A phenomenon. A drama. An epic tale. A Song of Ice and Fire written by George R. R. Martin can quite easily, take your breath away. Considered by many to be one of the best works in the fantasy genre, ASOIAF portrays the war between kings for The Iron Throne.
I read this entire series over a period of four months, taking quite a few breaks in between, and switching to lighter reads whenever I felt too overwhelmed. Lots of research, lots of analysis, lots of summary-reading and careful precision has made it possible to keep all the minute details and intricacies of the entire story in mind, and yet, even after that, I still feel as if I don’t know enough of the story. Another read, is definitely required.
The series follows the story of various kings and lords, fighting for The Iron Throne which is basically the resemblance of absolute power and authority. Seems simple enough? Add in bloodshed, back-stabbing, betrayal, treachery, lust, murder, ploys, plots and secrets. And a wide range of (mind you, more than a thousand) characters, each with their own little complexities and characters and there you have the story! Complicated yet captivating, gruesome yet enthralling.
So what exactly is this game? It’s the game in which you either win, or you die. At one side there are the good people, and at the other side, there are the bad people. Then there are the people you think are good but then turn out to be bad, and the people you initially hate but then soften up to. There are people you cannot fathom, and people whose every move you can predict until he/she goes ahead and does something really jaw-dropping. There are people who are evil and stupid, people who are thirsty for power and people who are thirsty for blood. For a book which has so many, many characters, it only seems natural that will be as varied from each other as possible.
The entire story is detailed, complex but it pulls you in and captures you inside Westeros. Well, Westeros without all the bloodshed of course. There are quite a few cringe-worthy scenes, and though there were times when I felt that maybe GRRM went a little too overboard, I also have to agree that he did complete justice to the story.
Martin’s writing is commendable. To come up with something so huge itself is amazing, but to actually put it on paper is praiseworthy. The most important (and at times, annoying) aspect of Martin’s writing is his unpredictability. There is completely no way you can predict what he’s going to come up with next. Just when you think that you know what’s going to happen ahead, you’ll get a taste of exactly what kind of an author Martin is. It’s often a bit annoying when he just kills off people – just like that – especially the good characters, but with time, I’ve come to admire and accept this trait of his writing.
Characterization is laudable. Each of the main characters start off as a different person and by now (end of the fifth book) are either dead, or completely different people. Martin has given extreme care to develop his characters and all through the books, the way the characters grow and change is a remarkable process.
So, that’s that. Unless you have a complete aversion to gore and sex scenes in books, there is no reason why you shouldn’t pick up this series. Fantasy lovers should definitely (if you haven’t already) read this book. Each and every aspect of the series is well executed and i simply cannot wait for the next book. *cries*