“What is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms . . . or the memory of a brother’s smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.”
If you’re anything like me, you heard that a new show based on a great book series was coming out on HBO and you thought “hey, I should read those and see if they’re good!” After all, we always read the books before we see the movies or tv shows right? (right?!) So maybe now you’re looking around, seeing if its worth reading and if anyone else has read it recently. Maybe you’ve courted it a bit in the bookstore, picked it up, put it back, debated buying it a few times. Or maybe you downloaded it or borrowed it from a friend but you haven’t opened it yet. Well I’m here to tell you, you definitely should. Its awesome.
I was recently talking to people on twitter about this series and basically, they had two things to say “It only gets better.” and “No one is safe!” which sums up this series so well. I am on the second book and I can tell you, it keeps getting better. I’m hooked. I can’t put it down. I may have to carry around my copy like a security blanket or a third hand until I finish it. Then, undoubtedly, I’ll have to run out and buy the third book. I’ve heard it’ll rock your socks off (or your shoes, boots, footsies or whatever footwear you happen to be wearing.)
But lets back up a bit and talk about the first book. (The one you’re going to go out and get a copy of after this review, right?)
In a world where summer has lasted for years and the coming winter could be even longer, a throne is in peril. The King, Robert, is teetering on the edge of an abyss. He is surrounded by subjects and family who are less than loyal, all struggling to achieve their own ends, which in fact, are one and the same. To be King of the Seven Kingdoms on the Iron Throne. Some are knights, some are sellswords, some are wizards, some are assassins and some are just treacherous friends with a bottle of poison or a knife in their hand. There are a few loyal subjects in there too, hoping to make the world better and live or die by their honor. But the loyal subjects aren’t always who we expect, nor do they always act by their convictions. To complicate things a little more, there are plenty of creatures such as Direwolves, the Others and the Children of the Forest to lend danger from the world outside the Wall. The wall is a protection that shields the Seven Kingdoms from the outside, but the wall is crumbling and the protection no longer stands strong.
In the beginning of this great saga, we are introduced to multiple families and main characters. The Starks, loyal and honest from the North where it is sparse and snows even in the summer. The Lannisters, with golden hair and deadly smiles, their plots are as common as their relatives. The Targaryens, the last brother and sister of the old royal line, living in exile and dreaming of recapturing the throne that was taken from them when Robert was made King. And King Robert, who was once a great man and a strong ruler, slowly dwindling into drink and ignorance, losing hold of his throne.
As we meet and grow to love or hate each character, they change and surprise us as the plot progresses. It is delightful to see the characters, especially the Stark children in this first book, grow up, mature, live, die and reap the consequences of their actions, deserved or not, fair or not.
There is good and evil in this story. But in the Game of Thrones, good doesn’t always triumph and evil doesn’t always look as you thought it would. Their world is dark, funny, bloody, unfair, corrupt, intriguing and exciting to behold.
The best part about this book is that you’re never sure what will happen next. The loyal may die, the honest may crumble, the corrupt may pursue true justice and the innocent may be betrayed when they are most vulnerable. No one is safe. And best of all, this is just the beginning.