18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Very entertaining, well-written fantasy,
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This review is from: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) (Paperback)
This book (and indeed, the books that follow in this series) easily rank as the best books I have read in the fantasy genre, even the best books I have read full stop.
The story is very complex, there are a multitude of characters which you can easily get lost in, but the core focus is on three groups of familys - The Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens, and their journeys to achieve what they desire. Each and every character is fleshed out masterfully, and you will find you opinion of them changing as you continue to read.
George R. R. Martin is an extremely accomplished writer. The action never gets bogged down with long-winded descriptive passages, and he manages to keep the plot flowing quickly while still delivering a huge amount of information to the reader. It becomes apparant there is a lot of backstory to events that we are unaware of, but much of this is told to us gradually through dialogue and character's inner monologues. It won't take long for readers to work out what "ser" or "taking the black" means.
The book is divided into chapters which are each written from a specific characters point of view, a technique which works very well.
The biggest praise I can give these books are the actual story itself - it never does what you would expect, and there are twists, turns and shocks galore. Characters get killed off with no warning, their dialogue is superb, many of them display cunning and evil like no other I've read of.
The book is full of swearing, graphic violence and sex that may put people off, but for me just established it as an adult story written for adults, which I enjoyed thoroughly and can't recommend enough.