Sunday, November 4, 2012
Read - Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin
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.
Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
Hubby started watching this series on HBO the moment it started. Well, I had too but I always seem to have something else to do and quickly gave up watching. It wasn't that I didn't like it . . . I just seem to do better when I have a DVD of something, so I can watch it on my time and terms. Hubby stuck with it on TV each week though, and for Christmas last year I got him the box set of the first four books in the series. He's been saying he wants to start reading again, and since he was really into this show I figured this would get him going.
So now the second season of the show has come and gone. I didn't even really bother to watch any because I was lazy about watching the first season on DVD. Hubby stayed with it once again, but the set of books has only gathered dust since Christmas. Ha, ok, so a couple months ago I *finally* sat down and did a marathon viewing of the first season on DVD . . . and was hooked. I have to wait for early next year for the second season to come out on DVD, and then the third season will be on HBO in the spring. What the heck was I supposed to do in the meantime??? Easy. I dusted off the books and dived into the first one.
I'm glad I watched the show before reading this book. It made it a lot easier to follow when I already had it set in my head who was who, etc. This sucker is over 800 pages long. A chunk of that is family trees and info about the main families, but the story itself is still over 700 pages. And it is an epic tale indeed. I love that even with as many characters and subplots as there seem to be, there are no loose ends. Everything does seem to have a point and a place in the story. I love when a storyteller is that thorough.
I posted my thoughts on the first season of the show HERE. The show stays pretty true to the book so I don't want to go over all the details again in this post. Loosely though, this is the story of two main families and how their choices and their battle spread across all the Seven Kingdoms. The Lannisters are out for power. The Starks stand for truth and honor. A seemingly simple visit from the king to the Starks land of Winterfell sets off a series of events that snowballs into murder, treason, and war.
Meanwhile, far to the north even stranger things are happening. The Nights Watch are the protectors of The Wall. They do not concern themselves with the games of kings and the troubles of the realms. They are often laughed at for guarding against mythical creatures, things that supposedly haven't been seen for hundreds or even thousands of years. But would anyone down in the realms believe them when they start seeing weird happenings in the north? Dire wolves and wildlings are moving south. Rangers are disappearing. And bodies that appear to be dead are rising to attack. Will the Seven Kingdoms pay attention now?
Again, I love how thorough the writer is in telling this story. There is some sex (nowhere near like the porn in the show though) and some violence and gore, and some characters that have you just wanting to throw the book against the wall. There is a lot of political game play and war strategy that involves so many people and places. That part of it can be overwhelming at times, but there is a map at the front of the book which was actually quite helpful to refer back to. The storylines are not neatly tied up at the end of this book because it all continues on throughout the series. It is not like a book that completes and the next one just adds a new story to old characters. No, this story continues.
So now I've seen the first season and read the first book. The second season won't be out on DVD for months yet. I debated whether I should go ahead and keep reading the other books while I wait, but then I heard the second season of the show strays quite a bit from the plot of the second book. Hmmm. I kinda think I'd rather see the show first if that's the case, so I can keep the 'current' story intact. I know I can watch the second season online but I don't like watching things like TV shows and movies on my computer. So I'm not sure what I'll do yet. Probably just wait very impatiently for the DVD set to come out.
But whatever . . . I've read the first book and loved it.
Are YOU a fan of Game of Thrones?