A Game of Thrones begins with a mysterious attack north of The Wall and establishes that something supernatural or perhaps magical is threatening the world. With the prologue out of the way, the Starks are introduced (and six dire
wolves) and the story moves into the family drama and political intrigue that make up the scaffolding that the (many) characters live and play on.
What makes the book so enjoyable? It is easy to suspend disbelief. People in the story believe in magic, but rarely experience it. The lives of most people, even the nobles, are desperate and survival is hard earned. Martin has an excellent command of world building, down to the smallest detail. He writes dialogue that seems effortless and natural. Characters stay true to who they are and point of view is controlled, which is no small task with the multitude of main characters in the book.
Since so many people have read the first book or at least seen the HBO series, I am not going to worry about spoilers. When Eddard Stark dies, I knew this book was different. I had been trying to decide who was the main
character, and was leaning toward Eddard. I liked Eddard, I respected Eddard. Everyone in the story depended on Eddard. But the plot demanded he die, and he did. As I came to truly believe that Martin had the courage to
slay any character, I started making bets with myself as to who would live and what they would do. Currently I don’t think that Daenarys or Tyrion can be offed. But I have read all five books and been wrong about many other major
characters. In this book, the stakes are real.
A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin
A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin
A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin
A Dance with Dragons - George R.R. Martin
I have listened to these audio book three times and purchased the Kindle version. I strongly recommend this book and plan to write a review after I read it again.