5 stars out of 5.
Finally done with the first book after 10,000 years! XD
I have to give my self a pat on the back for finishing this book. I picked up this book on whim, finally deciding to start the series since I have all the available five books that are currently available and not minding that it’s quite hefty. The Season 5 of the series just started when I picked up this book and I also took that as a motivation to finally start and finish the series. It took me over a month to finish this book. I told myself that I won’t read any other book (aside from comic books) unless I finish the it, and I’m proud to say that I was successful in doing so. Yes, this is the reason of my long hiatus in Goodreads. 😀
I really don’t know where to start reviewing this book. There are a lot of things that happened here and there and it’s just amazing how the author was able to piece them all together.
The universe the author created is so big but the author was able to pull it through without me getting lost in it. I guess it helped that I am a fan of the TV series which made it easier for me to imagine the world and also picture the characters. And when I say alot of characters, I really mean alot. I always find myself going to Google and check every character’s picture and form, because of the number of characters I easily get confused with their names.
The book is set on a fictional continent of Westeros and Essos where it follows the story of several characters. Each chapter concentrates on a certain third person limited point of view of a single character. In the Seven Kingdoms, we have the story of the members of the House Stark (Eddard, Catelyn, Aria, Bran, Sansa and Jon) and House Lannister (Tyrion) in their struggles for and in the Iron Throne; On the Wall, the second follows the threat that lies beyond the wall that secures the realm of the Seven Kingdom from the creatures that lurks north of the wall; In the East, the third follows the story of Princess Daenerys Targaryen in Essos, in her plans to overthrow the Iron Throne that was once belong to her family.
This is the first high fantasy book that I read and yeah, it was a treat. This is no fancy world. There’s incest, rape, brutal killing and what I like the most, political scheming. The book follows a group of families (or houses) as they struggle to balance power amongst them despite the tension that is building and different outside forces that is trying to threaten the whole realm. The book is full of conspiracies, hierarchical disputes, questions about loyalty, family issues and intrigues, and war here and there.
The author is commendable for creating a world that is so immense and characters that are so diverse. He created a story where, unlike others, it’s not clear who are the real heroes and who are the real villain. I just read and read and guess and guess. Despite already knowing how the story will go, some parts of the book really caught me off guard. There are little differences between the book and the TV series. And it’s true, never attach your self to any character on the book because no one is safe. Love the character now and the next thing you know, he’s already dead.
The plot is not forced. I like how the author worked with the story and patiently weave each strand to make the story believable and natural. Yes, the plot is complex and multi-layered but it is organized. There are alot of things to look forward to and not just one major plot. There’s the fighting for the throne on one side, there’s the threat on the wall with the dead coming to life then the dragons, who were thought to be already extinct, coming to life.
The characterS (yes with capital S because there are alot of them :D) are totally distinct with each other. Having alot of characters also means that there will be a broad range of personalities that for sure everyone will find someone to connect to. Everyone is like the movers and shakers of the realm and each playing vital roles.
The writing is oh-so-flawless. The author didn’t shy away with descriptions. That helped as it totally made me picture the world the author wants me to see, not limiting my self to how the TV series shown it for me. He’s writing is so readableand timeless and I couldn’t even believe at first that the book was written in 1996. He presented a straightforward narrative and well-rendered scenes. The witty lines that he renders to Tyrion is just amazing. In terms of character and personality Tyrion is the best for me. He’s writing is what I consider as solid writing.
I also commend the author’s hard work in coming up with multiple generations of noble families complete with all the names, all with their own mottoes and credos without being so confusing.
Overall, the book for me talks about how the choices that we can make or break us. Learn how and whom to trust. Learn how to play your cards well. Learn to bend rules if possible. Learn to use your senses more than how they are intended to be used.
(Despite enjoying the book, I have to take a break from the world of Westeros and Essos because it was indeed exhausing. I already found my tempo in reading the series and for sure it won’t take me a whole month again to read the next book which is by the way thicker that this first one.)
5 stars out of 5.