A Game of Thrones,
A song of Ice and Fire,
G. R. R. Martin
Fantasy fans in search of epicness, here it is!
I discovered the series (A song of Ice and Fire) about three weeks ago and I'm already an avid fan. I'm reading the fourth book right now, and the only regret I have is not learning its (the series) existence sooner! Here is one book (A game of thrones), which gave me either sleepless nights or vivid dreams!
The story is told from the point of view of many characters. I usually don't like this in books as I need some time to grow fond of a character and to root for him, but in this case, it was obviously the best thing to do. The plot (and subplots) twists and snakes so much that otherwise, the story would have been confusing. The story focuses on both the 'evil' characters as much as the 'good' ones. Sadly, both types suffer from misfortune, but this only adds to the credibility of the story.
The characterisation is as close to perfect as it can get. I do have my favourites (the Starks children) and I did groan inwardly when the chapter (which incidentally almost always end with a cliff-hanger) turned to Catelyn, but these are just personal preferences.
The plot is magnificent. A work of art in my opinion. It shifts, shocks, upsets, dismays and surprises with ease. Martin, a former scriptwriter, is a master at this.
The world in itself, Westeros and Essos, is very well drawn - too much even that sometimes a map is needed. (See at the end a map of Westeros)
However, the book is quite lengthy (835 pgs) and unless you have some free time on your hands, you most likely won't get to the end, as engrossing as it is. The solution - you just can't miss this! - would be the audiobook.
Just FYI, the novel won the Locus Award in 1997 and was nominated for the Nebula Award (1998) and the World Fantasy Award (1997).
Followed by: A Clash of Kings
Rating: 9.5 out of 10