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djinn24 reviews the New York bestseller, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, the first book in the series A Song of Fire and Ice.
A beautiful and enriched world written from multiple point of views with ease. ~The Founding Fields
This is a difficult book to write about without giving away any of the storyline so I will keep this as general as I can, but be warned there will be some minor spoilers contained within, but I will do my best to spoil nothing past the first few chapters. But in a book like this almost everything can be a spoiler due to how the story is interwoven. I listened the unabridged audio book so this will be a review on the story as a whole, as well as how well the voice actor performed the book.
This is a fantasy novel based in a medieval times written by George R.R. Martin and is the first book in the series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ and the basis of the HBO mini-series by the same name.
The book starts in the northern kingdom of the Stark family as King Robert travels to visit his old friend. Lord Eddard Stark is offered a position at the Red Keep, which he accepts grudgingly. After Robert is killed in a hunting accident a game of thrones ensues as power struggles start as the major players vie for control of the iron throne and the kingdom.
Martin love to keep you on your toes by doing things that you do not expect. One moment you are reading a chapter about a character, then they are suddenly dead. No one is safe from the axe, it almost seems as if he enjoy getting you to like a character and then killing them off, normally in a spectacular fashion. In the first book we find ourselves 15 years after the war on the trident, where King Robert Baratheon takes the throne from King Aerys of house Targaryen, ending the reign of the dragon.
One thing I really enjoy about this book is the chapters are done from the point of view of different people involved in the storyline which allows the reader to get to know the people much better then if it was done from a 3rd person point of view or just a single characters point of view. This also helps the story from getting old, because instead of one story you are being told, there are dozens. Now I know this isn’t a new concept but GRRM pulls it off exceptionally well. The downside is you do end up reading about characters that you do not like all that much to move the story forward but eventually I ended up even looking forward to their chapters. Martin also loves to keep you on your toes as he, unlike many other authors has no issues killing off a character, main or supporting. The story is very well told, though at times almost riske in the details he gives. This is a book where no punches are pulled and at times can almost be like reading a raunchy romance novel.
I listened to the unabridged audiobook performed by Roy Dotrice so I was able to experience the entire book. The voice actor does a great job coming up with individual personalities for all the different characters, making it easier to identify them as you are listening. If you are a daily commuter this might be the answer to always listening to the radio. Each chapter is about 30 minutes long. The one thing that would have been great that I have heard in other audiodramas is a soundtrack, but the lack of one does not make it bad. Overall the book is 33.5 hours long.
Overall i would rate the book a solid 4.5/5 and would recommend it to a wide selection of people, not only people who love fantasy books. I would find it difficult to suggest this to anyone under the age of 16 due to the nature of some of the scenes. I would score the audiodrama the same. For only having a single voice actor the drama is top notch and very enjoyable.