2007: #98 – A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)

Book #98 was A Game of Thrones, the first book in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. The back of the book reads:

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.

This was recommended to me by a friend of mine, and I appreciate it (thanks, Margo!) I’ve very picky about the fantasy I read, and this fell smack dab in my range of acceptability.

This was a slow read for me, but that was more because of its length and the start of football season than the story itself. It’s different than others I’ve read, because you get the point of view of several different characters. In fact, each chapter has a different narrator. The only downside to this is that you don’t get particularly attached to any one character, though I found myself liking the child, Arya, the best. I did find that Martin uses a few phrases a little too frequently… just how many times can someone “not pretend to surprise”? This ends as any book in an epic fantasy series should… with a cliffhanger and no real resolution whatsoever. I’ll definitely be reading the others in the series.

“In the game of thrones, you either win or you die.”

Page count: 674 | Approximate word count: 302,336

2006 – A Dangerous Fortune (Ken Follett)

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