Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bookish Sundays: A Game of Thrones

Title: A Game of Thrones

Author: George R.R. Martin

Category: Fiction, Fantasty

Synopsis (c/o Barnes & Noble):  "Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones."

c/o Barnes & Noble

You may have heard about this series being portrayed on HBO already, and if you've watched any of the episodes, please don't spoil it for the rest of us.  But, as with every book turned movie/show, the novels typically add quite a bit more to the story than producers can possibly hope to portray in their limited time slot.  After seeing a couple episodes of the first season, I have definitely been impressed with which bits and pieces they've taken from the storyline.  I'm still in love with the books more, but the show is impressive.  These novels follow the traditional sense of fantasy story lines, with kings and queens, clowns and fools, demons and dragons.  Martin has been compared to such legendary authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Steven Erikson, & Robin Hobb, all of whom write the classical adventures all avid readers should enjoy.

Martin's storytelling is unlike any other, but can be quite a bit to shift through.  His descriptions go on for quite a while, and there are so many interweaving characters and stories within the story that it can be difficult to follow at times.  This novel is definitely only for those willing to spend time unraveling the slight confusion [and also to actually read, it's quite long], but you will be well rewarded with an amazing tale if you do.  If you decide to continue with the series, A Song of Fire & Ice, I commend your efforts since it's quite a daunting task, but be aware that the following novels [while fantastic] are a bit more tedious than the first.

Definitely one of my favorite current series, and I will continue to read the rest of the series as Martin writes them.  Hope you enjoy as well!

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