It’s been a long time since I’ve read a medieval fantasy novel.
They were the books of my youth, really, along side the occasionally insipid but always entertaining “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.
Back then I suppose the “Dungeons and Dragons” scandal (yeah, I can’t think of a better word for the whole “the game is an express ticket to hell” melee) took its toll. Medieval fantasy books were left to rot in the bargain bins of National Bookstore — then pretty much the only bookstore worth noting.
Anyway, there really isn’t much to say about George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” — the first book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” collection. It’s hack-and-slash alright. People are dropping like flies, the blood pretty much reaching out of the pages and spraying readers left and right.
It’s good, is what I want to say.
I haven’t read such an interesting fantasy novel in a long while, and although the length can be daunting, I think it nevertheless makes up for it with a beautifully woven story with varied characters and the trifecta of entertainment: blood, babes and… more blood?
Beyond the blood and gore, however, is a story that truly fleshes out its characters as best as it can, giving life and personality to each and every one of them. The personal point-of-view style of each chapter is helpful, I suppose, but more credit lies in Martin’s masterful ability to render each character sympathetic, no matter how slimy or repulsive they may prove to be in the long run.
Intelligent, moving and so bloody entertaining.
One down, four more to go.
Winter is coming.