Last week I finished Game of Thrones: Book 1 — Fire and Ice. This is based on the book not the TV show.
I bought this book because I had heard of the TV show. I’d seen a few adverts for it. I liked Lord of the Rings and Sean Bean (I think) as Boromear. I’d also read some articles talking about the accents. In short, I was interested. And I like to read. So, I bought this first book. Sure, I could have bought the whole series at once; however, I would have been out more if I didn’t like it. I started small. So, here we go.
First off, the book is hard to read. The author uses words that aren’t in general use, and so I had to read it. Normally, I can read 3 out of 5 words or skip a sentence or two and still follow what is going on. I couldn’t here. I’m also bad a remembering character’s names. I remember them as who did what when sort of thing. Until I was 1/3 of the way through the book, I found myself flipping back to try and remember who was who.
Chapters. The book doesn’t have chapters per say. Well, it does; however, they aren’t numbered 1, 2, 3, etc… Each chapter focuses on a different person in the story and a different place. So, rather than progress linearly, it jumps around. Until I got used to this, I found it hard to follow.
Language. There’s bad language in the book; however, I don’t remember it being any more than one might find in The Plainsman about Titus Bass. In a way, I see it less as gratuitous language and more reflecting how real people might talk in a situation.
Violence. Sure, there’s violence in the book. There are sword battles, fighting, and the like. What one might expect in a fantasy book. Again, very similar to the Bass/Scratch books.
Sex. When I was in Thailand, I had thought about getting the TV Show but a colleague talked me out of it. He said there was lots of sex, etc… in it. I don’t know about the TV Show, but there is sex in the book. Not detailed porn sex, but people do have sex. I expect that HBO played this up quite a bit for the TV Series. In book form, it is easy enough to read over.
Now for a short summary. At 800+ pages, you’ll want to know a bit about the book before you start reading it.
The plot of the story is a good one; however, it took me a while to get into it (because of the words and style of writing). By the end of the book though, I want to see how the story continues. I expect I’ll get the second book sometime.
It starts off with Ned Stark living in the North of a fictional land on an island (think the UK). His friend Robert is king. Ned became king because of a series of battles that were fought against a previous king whose family is almost extinct but in exile across the sea (think the English Chanel). They are trying to get an army to reclaim their kingdom.
Robert asks Ned to move to the south and help him rule as the Hand of the King. Ned goes; however, along the way, discovers a nefarious plot that involves the queen and her family. The kingdom degenerates into anarchy because of some situations that happen (spoilers so I won’t detail them)
The book ends with Ned’s son–left to rule Ned’s lands while he was gone–marching off to war with those in the south. Along the way, the exiled family gets some power but then looses in a dramatic way. It looks like they’ll get it back though.