Book Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
Author: George R.R Martin
Pages: 835
Publisher: Spectra
ISBN: 0553588486
Purchase Links: Kindle | Print (Amazon) | Print (Book Depository)

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to 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.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. 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.


WARNING: This is a long review but I added visuals for your enjoying pleasure. :)

Initially I was hesitant to purchase A Game of Thrones simply because it is a lengthy read – I thought it was going to be boring and a story that is too much for me to grasp. To be honest, it is lengthy and confusing for a reader to follow this book especially if you are like me who has a hard time remembering the sequence and the character.With that said, I still bought the book boxset. Ahuh, I didn’t just buy the first book, I’ve bought all five. What did urged me to buy it? One, I love the TV adaptation. I know that there are some parts that’s going to be omitted but I loved it regardless. two, curiosity about the hype. Lastly, I love a challenging read.

So 807 pages later, here I am trying to find the right words to describe my love for the A Game of Thrones. I don’t even know where to start so I’ll just jump at whatever in no order at all. Oh, I’ll be leaving tips throughout the review (I don’t know if it helps you though)

First let’s talk about the length. OMG I was really hoping that I wouldn’t get bored with A Game of Thrones, I didn’t want to stop reading it and thankfully it wasn’t boring at all. For such a long story I had sacrificed a lot of work hours just to finish this book.

TIP 1: Do not read the book if you are going to do something important at the moment. There are many reasons why I am advising as such but the most important is: it is a complicated story with TONS of characters and intertwined sub plots so in order for you to follow and remember you need ample time.

TIP 2: Watch the TV adaptation, it helps. Think of it as a cheat but seriously, with this book you need all the help you can get to remember them all.

World Building was nothing extraordinary. The areas are fictional places though you can tell that it’s real. (ok that was confusing but I hope you get what I mean). There’s no parallel world, no other sub-whatever that other fantasy novels have. You can easily imagine that it can be real in Switzerland, Siberia or wherever part of the planet. Even if this is the case, the world created by Martin for the A Song of Ice and Fire is indeed increadible. Ohhh here’s an awesome map created by the talented Kitkat Pecson

wooohooo Pinoy talent!

more up close

Pacing was bearable. 807 pages can be a daunting read but my reading experience for A Game of Thrones was amazing I didn’t even felt that it was a lengthy read (well asides the extra hours I had to work though) but for me, it was worth it and I would re-read it again for sure!

What’s next? Ahh my favorite part – characters. Okay here’s the deal, in every book we always have that one character that we truly hate and grudge about yeah? It’s unavoidable especially when they torture and defeat our heroines it breaks our heart right? I also had my share of characters to hate but thinking about it now I can’t think of any in A Game of Thrones not even  Joffrey or Cersei. Mind you they are really vile character. Why is that? It’s because Martin wrote well developed, convincing and effective characters whether they are good or bad.

TIP 3: Do not invest any emotional baggage for ANY character. Martin doesn’t shy from killing his characters. As early as now, I am telling you this to avoid endless night of crying because the character you loved was killed.

Judging by the reaction that Ned’s death got when the television audience saw that, I think I’m going to go to some part of the world where they have no television when a certain episode airs, and I’ll hide out and they won’t find me at all,” he said. “I’ll have to hide from the Internet storm as well.

- George R.R Martin

Who are is favorites then?

IMP – Tyrion Lanister

credit to the person who created this gif

I know a lot of readers enjoy Tyrion’s character the most for a lot of reason. He’s smart, fierce yet has a gentle heart, cunning and most importantly he knows how to play the game. I know that somewhere in the series he’s going to die (I am assuming, I don’t know yet heheh) but until I am reading his witty dialogues, that’s enough for me.

TIP 4: Don’t forgot THOSE bookmarks and notepad for notes. You will need them I tell you.

Favorite scenes? One is depicted in the gif above and below is the “edited” quote. When I say edited, I removed all the other dialogues to shorten it. :P

“You’re Ned Stark’s bastard, aren’t you?”

“Lord Eddard Stark is my father,” Jon admitted stiffly.

Lannister studied his face. “Yes,” he said. “I can see it. You have more in the north in you than your brother.”

“Let me give you some councel bastard,” Lannister said. “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it a strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

And here’s another one by Tyrion

Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.

and another:

That’s good, bastard. Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.

Another would be a personal favorite. This part was one awesome scene that made my heart pump harder and after I was like “finally”. Scene is both from the TV series and the book -

credit to the gif creator. :P

And here’s one I really enjoyed and made me smile the widest

I just realized that this post is now becoming a fangirl post than a detailed review. I apologize guys but I really can’t help it!

Okay so moving on, A Game of Thrones is definitely not a story for younger audiences. It is full of violence, mature content and I am still wondering why the series isn’t banned. Lol since banning books with contents specified above has become a trend (I don’t know why they even ban books I mean seriously, WE ARE MATURE AND INTELLIGENT READERS people of the banning committee). A Game of Thrones if full of gore and blood, the character doesn’t shy away from inappropriate language nor behavior (incest you guys agggh), A LOT OF nudity and sex (even rape). Definitely not appropriate for young readers but yeah we can’t really avoid it can we? Significant difference with that of the TV adaptation, i’d say a 50%-60% difference and for me the book will always win on this case.

That ends my rant review and I am sorry if this is not too review-ish in tone. This is like what I mostly write with these type of book, I can’t really help myself. It’s like my review of The Hobbit. Ha! Hopefully my review of A Clash of Kings will be better.

TIP 5: Just enjoy it!

On another note, I just realized that Denaerys has become one of the most used costume on Halloween this year. Hmmmm. Anyyyway -

And because Tumblr people post the most funny gifs ever I leave you with

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Mary Grace

An avid reader who enjoys the company of books than her friends. Goes through everyday as a work slave by trade but in reality, works just to sustain her addiction with books. A busy bee who perfected the act of procrastination. Loves the smell of coffee but favors tea anytime of the day.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin”

  1. Rummanah says:

    I watched the first season of GOT just to see what the hype was all about and I realized it wasn’t my cup of tea. I liked the intrigue aspect of it, but I couldn’t get over the incest hurdle, the incidents of rape, and for the most part the weak female characters (which I’ve heard actually grow a spine but that transformation was either a bit too quick and unbelievable like the chick with the white blonde hair or none at all). I got through the first season, but didn’t feel compelled to continue on.
    Rummanah recently posted..Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailMy Profile

    1. Mary Grace says:

      Hello Rummanah. I have to agree that GoT is not a series for everybody due to the heavy content that might not set well with some – like in your case. The time setting of GoT do coincide with the rape/incest/behavior that the characters display with the past. That is why I wasn’t too bothered by it. Denaerys and Sansa looked like push overs in A Game of Throne but come A Clash of Kings they become more vocal and their characters do become stronger. I’m sorry that it didn’t work out for you – maybe with the next season or book you’ll try it again and decide by then? Thanks for dropping by Rummanah! :)

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