of the story takes place. The land is ruled by a king, Robert Baratheon, who sits on the iron throne. Throughout the story, you’ll encounter the stories of many other characters like the Starks who rule over Winterfell in the North, or the Lannisters of Casterly Rock who win their loyalty through gold, the Night’s Watch who guards over the realms of men from things beyond The Wall and takes no part in the problems of the kingdom, or beyond the kingdom of Westeros to that land across the sea where the previous’ king of Targaryen blood still has family who’ll do anything to get their throne back. In this story, one event leads to the next. The beginning of the story begins with peace and the start of conflict within the world, and what starts of as an interesting introduction of various characters, families, history and whatnot, eventually leads into the heart of the entire series – competition for the Iron Throne. A fight ensues for the Iron Throne when Robert dies, a fight between the supposedly lawful heir Joffrey Baratheon, and Robert’s brothers Renly and Stannis, while those in the North fight to save one of their own, and somewhere across the sea a young girl’s marriage turns herself from a little girl..into a Queen.

Welcome to an amazing series filled with stories of giants and dragons, shapeshifters and dead that come back to life, stories of knights and ladies, princes and kings, lands of long summers and longer winters, of bastards and royalty and arranged marriages. Be prepared to meet the most unimaginable of characters in the most unusual of settings. Welcome to a world that plays a song of ice and fire.

A complex fictional world built into one amazing series. Game of Thrones is the first book in the (so-far) 5-book series. From the very beginning of the book, the author Martin already takes you into the complex world of Westeros, and the world beyond The Wall. The chapters are written from the POVs of various important characters within the series, and at times, the chapters overlap with the other chapters, so don’t take the chapters as happening in sequence. That’s one thing that’s great about Martin’s way of story writing. To each new reader, it takes some getting used to at the beginning of Game of Thrones, as Martin thrusts the story to you without giving too many explanations as to who is who and what is what.

Be wary innocent readers, this series will not spare you with kind words and stories of happily ever after. Even in the first book, Martin does not spare you with stories of murder, incest, betrayal, war, glory and lust. If you have watched the HBO TV series based on the books, you’ll probably understand what I’m talking about. The series is more or less truthful with the book, except for some parts which are discussed in the later books but presented in Season 1, or parts that are only subtly spoken of in the books but are presented to viewers on the show, and well there’s a lot more sex in the series than there is in the book. If you’ve watched the series and aren’t sure if you’d like to spend hours pouring over the book, let me give you a suggestion, READ IT. Though the series is amazingly portrayed by wonderfully chosen actors with wonderfully captured scenery, there are so many amazingly written details for the characters, the histories, the backgrounds, among other things. Watching the series is like scratching the surface of an amazing treasure box. A lot of things within the story won’t be understood well or correctly till you read what’s written in the books.

Originally, I wanted to give the book a perfect score of 5 out of 5, but I had to deduct points for the lack of reader-friendliness for the first few chapters. Honestly speaking, parts of the book become a bit boring if you aren’t the type of person who loves going into the history of characters and things like that. Plus in a series like this, you’re sure to encounter so many characters, you’ll have a hard time remembering which is which and who is who. Not to mention all the places in the kingdom, or characters from way way before with names similar to those at present. It’s quite confusing. One good thing I love about the book is the visual maps at the beginning of the book, which usually depict the locations where majority of the story takes place. The back part of the book also helps readers with its own set of family tree listings for all important characters in the story, just so you know who’s who, and in case you forget later on and want to refresh yourself while reading the chapters.

I thought I wasn’t a big fan of fantasy fiction books because I gave up on Lord of the Rings halfway through book 2, though I liked The Hobbit and book 1. No offense to Tolkien’s wonderfully created world, but Martin’s world is just so much more interesting and funny and eye-catching. Despite all those details and names and whatnot which would seem annoying after a while, Martin just keeps you coming back with his character dialogue and the way he unexpectedly brings in a certain character, or how he suddenly kills off a beloved character. It’s like 2 emotions fighting to take over, because one part of you just wants to continue reading to see how a situation or story ends, but another part of you wants to preserve a beloved character so you can’t help but stop reading for fear of what will happen next.

I’ve probably said enough to hopefully inform you of what to expect in the book and to hopefully encourage you to read the book. I hope I haven’t deterred anyone from reading this. Haha. So. happy reading to all my readers. I welcome any comments, so don’t be afraid to tell me what you think of the book too.

Cheers and happy reading!

A Song of Ice and Fire series:

  • Book 1 – A Game of Thrones
  • Book 2 – A Clash of Kings
  • Book 3 – A Storm of Swords
  • Book 4: A Feast for Crows
  • Book 5: A Dance with Dragons

2 Responses to “Book Review: A Game of Thrones”

  1. November 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I just finished watching Season 1 and I was devastated. Tempted to read the books but I know it’ll take me forever to finish it!

    • November 15, 2011 at 1:06 am

      I never thought it would take me so long to finish one book. I read through it and then put it off for later. I can assure you though, if you like the story of the tv series, you’ll find the books more amazing. Maybe it’s because I’m on a Game-of-Thrones withdrawal and I heard Season 2 will come out Spring/Summer of next year pa, but the books are really well-written and so much more detailed. They’re addicting! 😀

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The Doll(dalera)

What lies behind the mask of a doll, kept sheltered and propped against the shelf wall. Beautiful and untouched for all to see, she comes unmasked in beautiful glory.

The Doll behind the mask

A fresh university graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University who loves to write stories, articles and poetry. Enjoys reading books - mostly fiction, and loves to play video games.

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