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Book #47: A Game of Thrones

First Impression: Wow. Whoa. Really? Wow.

After simmering for a day: Wow. So. Ummm...I'm still not sure where to start.

After simmering for three days:
Well, I'm still not exactly sure where to start, but I've got to start somewhere, right? So prepare for a lot of gibberish, disorganized sentences, and spoilers. I tend to ramble in order to formulate thoughts on a text. Here goes!

Let's start from the beginning, back before I even started to read. My mom purchased the first four books of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series for me on a whim as a Christmas present a few years back. She told me as I unwrapped it that the kid in the fantasy section of Barnes and Noble had raved and raved over it. Usually, when something like this happens, whatever it is that has been bought is a piece of crap. I'd never heard of George R.R. Martin (this was back when the only fantasy I'd ever read was Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. The books looked daunting due to their size, so I placed them up on a high shelf and forgot about them.

A year ago, a colleague asked about the series and mentioned that it had been turned into an HBO television series. He expressed a desire to read the books and I told him I'd let him borrow the first one. After his review and failure to continue after the first 250 pages of A Game of Thrones, I figured that mom's on-a-whim-Christmas-gift had held to the old standards and once again placed the series on the top shelf and once more, forgot about them.

Just a few months ago, I was talking to one of my really serious reader/writer friends and she mentioned the series and told me she would love to read them again. I explained that I'd never gotten passed the back cover of the first book and she demanded that I read them with her as she reread them. I took up the challenge, and boy, am I glad I did.

A Game of Thrones might possibly be the best fantasy novel I've ever read, though I will say that when a reader of the series says, "Don't get too attached," they mean it. *Minor Spoiler Alert* Just as you start liking someone, they'll die, or at the very least, some grave misfortune will happen upon them.

What I loved most about A Game of Thrones was not the action, or the Seven Kingdoms politics, but rather George R.R. Martin's penchant for writing extraordinarily round, detailed, flawed, amazingly life-like characters. My favorite character by far is Daenerys Targaryen. *Major Spoiler Alert* For a girl on only 14, she certainly acts like a woman. She goes from being terrified of her brother Viserys, to marrying a Khal, watching her brother die under melting gold, losing a child, killing her beloved, walking in fire, and bringing three dragons to life. She might be one of my favorite characters in literature. Heck, she might just be my favorite.

A lot of readers say that A Game of Thrones tends to be a little boring. My reader/writer friend that I read along with says that the book goes in ebbs and flows. I see her meaning. There's a lot of set-up in this book. It sets up the characters, the kingdoms, the important households, the conflict, etc., with little action, but that suits me just fine. There's something about the beginning of things that I love. I often find myself rereading the first chapter or two of a book. When I teach, I always talk at length about the setting. What does it look like? Why do you think the author chose this setting? What does it suggest to you, as a reader? So on and so forth. The beginning can tell you so much if you're willing to sift through it and enjoy the analysis.

Overall, George R.R. Martin's first work in A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones, is an excellent beginning. I can see myself revisiting it time and time again, just like I do with works such as Harry Potter.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Kelly <3



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