I’ve watched all three seasons of A Game of Thrones and enjoyed them immensely. My husband has read all five of the books; I had not heard of them until the TV show started. I usually don’t go in for fantasy books (nothing about Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit appeals to me), although I did enjoy reading and watching the Harry Potter series. I think I enjoy magic, and castles, and ridiculous concepts of honor; I just didn’t realize that there were books out there that had the things I like without the things I don’t.
I bought the bullet and bought the first book at the airport before leaving on my honeymoon. We were taking five flights total, and while I had a kindle full of fun books to read, I knew that for about 20 minutes at the beginning and end of each flight I’d not be able to access it. So I figured it made sense to have a physical book that I could easily step away from (because I knew what was going to happen next) and that was broken down into such small chunks that I could stop and start without getting lost. This fit the bill perfectly.
I loved this book. I loved the narrative device, I loved the character development, I loved the writing. It’s clearly difficult to form my own visions of people and places now that I’ve seen actors and sets assigned to them, but that didn’t take away from the book for me. In fact, I think it helped me keep everything straight in my mind, at least as much as I could. We learn about so many different people in this first book that I think I might have been confused if I didn’t have the TV show in the back of my mind to jog my memory.
As seems to be the case with most people I’ve discussed this with, my favorite chapters are the ones dealing with Arya, Daenerys, and Tyrion. I like Arya’s spunk, Daenerys’ steadfastness, and Tyrion’s self-awareness and humor. I’m not so much interested in Bran, or Jon, or really any of the other Starks, and Sansa. Oh Sansa. The women in this book are interesting and not one-dimensional (except perhaps Sansa, at least initially); the men are complicated and not all just excited to pick up a sword. And while there were many brutal scenes involving poor treatment of women, I don’t get a misogynistic feeling from the writing. Martin has chosen to set the book in a fictional world but it still has a lot of the same issues (expressed in different ways) as we have in this one. I look forward to reading book two, and anticipate that it’s going to be very hard to fit any other books in between now and when I finish book five.