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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After I read the first two chapters of Game of Thrones I felt overwhelmed by the number of characters and wondered if I’d ever be able to slog through the whole book. I’m so glad I kept going because I loved it. Game of Thrones reminded me why I enjoy reading epic fantasy. I loved the world building, the politics, the scheming, and even the grimness of it all. Some people might think it’s too grim or too violent, but it felt very real to me. I like some reality in my fantasy. I liked that all of the characters were shades of gray and there really weren’t any heroes, just people trying to do the right thing and stay alive. Or trying to gain power/stay in power by any means necessary. And yes, this is a very grim story. Bad things happen to good people, and sometimes very bad things happen to good people. Even Ned Stark, who is probably the most honorable character in the book, finds his honor tested at every turn.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the multiple points of view, but they worked for me and added to the breadth of the story. The reader gets insight into characters on all sides of the game of thrones, adding more layers to the plot.
It’s not a book for everyone. It’s crude, there’s a lot of sex, and there is a lot of graphic violence. Not exactly my thing, but the story and the characters sucked me in and didn’t let go. I also thought Martin wrote some strong female characters (always a plus for me) who are just as conflicted or in some cases as twisted as the male characters. Plus there is a potentially kick-ass tomboy with a sword and a wisecracking dwarf who steals the show every time his chapter comes around and is probably one of the sharpest characters in the book. Add in some cool direwolves and zombie-like creatures. And dragons. What’s not to love? I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.