Book review: Game of Thrones

This book is the first of the epic Song of Ice and Fire saga. I have found it extremely hard to fit it into a genre as there are some aspects of fantasy but I didn’t think that is right for Game of Thrones as we aren’t talking anything like Harry Potter’s magic and wizardry skills. The fantasy aspects I found are discussed in more of a fictional religion.

Another genre is Historical Fiction. You feel you are reading an epic book about battles and wars that happened around the times of the Normans. But it is all fictitious so it can’t fit in there. So I have decided it’s a new genre (and if it already exists I’m sorry I didn’t know) called Historical Fantasy.

In the back of the book there is a very handy listing of characters and how they are related in their relevant households as I found I kept getting confused with names and who have alliances with.

We are first introduced to the Starks. Eddard Stark is the Lord of Winterfell and he lives with his wife Catelyn Tully and their children: Robb, Bran, Sansa, Arya, Rickon and his bastard child Jon Snow. Eddard is extremely close to the current king Robert Baratheon and is offered the role of the Hand of the King as his previous one has just died in mysterious circumstances.

This introduces us to Robert Baratheon’s family. He is married to Cersei Lannister, who is having an affair with her twin Jaime. This appears to have been going on for many years and he is the biological father of Robert’s children: Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella. We learn of the affair between Cersei and Jaime through the eyes of Bran who liked climbing up the towers and spotted the pair having sex. When they realised they had an audience Bran loses his footing and falls so badly he can never walk again.

Eddard Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow is taken away by his uncle Benjen Stark to go and become a member of the Night’s Watch. The training is hard and it’s a tough way of life but Jon rises to the occasion and helps fellow rookies in training. Once a person takes the black they must remain on the wall for the rest of their life. If they leave they pay with their lives.

We are also introduced to the family who previously ruled, the Targaryens. The king before Robert Baratheon was Aerys II of Targaryen, who was killed by Robert and his son and daughter remain, living in exile who are Viserys and Daenerys. Viserys is doing all he can to try and get back the crown what is rightful his which leads to a horrific scene where he is given more than he bargins for in a crown. Daenerys is forced by her brother to marry Khal Drogo who is the leader of the Dothraki as he wishes to use them to get back what is rightfully his.

The one scene that really got to me, you could say made me weep, as the one at Winterfell where Bran and Rickon learn of the fate of their father.

The books climates with the revalation that once all the battles are fought in this book Westeros now has Four Kings. You could say a Clash of Kings which happens to be the title of the next book. This book has everything you could possibly want in a start of a epic fantasy saga and leaves you hungry for more. I will certainly be devouring the rest in the series!

I hope I did OK with this review. It’s not an easy book to review as there are so much going on and it’s a big book too!

Until my next update… Happy Crafting!!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Lit Bitch
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 21:49:11

    This is one of my most fav book series! I am about to start the 5th book (A Dance with Dragons) in a day or two. I LOVE how complex the series and characters are….so far my fav book in the series is the third one (A Storm of Swords)… totally blew my mind!!


  2. redheadedstitcher
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 21:59:27

    I’m a bit behind you as I’m reading Clash of Kings. I just hope I did it justice in my review


  3. bangupone
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 22:02:13

    You did superb! much better than I have read and seen. I think Mystical Fantasy pretty much sums it up as for the genre. And you’re right it’s not an easy book to review. Did you know that the ages of the character in the book does not coincide with those of the TV show? That had me confused at first, but I got over that fast enough 🙂
    Looking forward to more you!


  4. redheadedstitcher
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 22:29:32

    Thank you!! Feel free to read my other reviews of night circus, snuff and patchwork marriage. I also write a lot about crafts too!


  5. Claire 'Word by Word'
    Dec 28, 2012 @ 23:47:32

    I’ve only read the first book and am now finally watching the first series and have to confess, that I have actually sat on that throne (before I saw any of the series) as my Aunt was the Production Designer, so my daughter and I got to visit the sets and studios in Belfast, N.Ireland earlier this year. I remember when she told me about this new series (3 years ago now) and said it was one of her favourite genres, and she called it medieval fantasy, so I think your guess at historical fantasy is pretty spot on.


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