Thursday, 2 January 2014

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

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am somewhat astounded at how much I enjoyed reading this book!

I'd put off getting into this series for ages for two main reasons: I was committed to finishing the Wheel of Time books before beginning another epic fantasy with a massive cast of characters and a trusted reader friend had told me of his disappointment in the books. So even getting into the TV series took some persistent coaxing from my brother, but eventually I did start watching and in short order I'd caught up to the second half of series 3 and ended up watching the remainder of the episodes in real time. Needless to say I was pretty much hooked from the get-go, but after the Red Wedding episode, I'd also decided it was time to start reading the novels as well.

So my reading of A Game of Thrones was from the perspective of having already seen all three seasons of the TV series and therefore I had some reservations as to how much I would enjoy the book: either I'd find it too dull given I already knew what was going to happen or I'd be too frustrated at the differences between the two versions of the story.

Happily though, neither of these proved to be the case. I was amazed as I read the book just how closely the producers and writers had stuck to the story, to the point that at times it felt more as though I were re-watching the show rather than reading the book (on several occasions I actually found myself trying to recollect which episode I was up to before remembering I was reading the book), but this never detracted from my enjoyment. Similarly, knowing what was to come as I began each chapter didn't at anytime deter me from wanting to continue to read, and in fact usually acted as an enticement to just one more chapter, and then another, and another...

For me, one of the ultimate guides to one's enjoyment of a book is to ask "Do I regret the time I devoted to reading this story?" and in the case of A Game of Thrones the answer is most definitely a no! I loved the story, the world-building and the characters and despite the occasional opinion I've come across suggesting the subsequent books as not as good, I'm still keen to read more.

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