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Sunday, March 16, 2008

"A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin

Mass Market Paperback: 864 pages
Publisher: Spectra (August 4, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0553573403
ISBN-13: 978-0553573404

The world of the literature would be far more poorer without George R.R. Martin. The author who was nominated and won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker and World Fantasy awards creates a novel „A Game of Thrones”, the first volume in „A Song of Ice and Fire”, that made me say only one thing: WOW.
„A Game of Thrones” describes a fantasy world, named the Seven Kingdoms, that resembles medieval Europe and the events that unfold in the novel are very much the same with those from that part of history. The novel has three storylines, not one like many others.
In the first storyline, Robert Baratheon, the king of Westeros after he claimed the crown in battle, visits his old friend, Eddard Stark in Winterfell. Robert asks his friend to become The King’s Hand, second in charge of the kingdom, after the mysterious death of the former Hand. So the Stark family, one of the most powerful in the land, is split up. After the return of the king in the capital city, named King’s Landing, starts a teribile fight for the throne that involves the Starks and Lannisters, the queen beeing a decender of the Lannisters.
The second storyline follows the events that occur at the northern border of the land, here lies the Wall, a construction that protects the country from the invasion of the mysterious creatures known as The Others. The story is centered on Jon Snow, bastard son of Eddard Stark, who is recruited in the Night’s Watch, the men who maintain and guard the Wall.
The third storyline is set on a continent east of Westeros where we find the Free Cities. Here had refuged Daeneys and Viserys Targaryen, the last known relatives of the previous king and they seek an army to help them retake the country and revenge the death of the king.
The author mixes brilliantly the three storylines so I was never in difficulty when I followed them. The intrigue is complex, surprising, following political conflicts, the struggle for power, betrayals and love stories, and the twists of the situations do the reading more pleasant. And even though the novel has many characters this fact doesn’t prevent me in savoring the read, because George R.R. Martin describes them very well, so well that you get attached to the characters. But here I have to warn you, because the author keeps the realism of life in his novel, the characters that we love can die as fast as those we don’t find very attractive.
I was thrilled about the fact that the author tells the story through different characters, so we benefit of different points of view about the same events, and this contributes to the atmosphere of the novel. And even though George R.R. Martin doesn’t create a entirely new world, in the true sense of fantasy, he comes with many new elements like The Others or the cycle of seasons, the winter can last a lifetime. At the end of my reading the author left me wishing more, with joy and sadness, and also with questions about the upcoming books in the serie. And if those are equal to „A Game of Thrones” I will be very happy.
The novel has some weak points, but this are very few and honestly I don’t want to recall them, so I will give the novel 10 points out of 10.
Dark Wolf

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