Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Game of Thrones

Let’s see how to begin. Well when I was in Elementary school my school district in their infinite wisdom decided to put me in trial reading programs for my first 4 years. So in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade I had a different method for learning reading. That being said I was illiterate until half way through 3rd grade. That may not sound bad but consider this, my 5 year old daughter in Kindergarten can already read better than I could in 2nd grade.

So as you can imagine I was never a big reader. I picked up a few of the nerd must reads over the years. Lord of the Rings namely and a few others. About 2 years ago I stumbled across the Horus Heresy and blew through all those books. Now I’m currently reading the Song of Ice and Fire series. I finished A Game of Thrones about a week ago.

I typically like to wait a few days after finishing a book before reading anything to have time to digest it. With that lull being done I also feel that it’s as good of time as any to write a review.

George R.R. Martin has a unique chapter style with these books. Each chapter is from the perspective of one of the main characters and no two consecutive chapters are the same character, though all the characters typically repeat in other chapters. It took about 100 pages to get use to that but then it felt natural. George R.R. Martin’s excellent writing style and interesting story telling floated me through that adjusting period easily.

A Game of Thrones is an interesting book in its self. I’m going to try and not give anything away but the majority of the book has subtle magic hints, with the primary focus being on your typical lords and knights struggling over control of the kingdom. The entire time I read the book I was nervous… it was interesting. At any time in this book you truly believe anyone can die. No matter how important someone may seem to be to the overall story line, they can die… and sometimes do. Entertainment media often struggles to find an attachment method between the viewer/reader and the main characters because it is nearly always assumed the good will triumph over evil. If I never care, nor fear, for the main characters lives I won’t be as engaged in the story as I otherwise would be.

A Game of Thrones is an excellent book. It does what most movies and book can’t do. It makes you fear for the main characters lives. That is a crucial point in making this book so good. Another key feature is that even the so called bad guys have redeeming qualities. One of the “bad guys” slowly grew to be one of my favorite characters in the book.

I have now started the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings. It is thus far just as good and I look forward to seeing what George R.R. Martin has in store for me.

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