Now, I know that my brief review is not going to be enough to describe the sheer brilliance and detail that is A Song of Ice and Fire. All five of the currently published books are truly a masterpiece that I’m sure took a lot of work. The entire series is full of names, descriptions, geography, and various intrigues in the court and lands.
The series is definitely complicated, so I would probably recommend that the reader be at least 13, and mature enough to handle a little (or a lot, but all in context) graphic detail. Also, I would recommend that a reader be prepared for the onslaught of names and titles that they are about to get hit with. Other than that, I completely recommend the series to anyone in these restrictions, and shall try to now present a spoiler-free preview, and then for those who have already read the series, a spoiler-filled review.
We start in a land of seven kingdoms with various lords and ladies and knights that are basically all in a figurative game: the game of thrones, which is basically the fight for dominance over all of the seven kingdoms. There is the Iron Throne, which holds King Robert Baratheon, once a brave warrior who defeated the previous, mad king, Aerys, but turned into an overweight drunk. He has just lost his Hand (or chief advisor and assistant in ruling) to some sort of illness. As a result he reaches out to Eddard Stark, the ever loyal and honorable lard of the north, to be his new Hand. This is only the start of a sequence of events that will lead to many deaths, battles, and betrayals.
In another part of the world, Daenerys Targaryen, the daughter of Aerys, works to find an army that can take back her older brother and rightful heir, Viserys’s lands. She believes King Robert to be and usurper and spreader of lies. Her actions will start a sequence of events that will build a powerful ruler, but who? Her brother, or someone else?
Who will rule the Seven Kingdoms?
There are so many cool parts of this series as it builds, but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible, since I know I don’t like to read long reviews. Firstly, I’d like to start with the characters, specifically the ones who we narrate portions of the story. Throughout the books we see them growing and developing, which really increases interest in them. Jon Snow, from bastard tucked away at the corner table at dinner, to 998th Lord Commander of the Night Watch. Daenerys Targaryen, from frightened thirteen year old to Dragon Queen and Mother of many freedmen. Arya Stark, from mouse to brave initiate and the House of Black and White. Jaime Lannister, from one of the most hated people in the series to a brave man with a loyal heart. Bran Stark, from little boy to a brave hero bound for greatness. And finally, Sansa Stark, from frightened and mistreated girl to player in the game of thrones.
Also, the element of surprise and constant changes in fate bring other brilliant aspects to the story. The Red Wedding, The Purple Wedding (Joffrey’s), Theon Greyjoy’s entire descent, and then fall, Lady Catelyn’s rise as Stoneheart, Sansa being brought to the Vale, the confession of Lysa Arryn as her husband’s killer…all surprises and rapid changes in the story.
Finally, I can recommend that any major fan check out this link, which shows a ton of possible theories about the ending. Some of them are pretty sketchy, but a lot of them are really good and well-supported. Be sure to check it out: