By Alberto Pupo
What is there left to say about George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones? This is the book that has completely upended the modern Fantasy Genre. In 1996 nobody expected it would ever attain the status it has today. What started out as a freshly dark, twist on the genre is a pop cultural phenomenon thanks to the power of television and HBO series that has expanded its audience exponentially.
However, when I first read A Game of Thrones, I was nothing more than the strange quiet, young, man clad in black, reading during my down time in school and from the very beginning I was immediately drawn and hooked on this series and recently rereading it can truly appreciate it even more.
The world that George RR Martin creates in this story is one that mirrors our own. It is full of intrigue, sexual deviants, scheming aristocrats, and traitors. The story is told from a myriad of different perspectives each one with a unique way of perceiving the world. Martin’s characters are not black and white like our world everyone is a balanced shade of gray. There is honor in villains, for example, the misshapen dwarf Tyrion Lannister who happens to be a member of one of the most vicious and scheming families in the story (but is the most redeemable of the bunch). The King is at the moment is portrayed as a complete fool And then you have those bound by virtue and honor, and despite trying to live ever so virtuously, it only brings them pain.
A Game of Thrones is by no means light, breezy read. It is very detailed, and the world that Martin builds is one that you will never forget. Each part of his world like ours has its flavor, cultures, customs, languages and he weaves them all into a very realistic tapestry and really gets the story going. Despite the imposing size of the book, it is never boring, and there are enough war and action to get your blood running and to break up the exposition and dialogue.
A Game of Thrones is a classic of the Genre and a Modern Masterpiece. As of this moment, the story is still not complete (and many fans are getting anxious). But this first book marks a shift in power of a Genre that typically falls to ridicule for lack of realism.
Rating: 5 out 5 (Did you expect any less?)