A Game of Thrones: Book One is the first book in the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. A game of thrones was first published in 1996 and other books have been progressively released since then, sometimes after a significant wait. The sixth and most recent book in the series was released early 2012.
I first read A Game of Thrones in about 1997, but the success of the books has spawned a television series which prompted me to reread it at the same time as I was watching the series. I though that it was a fantastic book when I first read it and fifteen years later I still think that Gorge R.R. Martin has created a fantastic story with characters that you can both love and loath.
The stories have three main stages, the north where the Starks rule the Northern Kingdom from Winterfell and where the wall, manned by the Black Watch, protects the seven kingdoms from the wildlings; the South and in particular Kings Landing from where Robert, king by right of conquest, rules the kingdoms; and in the East where where Viserys Targaryen the rightful king lives in exile with his sister Daenerys. The book takes its name from the political games that swirl throughout the book with Queen Cersei Lannister summing up the politics with the quote “When you play the game of thrones, either you win or you die. There is no middle groundâ€ť. And there is death aplenty as people scramble to fill the political vacuum left by the death of King Robert.
One aspect that I really appreciate is that Gorge R.R. Martin makes you understand the motives of all his characters, so much so that in some cases I was unsure who the hero and who the bad-guy was because I could see both the point of view of both. Similarly, when a character dies it elicits a response in the reader because of the empathy which you have developed over the course of the book.
Things that made me go hmmmm
There are many characters, so many so that I was often unsure who was who. This left me reading in the dark sometimes as I tried to work out how some people fitted into the story.
I loved the book and thoroughly enjoyed the television series also which was remarkably true to the book. I wouldnâ€™t hesitate to recommend this to anyone. While this is a fantasy novel it there are not a lot of fantasy elements to the book. So I suspect it would be a good book for your first fantasy read. It has elements similar to an historical novel with, according to some, elements of the war of the roses.