About A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: In A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin has created a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.
In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes of 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. 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.
My two centsAfter all the hype, after staring at the boxed set on the daughter's self, after not watching the HBO series, and after a gentle nudge from The Book Avid, I cracked book one open and started reading... and reading ... and ...
Geez, I can see why people are hooked!
I remember getting my first taste of Philippa Gregory's work and I couldn't get enough of it: the intrigue, the politics, the plotting, the assassinations, the epic wars, all within stories and sub-stories.
This high fantasy novel (and the rest in the series) have all these elements plus sex, a lot of it (which accounts for all the bastards in the storyline). My analogy: a sexed up Lord of the Rings, a soap opera happening during some off-kilter medieval era of giants, dragons, and sorcerers.
I take this less seriously than LOTR or His Dark Materials Trilogy; fantasy-lite. The world building did not make me go ooh or ahh and things already felt vaguely familiar. I find a few details niggly: trite-sounding housenames (Winterfell?), slogans or "words" (Lannister's "Hear me roar" made me laugh), character names and places vaguely sounding LOTRish. Methinks the author was very inspired by Tolkien.
But I confess: I didn't enjoy it any less. Now, where's book two? I need to find out what happens ...
P.S. Since this book and series is so popular, I decided to skip the level of detail of my usual reviews and am contemplating doing an overall review of the series.