It took me a lot longer to finish this than I thought. I think the reason for that is no matter how many times I’ve read this book, I feel exactly the same things each time around and the emotional exhaustion leads me to need a little time to digest and ingest what I have just been through.
There is a lot about this book that makes it stand out, the hard part is trying to portray it without giving too much away.
Firstly, each chapter of the book is written from the point of view of a different character. What amazes me every time is that each chapter ends on a kind of fierce cliffhanger, tearing you away from an amazing storyline. But when the next chapter begins, there will be so much going on there that it takes no more than two pages to forget all about the last character’s problems.
I’ve said this before, but I can’t say it enough. There is a depth to the world of these books unmatched in any other story or series of stories I’ve read before. Martin portrays characters and places so vividly and realistically, that it’s hard to imagine the backstory he must have had to come up with.Fortunately, George R. R Martin saved us that trouble by writing the book titled “The World of Ice and Fire: the Untold History of Westeros and The Game of Thrones”, which I am also a proud owner of. In it a reader will find everything from family trees and sigils to maps and detailed drawings and histories of the world so meticulously created to lead up to these books. That more than anything else should give a clear idea of how fantastic the creation of this series was.
I won’t get into the unbelievable realism and unpredictability of the books because that is something that has been discussed to death. What I will say is that due to these very factors, if you find it hard to stomach stories that don’t follow the cookie cutter Disney patterns, dont even bother picking this book up. The one thing common in all the negative reviews of the books I’ve read is, is all the sex and violence necessary? and why is there so much of it? Take a look at the name of the book and maybe you’ll get some inkling of an answer to that. If thrones were won by flowers and healthy debates over tea, it really wouldn’t be worth reading about. What Martin has brought you here, is as close to the gritty realism of the world of war in those times as anyone is likely to get.
What the first book does save you from, is the minds of the darker characters. The protagonists of this book are the oft frustrating good people. So atleast this far, you’ve been saved from the moral dilemma of having doubts about whose side you want to be on. But I can tell you that is not a luxury you are afforded for long. Enjoy it while you can and try not to be too devastated when the book ends. It doesn’t get any easier from here on out.