Book Reviews, In Flight Reviews

A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones book cover
Posted by JoshWhit

Last week I wrote about the literary classic East of Eden. This week I’m tackling the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series A Game of Thrones.

I’m probably the least committed fan of Game of Thrones the tv show. I haven’t even made it past season 4, I think. Maybe I got farther. I really don’t remember.

Which means I gotta start over from the beginning, I guess.

The books are a whole other beast. 

Each book in the series is absolutely massive! And it’s not even done yet. The last I heard, the newest book is supposed to have unicorns in it or something crazy like that.

As for the plot of the entire series, it’s best summed up in the quote, “In the game of Thrones, you either win…or you die.”

The book series is called A Song of Ice and Fire, and the first book is called A Game of Thrones.

As you can tell, the show took the name of the first book. 

I think the series name would be better because it’s not just about the politics of the kingdoms, but that is a major plot point so I get it. 

The first book in the series set things off with involving the Starks, the main family you follow throughout the entire series, into the main kingdom of Westeros.

But, just like the tv show, you can’t get a favorite character because that is the only way to guarantee they won’t last the whole book. 

This first book in the series does an amazing job of setting up a giant world. There is the building of multiple religions, magic, dragons, crazy indigenous groups, and some different evil breed of being that wants to wipe out all humans.

The tv show is pretty accurate to the book. The biggest exception is with the relationship between Daenerys and Kal-Drogo. Their marriage in the book is a beautiful scene; the melding of two totally different cultures with the focus on similarities and appreciation of beauty and uniquity. The marriage in the show was pretty much pedophilia and rape.  

There are also times where George R. R. Martin gets uncomfortably horny describing the women. He has the stereotypical male gaze from blockbuster movies, but it’s in book form here. 

Another big flaw is the level of description that Martin goes into. 

I’ve met many people that absolutely despise reading Charles Dickens’s books because of his intense descriptions. I think Martin gets really close, but Martin has the advantage of introducing a new world instead of describing the world we already live in. 

If you can stomach some pretty grotesque descriptions coupled with some of the most beautiful scenery, then this series might be for you. If you’re not a big fan of epic fantasy books, you might struggle. The language is complex and makes for a slow read if you aren’t used to that style already. 

At times I think Martin is an absolute master of the written word. He is able to craft insanely detailed worlds with a deep mythology. But then I read the next chapter and I can’t handle the disgusting twin incest…twincest…and a pretty abhorrent male gaze. 

That made this book an extremely confusing read. If you are into absolutely giant worlds and crazy mythology that only escalates after the first book, then this is a great series for you. You also get a lot of entertainment for the price of the book. It can take many, many hours to actually read it. So, it’s a good value book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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