I thought I should read this because it seems like everyone else has. Because it was so long, I decided that listening would be a better plan.
Genre: Fantasy (medieval)
Stats: 835 pages, which translates to 27 CD’s, first published in August 2005 (ok – so I’m really late for this party)
Blurb: (from Goodreads) Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
What I liked: Overall it was a good story, mostly because of a few key characters: Ned AKA Lord Eddard Stark, his daughter Ariel, his bastard son John, Terrian the dwarf son of a king, the evil Rob and a few others. The sections where these characters were front and center kept my interest most. I’m sorry to say I didn’t write the narrator’s name down before I had to take it back to the library. I think he did a nice job but his accent made him hard to understand at times.
What I didn’t like: Keeping track of all the names and families and lands and feuds and… was very difficult, especially since I was listening and not reading the names. And I think there were places that definitely could have been edited. Martin would go on about the oddest thing, at times, (all the rooms of the Stark castle that Ned’s son (sorry, forgot his name) would run around in and on top of is one example – it was too confusing in the end to even bother trying to picture what he was saying – making me wonder if later it would be significant, but it wasn’t.
Will I read or listen to the next one? I’m not sure. It sure ended weird or interesting depending on how you look at it (I won’t say how for those who haven’t read it). This book also won a lot of awards, which is interesting to me. I haven’t read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi but enough to feel that there were too many things that could have been improved upon for this to be high on my list of award-winning fantasy/sci-fi books. Maybe if I watched the HBO series it would help, but then I’d have to get HBO.
p.s. Why does Martin have two middle names?