Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Game of Thrones

Well, I thought I wasn't going to be finishing this book tonight, but lo and behold, once again I couldn't put it down. I think it speaks in favor of the book when you have read it four times and still can't put it down. I first picked up George R. R. Martin's masterpiece when I was a sophomore in high school. I didn't know then that there were more books to the series, and I didn't realize that most of them at that point hadn't been written. Nonetheless, I read it quickly and enjoyed it then, much like I did now. Unfortunately, the series is still not finished, with the fifth book slated to come out July 15th of this year. However, that being said, most books in the hopefully seven book series are 900+ pages, so I don't expect Martin to punch out a new one every year. In fact, I think I'd be a bit disappointed if he did. Martin creates a beautiful world, the Seven Kingdoms, Asshai beyond the Shadow, the Dothraki Lands, Pentos, Myr, Braavos, etc. This series is classified as fantasy, and it definitely is, with legends of dragons and the Others, dead beings who rise at night beyond the Wall. But it is a medieval fantasy, which is probably one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much. Roughly based off of The War of the Roses, the Hundred Years War, and a little bit of Tudor circa Henry VIII, it's no wonder why I love this book. Martin is a fantastic writer, and I wish I had a tenth of his skill with a pen. I'm waxing poetic on this author, I realize, but this book really is great. Probably one of the best things about him is that he actually writes believable women characters, something I find super rare even from some women authors. He manages to have a woman or two in power in a medieval world, which I love. And the others aren't so worried about getting married and having kids, and finding the "one" etc. Yes, there are girly girls in the novel, but thankfully, most are not so idealistic.
A word of caution to those with more delicate sensibilities: there is sex in this book, not always "nice" sex either. There is a huge secret, that I can't say here (no spoilers, I promise!!), but it might offend some. There is some swearing. And of course, since it's a medieval fantasy, there is a lot of violence and battle scenes. If you can see passed that, it is a great book! And watch for Tyrion's ever present humor. I am off, to be swept away in the second novel of this great series (the second book is A clash of Kings, the series is called A Song of Ice and Fire). HBO has turned this novel into a mini series starting this Sunday (the 17th), so this book will be available probably everywhere (and the cover is a picture of Sean Bean!). However, if you are like me and like to read reviews etc before buying the book, Amazon has it here. And remember, Winter Is Coming.

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