Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Game of Thrones- George R.R. Martin

Undoubtedly one of the best fantasy books ever written. I'd put it all the way up there with Lord of the Rings. It really is comparable to it.
This is the first book in the epic series A Song of Ice and Fire. It begins one of the most complicates plots I have ever come across.

It was quite difficult coming up with a suitable synopsis simply because there are 8 main viewpoints. But I have done my best. However, it is quite short since if I tell too much, a lot of surprise will be lost.
There are three main locations in the book where adventures take place- The Seven Kingdoms, On the Wall, and The Free Cities of Pentos.

In The Seven Kingdoms, Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell, is visited by his close friend King Robert Baratheon. He is offered the position of Hand of the King since the previous Hand, Jon Arryn, died. Ned reluctantly accepts, mainly because circumstances have forced him to: Catelyn, his wife, received word from her sister Lysa, who thinks that her husband, Jon Arryn, had been murdered by the Queen. So, Catelyn convinces Ned to go to court and investigate. However, things never go as planned. For anyone.

Before leaving, Ned sends his bastard son, Jon Snow, to The Wall to become one of its Sworn Brothers. He must face abuse from the other Brothers there and try to prove himself to everyone. But soon, a long forgotten evil re-appears and Jon finds himself in a new battle, one more dangerous than any being fought in the Seven Kingdoms.

Meanwhile in the Free Cities of Pentos, Price Viserys Targaryen and his sister Daenerys are on an adventure of their own. They are the last descendants of the Targarayens who were the kings and queens of the Seven Kingdoms before Robert and Ned came and brought them down. Now they look for an army to help them regain their kingdom. But in order to do that, they must go down unexpected paths, especially Daenerys.

This synopsis is lacking a monstrous amount of detail, but the fact is if I reveal any more, things start to get really complicated and confusing. Not to mention long. The events are never along one line for too long. Things seem to be going one way, then bang!, they've stared a different path. That's one thing that I love about this story and the series as a whole. It has such a wonderful and twisted plot that always manages to surprise me. Even towards the end of the book, when you think that you've gotten the hang of things, something always rocks you.
One thing I can say is, George Martin is not afraid to take risks with his characters. He will build them up, make them look extremely important, and then kill them. Not just in this book, but throughout the entire series. I think that was a spoiler. 

I simply loved the book, but I can't pinpoint the exact reasons as to why. You just have to read and experience it for yourself. That's exactly what A Song of Ice and Fire is- an experience.

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