Well I finally finished Book 1 of A Song of Fire and Ice and having just finished seeing the HBO televised series just before I started reading it I kind of sped through it.
Having the hindsight of the TV series I think, for once, made me enjoy the book somewhat more and was pleasantly surprised to find the TV series staying quite true to the plot George RR Martin sets out in his book. Obviously the book goes into more detail about the fluff of Westernos and its surrounding lands. I also liked the organistation of the book into chapters dealing with the plot and stroyline from a particular character’s POV, taken both in isloation and relation to what was happening elsewhere. I immediately picked up the second book, A Clash of Kings, and promptly stayed up to 1:20am last night devouring the first 120 or so pages of it! I was eager to learn how the story develops in this second book and to see how Martin drives the plot onwards.
As for Game of Thrones, I found it a very easy and pleasant read. A good mix of high paced action and long drawn out schemes and plots that puts some of the HBO stuff into better perspective, for exmaple the way the City Watch turn on Lord Stark, and the role of Littlefinger and Varys play in the Eddard’s downfall is explained more thoroughly. Likewise I also enjoyed learning a bit more about Joffrey and what makes him tick. Interesting as well how this stroyline will develop in the second book with his Uncle Tyrion as Hand of the King! I got a very strong impression that The Imp is more of a good guy rather than a bad un, well as much as a self centred, selfish person can be considered as good! I grew fonder of the character as the story progressed, already cementing his position as my favourite character in the HBO series. The initial chapters in Book 2 only cement this more.
I enjoy Martin’s style of writing as it makes for easy reading and the intertwining, complex plots much easier to follow. As numerous story strands are linked in many ways, often as complicated as the family ties and connections in Westernos, his fluent yet at times simple style make it easy for readers to follow the many plots and leads. This in marked contrast to a review I read about the books I have waiting for me to read on the shel (ie books 3 and 4). I hope the reviewer was wrong as I am eager to keep exploring Martin’s world. ‘…Winter is Coming.’