Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CBR III Review #74-#76: A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin

Getting though these three novels was a staggering feat on my part.  The thought of reviewing them makes my head hurt.

CBR III Review #74: A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 1 by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones is a novel that falls into the fantasy genre and is an epic tale of grandiose proportions.  I often found myself confused by names and places but by the time I got to the end of the novel I felt I had a decent grasp of what was going on.  This is a story that will be much more enjoyable the second time around.  This is not a novel you can pick up in read in just a few nights, sometimes if felt a little like homework. However, it was well worth it and once you get used to the characters and terminology the rest of the books fly by.

A Game of Thrones is set up to resemble the Middle Ages or at least a time where who was King was everything. The epic adventure follows the politics of the Iron Throne.  For example, who is in charge, who was murdered to achieve it, what lies were told in the pursuit of the throne.

For those of you watching the HBO series you should know that the series follows the source material very very closely.  A lot of passages and lines are lifted directly from the pages and the series hit all the major plot points with surprisingly accuracy.

If I tried to summarize the book we would be here for ages, but here are a few key points.  Robert Baratheon has been King of the realm for 15 years. He took the throne after overthrowing the Crazy King.  Baratheon, who once a fierce warrior, is now a man who enjoys booze and whores.  He has more interest in bedding young maidens then running his kingdom.  Bartheon also enjoys a certain amount of pomp and circumstance so now the kingdom finds itself badly in debt.  The Hand of the King has recently died (under strange circumstances) so Bartheon travels to Winterfell to ask his best friend Eddard Stark to become his new Hand.

Eddard (Ned) Stark is a man of honor.  He is married to Catelyn and they have several children together. Stark relunctly accepts Batheon's offer and becomes the new Hand of the King, but while he serves the King he discovers evidence of misgivings that could put the whole realm into a war.

The novel is intense and rewarding and I quickly picked up the next two in the series.  I'll be honest I wanted to do this review using only "Stupid Ned Stark" memes from the internet.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2062 KB
  • Print Length: 864 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553573403
  • Publisher: Bantam (January 1, 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QCS8TW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
CBR III Review #75: A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 2 by George R.R. Martin 

The Seven Kingdoms have been torn apart and now their is no shortage of men claiming they are King.  The Lannisters and the Stark's are still at war and the two families are scrambling to make allies where they can.  Meanwhile, Daenery's has a long and arduous journey to claim back her rightfully throne.  Unfortunately, because of all the internal strife no one is paying attention to the White Walkers (IE crazy zombie bastards) and those who are protecting the wall...and some crazy shit is going down.

Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire just keeps getting better.  Once you are comfortable with all the key players the next installment in the series reads at a much faster pace. The story is told from 9 main characters and a few supporting characters.  Sometimes its a bit difficult to keep everyone straight but if you loved the first novel then keep on reading!

Martin creates a world that is so wonderfully put together that sometimes you forget it is fantasy.  It reminds me a bit of the world and characters of Harry Potter (just with incest, war, and whores) because of how much detail Martin has created.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1803 KB
  • Print Length: 1040 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553579908
  • Publisher: Bantam (January 1, 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1HBY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
CBR III Review #76: A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 3 by George R.R. Martin 

I'll be honest I can't really remember where one novel ends and the other begins when I was reading this series.  Each novel flawlessly leads into the next one, but I will tell you that this novel kicks you in the crouch and laughs at your pain.  All I can say is I didn't see the majority of that happening, but goddamn it was entertaining.

It's really hard to review this novel without spoiling it or the first two novels and with the HBO series being renewed I don't want to spoil anything.  If you enjoyed the first two novels you'll really love this installment, just know it's not for the faint of heart.  I wanted to jump into book 4 but I decided I needed a small break from all these mammoth novels and needed to fill my head up with some more fluff, but I'll be back to review the next two installments in this series.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1977 KB
  • Print Length: 1216 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 055357342X
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 4, 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBFN1U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  

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