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Book: A Game of Thrones
By: Greorge RR Martin
Pages: 831
Release Date: August 4, 2007
Stars: 4

This is the story of a land called the Seven Kingdoms, and the power struggle that is happening between two families (the Starks and the Lannisters). It has been described as being something akin to the story of the War of the Roses by some, but set in a fantastical world.

I'll admit to coming to this series rather late. I can remember seeing the author's name on books when I roamed around the bookstore, but I didn't actually start reading this book until after I started looking through some of the stuff that HBO was previewing to get people interested in the series that they are basing on it. Now I'm wishing that I had come to it sooner, since I enjoyed it far more than I thought that I would.

There are three main threads that go through this book, and I found each of them to be completely interesting (and I liked that they were all so different from each other).

First, you have the Stark thread: The family Stark has ruled over the Northlands since ... well, pretty much forever. The Starks and the Northlands just go together, and in a way, it kind of made them who they are: strong, loyal, honorable and a bit fierce.

Second, you have the Lannister thread: The Lannisters are pretty much the ones who are in control of the Seven Kingdoms. They do things behind the scenes, being far more sneaky and conniving than anyone else, and it isn't long before their family is in complete control of the Seven Kingdoms ... of course, war starts up almost immediately after they take control, but they still take it.

Third, there is the Targaryen/Dothraki thread: This is a minor thread that involves the last two survivors of the Targaryen family (who were the ruling family until about thirty years before the opening of the book). They align themselves with the Dothraki people, in hopes that they can one day use these people to go back to the Seven Kingdoms and reclaim the throne that they still consider to be theirs' by birthright.

I enjoyed this book far more than I thought that I might. Too many times I come across books that have been turned into movies or TV shows, and I am left completely unsatisfied when I attempt to read them. This is not what happened with this book. I loved the Starks for being noble and wanting to do the right thing. I loved the Lannisters for being completely awful human beings, and only doing what was good for themselves. And I even loved the things that happened in the Dothraki Sea (wanting to know more and more about the "barbarian" culture of the Dothraki).

It is really rare when I get so involved with a book, or with its characters that when they do something that makes me angry, I want to throw the book across the room in frustration with them. Sometimes I want to throw a book because it's so poorly written that I have become frustrated with the author for not living up to what I had hoped would be delivered, but that was not how it was with this. Characters would do something stupid, and I would want them to be real so that I could shake them into thinking about what they were doing ... or shaking them because they were right gits.

If this book is any indication, I suspect that I will really enjoy the rest of the series, and the move on HBO's part to turn it into a TV series was probably a good idea.


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December 2011


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