So I finally finished this book. (Actually I finished it a while ago, and then Real Life came and bit me in the butt and I didn’t write a blog about it, so here we go now.) I’m not doing this as a proper book review, because I’d really like to try and review this once I get a better handle of…everything, so I may way until I’ve read more of the books and review the series. But here’s my “review” of the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. (If you haven’t read these, I suppose there are some spoilers below. So…yeah.)
I liked it. Let’s start there. It’s still very hard to get yourself immersed in the world at first because you’re plunged in full-immersion style and with that many characters and that much backstory, it’s had to find your sea legs. But by a few loops in, you’ve got a handle and you’re on the Kingsroad and trucking right along.
For all that George R. R. Martin kills off people left and right, he has an uncanny ability to rope you into characters and like them fast. I was fond of Daenerys from the get-go, and significantly less of her snarky self-absorbed brother. I loved the Starks to a fault, and Really Wasn’t Quite Sure about King Robert. All the Lannisters gave me an off feeling, save for Tyrion who I was willing to like because he was being decent to Jon. (And how I love Jon Snow.)
I live with two others who have already read most if not all of the series, so I got a few heads-up on who died and who didn’t. (We don’t consider deaths spoilers. It’s only a spoiler if they survive a few books.) So at least a few of the deaths didn’t come as surprises, though the method through which the death came often was. (Viserys, I’m looking at you.) At least one character I had thought lasted longer didn’t (ride swiftly, Drogo) and one character I thought was going to die exceptionally early on didn’t (go Bran!).
I was duly startled with the end of the book (KING OF THE NORTH!!!!) though I’m perfectly content to see Robb there. I was sad to see Ned go, but I knew that was coming, as I did the king. Sansa is shaping up to be a character I would actually hesitate before tossing into a flaming pit of oil, and I’m desperately interested to see what Arya and Bran make of themselves. Similarly, I want to see how Jon manages on the Wall, and whether or not Benjen is properly dead. (Or an Other. Eek.) Author’s edit: I’m told I’m wrong and that people become wights, not Others. Well hey, I don’t want Benjen to be either of them. So. 😛 But correction duly noted.
And of course, the dragons are awake now, so Dany’s gotten exponentially more interesting. (Especially now that the Sorefoot King is crowned and gone.) Her servant dude, …Ser…oh what is his name. I like him. …JORAH. Jorah Mormont. I like him. He’s going to be interesting, I think. I hope. We’ll see.
But I absolutely see why the second book is called A Clash of Kings. Because…yeah. All the kings everywhere.
I’ve got a few books between me and ACoK, but I’ll let you know what I think of it once I get there.