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Mswas’ CBR-III Review #16 – Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

05/30/2011

I really put off reviewing Game of ThroneS (GoT) by George R. R. Martin. Not that it’s a bad book, it’s a really great book. It’s just that with the series starting on HBO, a lot of reviews have been done already. What more can I say?

I can say that this is the… fourth time that I’ve read this series? My first time through was in the late 90’s. I don’t think that the third book, A Storm of Swords, was out yet. It completely captivated me. I think I reread it a few times after that, I’ve lost track. This time around I was glad to revisit some of the story, but later was just reading to get to the good parts.

Martin’s style is to focus each chapter on one character and in turn, their stories illuminates the main story. In GoT, Martin starts out with two chapters set in the North of Westeros, one the story of a young boy, and the other is his mother’s tale. We learn much about the North and the Stark family through their eyes,

Following those two the next character’s story takes place across a narrow sea, and we learn even more about these lands and peoples. Martin’s style is quite effective here, and we are drawn into the storyline of a land divided up into seven kingdoms, and the politics of strong and passionate people. By focusing on only one character, he can delve in and create such characters as an incestuous queen, a loyal bastard, a brilliant dwarf.

At times, a bit ham-fisted, Martin does tell a good story. (I did notice that either the narrator or a character said the words “a game of thrones” more than a couple of times. ) He won’t wow you with language, the story’s the thing. And it’s a very good story. It’s a strong first novel in this long saga, and I highly recommend it.

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