The Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

Published in 1996 by Penguin Random House

About The Author

George RR Martin is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror and science fiction genres, screenwriter and television producer. He is best know for his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was later adapted to the HBO series named as Game of Thrones.

This series drove the world mad but the books always trump them. George RR Martin’s skill at creating a universe with such complex characters, multiple storylines, great dialogue and the perfect pacing is what makes this book worth a read. There are about 6-7 storylines running in this entire book, told from different character’s perspectives. It starts off with Ned Stark, Ruler of the North graced with the presence of his King, Robert Baratheon and his family at his home in Winterfell. The King has come to ask Ned to be his Hand, a place of power and the executioner of the King’s word. Ned, though reluctant to take on the job, is convinced by his wife, Catelyn after she gets a note from her sister that the King’s wife, Cersei Lannister was responsible for the murder of the previous Hand, Jon Arryn. Now Catelyn is convinced that Ned must go with the King and find the truth. Ned departs, taking two of his daughters – Sansa, the oldest who has childish dreams and whims and Arya – who wants to really learn how to fight just like her brothers. His bastard son, Jon Snow decides to ride North and take his place amongst men of the Night’s Watch, a band of thieves, criminals, bastards and sometimes noble men who guard and protect the realm from wildlings. Bran Stark, another son of Ned’s, falls from a high tower after having witnessed something he was not meant to.
Meanwhile, in another part of this world, Daenerys Targareyn, from the House of Dragons has been married off by her impudent brother to Khal Drogo, Chief of his Dothraki clan in exchange for an army to take back his rightful crown from the Usurper, Robert Baratheon.
Cersei, Tyrion and Jamie Lannister are the perfect mix of siblings – Cersei, married to Robert, is cunning, ambitious, devious and fiercely protective of her children. Tyrion is a dwarf, born with this apparent deformity that has always been a stain on his impressive lineage and is the cause of his mother’s death because she died giving birth to him. Jamie Lannister is the twin brother of Cersei, golden and resplendent in the Kingsguard, chosen to protect the King.
This book is written from eight different character’s perspective, each going through their own lives which are fiercely intertwined with the other. The ideas of family, duty and honor are constant themes in this book. There are no characters here that are inherently evil because they are all driven by lust, greed and revenge. Each has something to gain from when they see another fall and this paranoia runs through the entire book.
You get wrapped up in their stories and you start to feel for some but as you know, that idea is always dangerous. George Martin, doesnt seem to have a deep affection for his characters really, because he does things with them that you least expect. Quite a few of them go through some misery that is almost unfair (Sansa’s direwolf Lady) and it makes you want to stop reading but you plough on hoping good will triumph over evil. But this is not that kind of book. They don’t live those of lives.
George RR Martin has created a classic that is going to live on and take us some getting used to when it’s all over. His world and his characters have depth, are devious and have their own destinies to fullfill resulting in dynastic struggles and far reaching repercussions. This book is a glorious read and will keep you occupied for more than a week.
Looking forward to getting through with the remainder of the series.

Not appropriate for kids younger than 18. Strong sexual content.