If any of you have seen the Game of Thrones books and I’m sure you have – you’ll understand how chunky they are! Which makes sense given how vast and detailed the novels are, but this certainly takes up a lot of reading time hence why I haven’t posted a book review in a while. Now I’m fully up to date on the TV adaptation, and I have to say the first season of the show definitely follows the book pretty closely. For some people this might be monotonous but for me it just made me appreciate the series more.
It’s such an immersive series and I genuinely enjoyed the book, on to the. On to the next one! So look out for that soon.
- I find Martins writing generally easy to follow with the right amount of description and dialogue too.
- I don’t usually read fantasy / epic stories so this was a welcome change from the other books I read.
- The chapters aren’t enormously long either and each chapter is from the perspective of different characters which breaks it up and stops it from getting boring. I think the multiple perspectives are a really good choice on part of Martin, as the novel spans multiple settings and this way we get to check in on all the Starks for example.
- I particularly enjoyed Eddard and Aryas chapters since they’re two of my favourite characters in the series. I find Eddards story really tragic and through his own perspective you see his motivations and how honourable he really is, not to say he’s a perfect character by any means but there’s something about him. He went to Kings Landing through no choice of his own and what ensues afterwards…it’s really unfair.
- Complex characters who aren’t just ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – Even Robert Baratheon for example who isn’t purely good or evil, he has his flaws; excessive drinking, crass speech, pride.
Some Negatives / criticisms
- Some of the sentences / structures are clumsy and a bit awkward.
- scenes of a sexual nature. I would also note the first scene between Daenerys and Khal Drogo being consensual in the book rather than a rape the way it is in the show. It leads me to question why exactly the show runners decided to spin it this way, and I know the series has come under serious fire for the treatment of female characters and misogynistic behaviour in general. I have to admit those parts do make me very uncomfortable and the constant female nudity is so unnecessary. Also warnings for rape and other sexual violence.
- The constant repetition that Jon Snow is a ‘bastard’ – oh my god. I noticed this within the show but in the book it’s even more apparent, there’s not one section in Jon’s or other characters sections that his status isn’t explicitly mentioned. After the first few mentions it’s overkill. This is a smaller issue but still a tad irritating.
I would definitely recommend the book to fans of the show or even if you’ve never seen it at all, I know it gets it’s fair share of criticism. Some of which I can understand and wish that it could be changed especially when it comes to women in the series. However it’s worth a read, love it or hate it, it’s a pretty epic tale.
Until next time, Rumaanah x