Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

What a great book!

The first book of A Song of Ice and Fire series gives an excellent first taste of what this series has to offer. This, of course, doesn’t mean it’s just a taste. This a thick book (a door stopper, actually), and it’s not just introductions.

A Game of Thrones is very plot-y. Full of political intrigue, and characters with different motivations, it is a dance to follow every single one of them.

The family that we follow more closely is the Stark family, from the north, hard and honourable, who like to keep out of the plots and schemes of court. But they are forced to deal with them when Lord Eddard (or Ned, as he is usually called) is appointed as Hand of the King.

There are more families, of course, and there are a lot of characters. Their relationships are anything but simple, I loved their interactions, how some valued family higher than anything else, others wealth, and others honour. I enjoyed discovering how each of them grew and changed, how they faced what was happening.

I had some favourite characters and was pleased, for most part, to see what happened to them. But there were a few that I really enjoyed, more than the others, and want to see where they go next. Jon Snow, Arya and Bran Stark, and Tyrion Lannister feature high on that list, because I, like Tyrion, also have a tender spot for cripples, bastards and broken things (and little people with a lot of spunk).

But there were also some characters I felt needed a good slap, and that is a rare thing for me, to think like that. This award goes to Sansa, who couldn’t have been more different than the rest of her siblings, and, to some extent, Viserys, although I’m not sure a slap would have helped on his case.

I was a bit shocked with the fate of some of the characters, and especially one of them. I can’t say I was expecting it, because I wasn’t. I felt safe that nothing terribly bad would happen, because it wouldn’t be fair. Well, I was wrong, and even though I didn’t particularly like it, it wasn’t out of character or somehow unfitting to the story.

And now I want, cross that, I must know what happens next!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Other Reviews: Baú-dos-livros | Estante de Livros | Floresta de Livros | Fyrefly's Book Blog | Stuff | To Read or Not To Read

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Comment on the TV series: As for the TV series, because I watched as I was reading (always careful never to let the series go ahead of the book), I can say liked it, but it doesn’t really compare to the book. Like much of adaptations, it has been toned down. But to be fair, in some cases a chapter of the book had enough stuff in it to make a full episode.

I liked the casting, especially for my favourite characters (although while I read I imagined Ned Stark as Robert Downey Jr., as Ironman. I blame the last name). The thing that bothered me a bit was that they decided to age the characters. They were consistent, and I do understand that it is shocking to have 14 year olds getting married (and have all that sex they were having) and marching to war or fighting undead in freezing temperatures. But that shock was part of what made the book so good, that it didn’t age characters to an acceptable age to go to war or be king.


  1. Be forewarned, the books only get bigger as they progress!

    I doubt anyone is going to pick a TV show over its literary counterpart. The two major battles were over in seconds due to budgetary constraints, where as the books are free to go nuts. The way they avoided Tyrion’s battle was ingenious and damn hilarious though.

  2. Glad you liked it. :D

    When I started this book, I thought the main characters were the Starks. Silly me. I also thought they were away from harm. Lol, pathetic me. xD

  3. @Drake As long as they keep being great, I don't mind :D

    I know it's almost impossible to have an adaptation better than the original. Budget is always a constraint, and time as well. As for Tyrion's battle, I liked what they did, but I still felt a bit cheated.

    @p7 There is a lot that is about the Starks, though, so it makes sense they should be the main characters (and they should have been safe from harm!). Right now I think the main character in the book is the Iron Throne. It all revolves around it...

  4. Hello!
    I am really curious about this series. I have the first four books right in front of me, on my to-read pile, and still didn't give it a chance. But according to everybody's critics I will certainly love it :)

  5. Wow, you really liked it. Sounds like the perfect book (series) for you. It scares me a bit though.

  6. @Laura It's a great book, and since you already have the 4 of them you should definitely read them.

    It's really cool, but I see what you mean, about it scaring you (and I know there is one part that you'll hate - but it's a small part). Why don't you watch the series first and, if you like it, you can read the books.

  7. Yes, I think I'll do just that. (ª.ª)

    (about the small part I'll hate: does someone eat a live puppy? *scared*)