I have no idea what possessed me to think it was a good idea to read my longest Artful Readers Club book during the shortest month of the year when half term was also going to be happening! I finally finished 'Game of Thrones - A Song of Ice and Fire' by George R. R. Martin on Saturday.
I wasn't sure how I would get on with this book. I have watched the first season of the TV series and loved it so I thought that might influence my feelings about it. I was pleasantly surprised to find the book and TV series very very much in alignment - it does annoy me when TV/films change plots!
So the actual book.....'Game of Thrones' is an epic fantasy, set in a land which has similarities with ours and yet is also very different. Seasons are long, lasting years and their is a hint of magic and magical creatures which I imagine will be expanded upon through the series. This first instalment introduces us to many characters and the prominent families to whom they belong. There is also a lot of extra information in the form of maps at the beginning and family history sections at the back of the book to help understand the different characters and families' relationships to each other and status within the kingdoms which is helpful. The book is structured so that each chapter is focused on a particular character. I liked this as it helped me get to know the characters but I think there was also a downside in that I would start to get into a particular characters viewpoint and story and then the book switches focus and at times I found myself losing interest because of that. The last part of the book however became much more enthralling so I raced through it at the end.
What I enjoyed most about the book was how much understanding I gained about different characters motives and intentions. Almost all the characters have good and bad in them and although it's a fantasy of Kings, Queens, Lords and Ladies, there are no heroes as such. The behaviour of a lot of the characters can be seen to be a direct result of their own experiences which in turn leads to bitterness and pain for other characters and I ended the book thinking 'what a mess this lot are in!' All the time they are fighting amongst themselves and we are being shown that the real threats are elsewhere. I did really enjoy reading this and will probably go on to either read or listen to the audio books of the rest of the series at some point. At the moment I'm waiting for the second TV series to land on my doormat so will probably cheat with that for a while!
This is the artwork I ended up with....
....I wanted to show the dangers being shown to us from 'Ice and Fire' and the families somewhere in between. In the end, after a few messed up attempts at trying to get all the family banners drawn small enough, I cut them out of the information sections :)