It’s about time really…
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Monday 28th January – Saturday 2nd March (34 days)
9 morning, 5 afternoon, 14 evening, 5 night
This has been in my to-read pile for a while now, recommended to me by loads of people – some who had seen the TV show, and thought I’d like it and before then, some who had read the books who thought I’d love it. But I have been put off by Gareth attempting it and saying there were too many characters to keep up, and by the fact that it is an 801 page book and I have had very little free time for reading lately, mainly half an hour before bed…
So I have kept putting it off, until the end of January when I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. I can’t start a book and not finish it – even if I am really not enjoying it, as I am a completist and I like to give things a proper go before I give up on them. But I really needn’t have worried. This book was great!
I love castles, knights, horses, swords, bodices, kings and queens, and magic. So this book was right up my street. I didn’t find the large number of characters a problem at all, I liked this, and although I had to use the appendix at the back for the first quarter of the book, just to check how someone was related to someone else, I quickly got to know the characters well enough. I loved all the political strategy and tactics, the back stabbing, the honourable and dishonourable behaviour and found the actual story pretty gripping on it’s own. Add to that the characters – most of whom were well written and developed throughout the book, and I was hooked. On top of that was the hint towards magic, and then the ending, which… well, I won’t ruin it.
I lived the Lannisters – they are so ambitious and cruel, and add a nice element of the ‘bad guy’ to the book. There’s not much to like about them, especially Cersei and Joffrey, Joffrey in particular… But there was Tyrion, who I couldn’t help but like – a dwarf son of the Lannisters, who is treated as a misfit because of his size, but is sharp and witty. I liked Robert a lot, but found him infuriating, burying his head in the sand, and drinking and sleeping his way round the court, leaving bastards here, there and everywhere rather than paying attention to the problems. Ned and the other Starks were likeable characters, and the mystery behind Jon Snow and his parentage is a nice little storyline that I am still thinking about and hope gets resolved in the next book. Arya in particular was one of my favourite characters, a young girl who hates the court and being a lady, and would rather be out sword fighting with her brothers than trying on dresses and spending time with her sister.
As much as I enjoyed reading about the struggle for the throne beginning in the north and south, I also really enjoyed the story of Dany and her brother Viserys – the two remaining Targaryens, from the old family who used to reign before they were slain and the throne went to Robert Baratheon. As all their family were killed, including the babies and children, Viserys has become very bitter and is planning and plotting in the lands south beyond the sea to come and take back his throne, using his sister as a bargaining tool with the Dothraki people.
There are hints towards magic becoming a more prevalent part of the books, the wall of ice in the north and the strange people who live beyond it, the dragon eggs in the south… (although this part of the book was a bit weird…) and I’m hoping this will come into play more in the series.
I am trying desperately not to give anything away, and if you like this sort of thing – it put me in mind of things like the Robin Hobb Assassins Trilogy – then this is definitely a book for you. I have the next in the series, but I am saving it for Easter when I will hopefully have some time off to really get into it. I am also looking forward to watching the TV version – I have been told it is as good as the book…
Next book: Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli