‘When you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die.’
It so happened that every time in the recent past, I’d go to the guy I usually buy my books from he’d try to hand me some book from George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. And every time I’d say ‘that’s great but do you have the book I’m looking for?‘ But then when a friend recently asked me to do Game of Thrones, I knew there was just no getting away from it. And so here it is, George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones; and as will happen with most books I hold off on, I’m wondering why I took so long to get to it in the first place!
The conviction with which George RR Martin writes of his world – a world where all things grow in the summer and summers go on forever, for winter, when it comes, is endless and always brings death; a world where Lords live with their Ladies and their Knights and there are people who are much like the Nordic Gods who roam the lands – rings so true you’d think you were reading an epic; untold tales of heroes long gone. There is no faltering, no stumbling, no indistinctness in the characters to give the lie of the tale. Or maybe there are, but you just don’t notice because you’re so caught up in its song. And if you ask me, that’s the way a story should be told.
Of course, since it reads like an epic its slightly unbelievable like an epic, too. The kids don’t sound like kids at all, for one. But you won’t hear me complaining! It’s a tale that sets the men apart from the boys (even at age 4 :-/) and one in which everything doesn’t always go the way it should; good people die and bad people win, you’ll find Brutus as he should have been and you’ll also find a Lady Macbeth and you still know the story is going where it should.
Trust me, if you’ve got a must-read list this one should be on it. I put it on mine just so I could scratch it off. Game of Thrones gets an unsurprising 5.