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A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

February 8, 2012

A Game of Thrones is set in a medieval world. There are eight main characters: Eddard Stark, Catelyn Stark, Bran Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lanister, and Daenerys Targaryen. Eddard and Catelyn are Bran, Arya, and Sansa’s parents. The second in command to the Kingdom, the King’s Hand Jon Arryn, dies and the king, Robert Baratheon, asks Eddard to be the new King’s Hand. He accepts and he, Arya, and Sansa move to King’s Landing, which is the capital city. Jon, Eddard’s son from a different mother, goes north to join the Night’s Watch, a border patrol. Bran is injured and stays at Winterfell, the land where Eddard is the lord. Tyrion is the brother of the queen, and he is a dwarf. He lives at King’s Landing. Daenarys is the rightful heir to the throne, in her opinion, because the current king, Robert, took over the throne by force from her ancestors, so she’s trying to get an army and ships so she can sail back across the ocean to her homeland and recover her throne. Then something happens to upset the kingdom, but that would be giving too much away. The plot is pretty complicated, but that’s one of the things that I liked about the book.

    The genre of A Game of Thrones is fantasy, because there are dire wolves, which are just really big wolves; dragon eggs that haven’t shown any signs of life; and the Others, who exist only north of the Wall, a huge wall of ice. That’s it for fantasy elements. Other than those things the setting is a realistic medieval world.

    I think that Martin does a great job of creating a real world in which everything seems like it actually could happen. The characters act like humans and don’t do anything that would be impossible in reality. Martin also does a good job of keeping the reader informed about all the parts of the world and all the main characters, so there aren’t big time spaces between hearing about a particular person, unless there is nothing happening from that character’s perspective. Martin also doesn’t repeat events from multiple characters’ perspectives.

    I would recommend A Game of Thrones to anyone who likes to read long books. There are over eight hundred pages in this one, and at least that many in the next four in the series. There are two that aren’t out yet, so it will take a reader a while to finish all of them; it took me two and a half months to finish the first five. It’s still a great series, and I would recommend it to people who like fantasy. I rated it a ten out of ten.

Bantam Books, 835 pages

Read more about this title at Amazon.com

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