Daydream Sanctuary Features

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice & Fire #1) - Epic Fantasy Filled with Politics, Bloodshed, and Pr0nz!

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
By George R. R. Martin
King Robert: The throne sucks. Ruling isn't for me.
Queen Cerseri: Indeed. (Can't wait for you to die, pig.)
King Robert: So I'll make my best friend do the troublesome job for me. Hey Ned!
Lord Eddard: What is it, Your Grace?
King Robert: Whether you like it or not, I'm making you the Hand of the King! No need to thank me! (w00t! More play time!)
Lord Eddard: I'm very honoured... (my ass. No thanks for making my life miserable)
Queen Cerseri: (My "People to Assassinate" List has become longer.)

SETTING:
Fictional World. Medieval Times.
ELEMENTS:
Throne. War. Kingdom. Stag. Lion. Wolf. Dragon. Blood. Traitor. Forest. Wall.
GENRE:
Political. Fantasy. Historical. Drama. Action.
WARNING:
Sex. Rape. Incest. Prostitution. Violence. Gore.
RATING:
B+ (IMPRESSIVE!)

FAVORITISM:
3.5 Hearts ---> LOVE

I was told to read this because it has a lot of porn many say that this is one of the greatest epic fantasies ever written. Well, I agree that it has been very remarkable... but I don't find it that great.

This novel is set in an imaginative world where dragons existed and corpses can move. But for a fantasy series, it didn't give much emphasis on its fantasy elements but focused more on its political side. The supernatural phenomena in this novel were mere story threads, and in my opinion, that's not very good.

It's alright to do something different from what's typical. I think one of its strong points is that for a fantasy series, it's full of realism. But if a fantasy series won't be much like its main genre at all, it fails as a fantasy series. It's a similar case to a horror story that's not scary, and a funny story that can't even make its readers smile.

Too bad. Those were the parts which I find most interesting. However, those parts felt like they were just there for the sake of putting this series under the fantasy category. I really wonder why it isn't part of the main plot of this book.

Speaking of plots, the novel has quite a number of subplots. They are related... but for some reason the author's not connecting them. In this novel we would be able to read the side of the current kingdom, and also the side of a fallen kingdom that's planning to revolt. However, though we know what's going on with each side, there hadn't been any major confrontation between the two (flashbacks are excluded). It felt more like reading two or more novels in one book, than reading one book that consists of a lot of stories yet closely connected to each other.

No wonder the novel's freakin' long.

Moreover, for a lengthy novel, the events which occurred in it aren't as many as it seemed. Many of the pages have been wasted by the details, where most of them seemed irrelevant, and by the character's emotions (like how much a certain girl loves her prince charming), which were totally unnecessary.

The chapters in this novel are narrated depending on the chapter title character's perspective. The author has no intention of boring you with an ominous narrator, nor did he intend to focus on one character's point of view. But he won't show mercy on the reader on just sharing the point of view of the decent characters, and he won't show favoritism on which character lives or dies either.

Now this is what I love about the way characters are treated in this novel: There's no bias. Main characters aren't immune to death. Whether a character is a major or minor one, a protagonist or an antagonist, if he or she does something stupid, the author won't make any miracle to save him or her. He or she shall face the consequences of his actions or be cursed/blessed for what he or she is, no matter what his or her role in the story is.

I like the characterization in this novel's cast... they all felt real. None of them possess perfection, and each have despicable and admirable traits... the levels just vary per character. They are beautiful and ugly at the same time. No matter the age, they could act matured or childish. They have their clever moments... but also really stupid moments. None have been absolutely evil, and I doubt any of them would remain as pure angels until the end.

There's no shame or censorship in this. It is not afraid of showing how brutal, pathetic, and perverted humanity can be. I admit that it felt pretty excessive at times... so much that no wonder this novel has become quite popular because of its sex scenes, ahaha.

But overall, this novel is mainly a political soap opera with nobles fighting over the throne. I like the twists and the political intrigue. I'm impressed with the witty characters and adore the loving ones. The family moments have been really touching... reading about those scenes made me shed tears.

I look forward to watching its television series soon, and I'm reading the sequel right now. Hopefully the adaptation was as fantastic as they said, and the sequel will be better than this one.

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