This book reminded me of Marmite. You know how it is; some people love it, some people hate it, and you occasionally see a lone jar on the shelf, and think ‘Oh, what the heck (or something more punchy depending on the kind of store you’re in) it’s been aaages since I tried Marmite’.
Sometimes you are in the mood for Marmite; hot buttery toast beckoning, crackers with cheese and other times you are served it, thick as tar and the smell makes you feel gross.
“In the Seven Kingdoms, its all a power struggle between the different families. And the largest struggle happens between the Starks and the Lannisters. If you are not a Lannister, then you are not safe once the King dies. Everyone is out for your blood. Its a story of falsely accused treason, dragons, Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies.”
I’m still unsure about this book. I finished it, and considered getting the sequel, but haven’t gotten around to it (much like the reason I haven’t read it before – I never got around to it). I’ve never been a fan of the multi-character point-of-view novel as you don’t really get to know the characters; their development usually non-existant. This is essence why the book ends up being like Marmite. You like it, you don’t, you like it, you don’t…
There are a variety of characters embroiled in the fight for the throne of the Seven Kingdoms; and to be contrary, the ones I enjoyed the most aren’t the heroes, but were Tyrion (the dwarf brother of twins angling for the throne, and Danerys, the last ‘true’ dragon heir for the thronw. Tyrion is probably the most multi-faceted character – equal parts mischevious, charming, devious and sad. Danerys is quite unique in my experience – she has the makings of a supreme evil character – but what is interesting is seeing how she begins to develop, shaped by the world and events around her.
These are the best developed characters, and the ones I looked the most forward to, but the rest left me a little cool. J R Martins descriptions of the Seven Kingdoms were beautifully textured though – I particularily loved the Moon Gate. Chilling.
The direwolves are cool.
The plot and speed of the very very long novel keep your interest piqued, but I’m glad I’ve got this on my e-reader – in ‘real life’ this book is 2 inches thick. Definately a book for the long haul reader. I was discussing this with my work colleagues and they very puzzled asked “Why on earth are you reading it when it’s out on TV?”
It might be a good call actually … accompanied by some hot buttery toast.
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