Let me start this off by saying I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. I tried to read the book years ago and couldn’t get though it. I found I confusing because there is an enormous cast. The only thing I knew going into it was that there were dragons… Except in the first book there really aren’t. I kept reading wondering when the dragons would show up and getting increasingly confused by the large cast. At the beginning of the month, I figured I would give it another shot, this time on audiobook, and I’m glad I did.
The narration on it is excellent. Having a voice for each character really helped me keep them all straight. I thought it was well written but you need to know going in it’s not written with a modern voice. It’s high/dark fantasy and its written in a style to immerse you in that world. George R.R. Martin did a great job with this. I don’t think I could have done it half as well. It really got me thinking about dialogue.
Now the dragon issue. If the book wasn’t so popular, and I didn’t know anything about it, I wouldn’t have been expecting dragons going into it. Technically, there were dragons in the book but not until the very end. Going forward they will have to play a more prominent role but if you’re like me and are expecting dragons you’ll be disappointed in book one.
The lack of dragons isn’t a bad thing though. I was happy with the story. There’s a lot of intrigue and battle. People are generally horrible to each other. There’s lots of talk of honor and bastards. One thing I really liked with the name for bastards. They didn’t have a name of their own so they took a generic name depending on where they were born. Stone, snow, flowers, etc. Neat idea.
My favorite character is Tyrian Lannister. He’s the only Lannister I cared for, which is tough considering Martin’s reputation for killing characters. The other characters I like are all on the other side of the conflict and if they win I don’t see how Tyrian will get out alive. If they loose then a lot of them will die. If you’re looking for happy endings and light reading this isn’t the book for you. It is worth a read though. I’ll be continuing with the series but I have a few books lined up before I will get to them. Overall, 4.8 out of five.