Let me start by saying that this book is the reason I am so far behind on my 2015 reading challenge. When it was suggested to me, I didn't think to check the number of pages. I sat down to read and was drawn into the complex set of characters and intricate plot immediately, and read for hours. Then I checked my progress (on the Kindle) and nearly hit the floor. Hours spent reading and I had barely made a dent in the book. That's when I checked the page count and cursed.
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.
I probably could have read through this book at a quicker pace, but there is something about a finely tuned plot that demands to be savored. Speed reading would have meant missing much of what makes this book (series) so great. (Although, I will admit I did find myself skipping a few pages about half way through because I just could not stand one character.)
While I'm sure some people will complain, I have chosen to only touch the surface of this book in my review. Why? Because diving too deep would taint others' opinions if they choose to read it. I have never seen the HBO show, so I had no preformed images in my mind, but I knew instantly which characters I loved and which I loathed. They were so fantastically written, it's hard to put into words. I can see how this series got picked up for a TV show and became an instant hit.
The author is certainly not scared to kill off characters you love either! There were several points in the story that I had to pick my jaw up off the ground. Be ready for plot twists galore.
A Song of Ice and Fire is hands down one of the best high fantasy novels I have ever read. I plan to continue to read the series as I have time (to conquer books of 1,000+ pages each). Hopefully, before I die, I will know how this story ends.