A Game of Thrones was first published in 1996. I discovered it in 2011 and was immediately drawn into this vast and detailed fantasy world. The book is different enough to be a standout among the many I have read.
Initially, reading the book can be a challenge since it handles a plethora of characters, each chapter focusing on one main character but often weaving their stories together. I was spellbound right from the start and didn't find this to be a major problem, only in the way that I wanted to know what happened to that character next and often had to wait for 5-10 chapters to know it. But since this feeling happened at the end of every chapter it is only fair to see it as a strength of the book.
The writing is superb and the story is impressively detailed and well thought out. This is the first book in the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" and currently the first five books have been published out of a planned seven, as of 2012.
What makes this book and series stand out in particular is the stark realism with which events are described. It's dirty, ugly, violent, direct and grey. Especially the grey part is interesting since the characters here are not either good or evil. They are either innocent or somewhere in between, with hidden motives that constantly surprise and keep the reader on the edge. I was surprised often and left completely gutter-punched by an event near the end of the book which was a revelation that here was something that was not as expected.
The world is believable, mystical and deeply engrossing. As I am writing this I am nearing the end of book three in the series and it only gets better. If you have not yet discovered this series I can only highly recommend you to give this book a chance as soon as possible.
On a sidenote, the popularity of the series and also one of the reasons why I found the book in the first place is the TV series based upon the books. The TV series does a fantastic job of bringing the books to life, but my advice is to read the books before watching the series. The books are on a whole other level of detail.
Written By Steen
Online: Saturday, May 5, 2012