I just finished reading “A Game Of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin. What a great fantasy novel! Or maybe I should say, what a great medieval novel. There’s definitely a touch of fantasy in there but it’s not full of wizards and goblins like many fantasy books. This one sets up a mysterious and possibly supernatural event right from the start and proceeds into the tangled web of politics.
It’s more of a high middle ages book with knights defending the honor of ladies, and the thought that dragons, and giants, and the Others are fairy tales told to scare children. Much of the book focuses on the intrigues and machinations of the various families all vying for power in the kingdom. In fact at one point I was despairing because it seemed that everyone was so evil and deceitful. “Where is the hero?” I asked myself. But then I realized that the Stark family represented those ideals of “truth, liberty and justice” that we look for in our heroes. Everyone’s bound to screw up at times of course, but they still hold to those ideals.
But don’t worry there’s fantasy in there too. Fairy tales must have some basis in fact, right? Late in the book when many of the diverse story lines developed into enjoyably unexpected areas, we start start to see that maybe dragons are real after all. Maybe there are giants out beyond the wall. And just who are these mysterious Others that everyone keep exclaiming oaths against?
Towards the end I was experiencing that delicious combination of anxiety—badly wanting to know what happens—and heart-ache over the looming end. Thankfully there are at least 3 more books in this series. I will definitely pick them up!