Double Book Review: A Game of Thrones & A Clash of Kings
If you've been around my blog for any amount of time, you probably have noticed that I'm very into the show Game of Thrones. Ever since I got hooked on the show, I've been saying that I will read the books, which has literally been years. FINALLY, I'm here. I've finished book 1 and 2 of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, so I wanted to quickly let you know my thoughts on them.
Author: George R.R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book #1)
Length: 694 Pages
My Rating: ★★★★★
A Game of Thrones is the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which is an adult epic fantasy set in Westeros during a time frame similar to what we would think of as Medieval. The story is told through many points of view, following people from many different influential and powerful houses. While there are elements of magic and fantasy, they are subtle and take quite awhile to get to. The focus is on the people involved in the politics as they play the "game of thrones".
If you have seen the show, then you already have a good idea of the feel of the books, as they are very similar in tone. Book 1 follows season 1 of the show very closely, which I think is the reason that I struggled getting through this on my first read. Since I was very familiar with how the story went, I didn't have as much motivation when reading, BUT there are subtle differences and definitely more details about who these people are. You also get a much deeper look at the history of the families and how the power has shifted from one family to another.
George R.R. Martin's writing is absolutely exquisite and refined. The world that Martin has created is extremely complex and I have found myself researching on the Wiki of Ice and Fire more times than I can count. As I read more books in the series, I get pulled deeper into the world and I just want to know EVERYTHING about the characters.
Obviously you can tell that I loved this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars and I will forever use it to judge other fantasy series that I read in the future.
Author: George R.R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book #2)
Length: 778 Pages
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Next up is book 2 in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings. After reading A Game of Thrones, I took a long break before continuing on with the series. After season 5 of the show began, I got really excited about being back in this world, so I jumped back in with A Clash of Kings.
Since this is the second book in the series, I can't give you much of a plot synopsis, but it continues right where A Game of Thrones concludes. The beginning has a slow start and it takes quite awhile for the action to kick in. There is a lot of political scheming going on (as kings do) and I found there were several chapters and character POV's that I just had to force myself through. Particularly, I struggled with many of Daererys and Catelyn's chapters. They were slower and in general less interesting that I would have liked. Even so, it really set the tone and gave a ton of context for the story as a whole, which filled in a lot of gaps that I missed in the show.
This book really solidified my love for Tyrion as a character. There are 15 (!) chapters told from his perspective and I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. I could read a whole book just about him and be very happy about it. I loved his witty banter and the clever moves he makes as the hand of the king. I also enjoyed Arya and Bran's POVs a lot more in this installment compared to the previous one and I can't wait to see what happens to both of them in the upcoming novels.
Even though there are some slow parts to the book, the action really pays off and packs a punch when it does occur. There is a definite build-up to the main plot turns and key events, which makes all the political scheming worthwhile. George R.R. Martin's writing continues to be as amazing in A Clash of Kings as it was in A Game of Thrones and overall, I am absolutely loving the series. However, since I did not enjoy book 2 as much as book 1, I ended up rating it 4 out of 5 stars. I have already started the next book in the series, A Storm of Swords and hopefully will have a review for you guys soon!
I hope you guys enjoyed these quick reviews for books 1 and 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire. Let me know if you have read the series, what did you think of each of the books? Did you enjoy one more than the other? Which is your favorite in the series?