Great book. I expect to get the next one, A Clash of Kings tomorrow and start reading it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a fantasy novel because I was burned out on them. The last one I read (not including the Harry Potter books) was the 5th book in the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series, Fires of Heaven. I got tired of the padding and the derivative stuff in those books (they rip off Dune and Lord of the Rings with some Daoism thrown in). What I love about these Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin is they are “realistic”. They take place in a 12th century style world and there is no mollycoddling or PC nonsense. It shows people the way they are. Some are good, some are evil and the majority are somewhere in-between. The plot and characters are great. Magic is kept to a minimum. Unlike so many other fantasies I can name (Harry Potter, for example). The people act like actual humans and not plot robots acting in accordance of the writer’s whims. Everything is believable even though the story is set in a somewhat fantastic world.
I never felt like, oh, I’ve seen that before. It flowed very naturally. Normally I can see the writer’s hand but Martin is a master of his craft.
I hear the next two are even better. The reviews on the fourth book are mixed mainly because people are mad that he hasn’t delivered the 5th book in over five years now. Hopefully his new HBO series will motivate him to get to it. Each season of the TV series, if its a success, will cover one of the books. So season two will deal with A Clash of Kings.
Game of Thrones starts on HBO in April. Just in time for my birthday.