Book Review: “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin

Genre:  Fantasy

(brutal, epic)

“A Game of Thrones” is the first of five books in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.  Galen at the Tracy, CA Barnes & Noble told me it was a great book (he was right) and that I really should expand beyond spies, killing and murder.

With “Harry Potter” and “Pendragon” I had already read “kids” Fantasy, but, now, this is an “adult” Fantasy (watch what you are thinking!  haha).

Being the first of an epic saga, it is hard to get a grasp of who the main characters are or are going to be.  Every time I thought I had it figured out….the person dies!  Arrrghh…


The story takes place in a land that is divided into three parts.

The most northern part is wild (The Haunted Forest) and inhabited by mythical / supernatural beings such as “The Others”, Giants, the dead who are still alive (and very hard to kill), and the Wildlings.

Separating this far northern wild land from the rest of the realm is a 700 foot tall ice wall that extends from the mountains in the west to the water in the east.  A VERY long and tall wall. The wall is guarded by the “Night’s Watch”….men (some boys growing into men) who dress in black and have taken a vow that they will never take a wife, bear children, and will die in service to the realm and the wall.

The Northern people (just south of the Wall) are tough and used to bitter cold weather (a 10 year long summer is just ending and winter is coming).  They seem to be more peace loving (but are vicious fighters when they need to be), and can trace their heritage back to the “First People”.   They worship the “old Gods” of the trees.

The Southern people have milder weather, worship a different set of Gods, and seem to be more ambitious and mean.

There are islands that are home to others who can be terrifyingly brutal and uncivilized (for example, they often “ride” a woman of their choice in public).

The main families, at least so far, are the Starks of Winterfell (a northern area, the Direwolf is their symbol) and the Lannisters (from the south, the Lion).  Other families are aligned with one or the other.

I could spend days introducing all the characters, but, I won’t.

“A Game of Thrones” is an epic that reads like a new classic.  It is over 800 paperback pages, easy to read but brutal.  On that note….don’t fall in love with anyone because all hell breaks loose more than once….as do many heads.

I am looking forward to reading “A Clash of Kings” because the ending of “A Game of Thrones” is not an ending.

More from George R.R…….


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