Well, I was finally coerced, er, convinced to read this book. I was terrified. It looked like Medieval lore and HARD SCI-FI all rolled into one 800-plus page paperback. Not to mention the various other large tomes in the series and the new HBO series that I would likely either come to hate or be obsessed with after reading the novel that started it all. I am so going to be obsessed with this series. *sigh*
If you have remained spoiler-free concerning A Game of Thrones, then welcome to the internet! I'm pleased that you chose to begin your interweb journey at my blog! Don't worry, I won't spoil anything with my review.
A Game of Thrones concerns families in the northern and southern parts of the Seven Kingdoms. The Starks live in the north, where snow falls even in the summer and the Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark rules Winterfell. His sons Robb, Bran, Rickon, and the bastard Jon Snow also live at Winterfell. His daughters Arya and Sansa, and his wife Catelyn of the Tullys complete his family. Lord Stark once fought alongside the current King Robert Baratheon to rid the Seven Kingdoms of the mad King Aerys Targaryen.
King Robert Baratheon is wed to Queen Cersei Lannister, sister to the Kingslayer Jaime Lannister and the Imp Tyrion Lannister. The King and Queen have three children, Prince Joffrey, Princess Myrcella, and Prince Tommen. The Kingslayer was the one who killed the mad King Aerys, making way for Robert to ascend to the throne.
The last of the Targaryens are far from the Seven Kingdoms, hiding themselves to avoid the fate of their family. Viserys feels he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne that Baratheon now sits on. His sister is Daenerys. Viserys is scheming to bring an army back to the Seven Kingdoms and take what he sees as his.
This list of characters is not even the tip of the frosted peak of the north. Martin has various characters winding in and out of the narrative, some important and some very important. At times I had to re-read certain paragraphs or flip back to a portion I had already read to keep all of the names straight. This is no way detracts from the story being told or the enjoyment of the reader.
The different players and their motives, their respective fates and journeys, all of this is contained within the book. You will not be happy with all of the characters and you will most definitely not be pleased with the endings that some of them meet. But it all works. It all drags you in. And you will be restless until you can continue to read about all of the houses of the Seven Kingdoms.