Read: 6 January, 2012
Ever since HBO decided to put paper to screen, I’ve been hearing a lot about Game of Thrones. I’m not really “into” fantasy, in the sense that I don’t know how to find the good stuff and most of what I just pick up off the shelves (or read over someone’s shoulder on the bus) is truly quite awful. I’ve functionally given up while maintaining a dim hope for every new book I come across.
Boy, am I ever glad that I’ve kept an open mind!
Game of Thrones is extremely well written. The language flows and I was never ripped from the story by poor phrasing. Character development was very well done, with the characters at the end of the novel being quite different from the beginning but with no break in continuity. Secondary characters are given details that make them feel alive, making the fictional world feel alive and populated.
Of course, the book is long, very long, and longer still if the sequels are counted (and if you’ve committed to reading all of Game of Thrones, you’ve committed to the whole series because there’s a mighty cliffhanger at the end of the book), but I can’t think of anything that might have been cut out without hurting the story. Even action and battle scenes are kept to a minimum, with the focus quite clearly on the characters.
I also noted that the author clearly has a solid understanding of the medieval period, which further helped make the setting come alive.
I listened to Game of Thrones on AudioBook, read by Roy Dotrice. The reader was very good and used emphasis and voices effectively, so it was quite easy to follow along. The downside to listening to an AudioBook version is that the reader’s voice and the characters’ voice get confused, so it taints my perception of the characters.
I really enjoyed Game of Thrones and couldn’t put it down. It’s a substantial time investment and fairly complex, but it’s well worth it.
Help me afford the rest of the series! Buy A Game of Thrones from Amazon!
Other books in the Song of Ice and Fire series: