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A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin

I finished the first book of George R. R. Martin‘s series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The first is A Game of Thrones and was rather an enjoyable read (or, in this case, listen, since it is the audiobook that I have, unabridged and read by Roy Dotrice – since having a family, my reading for pleasure time has pretty much disappeared and so I do most of my ‘reading’ in the car through audiobooks).

I had actually had this book, and the two following books, on my iPod for some time, in fact about a year I think, as I remember getting a few chapters into the first book around Christmas time last year and finding it too difficult to get into. It’s not an easy read, by which I mean that there are a lot of characters and relationships to deal with from quite early on. When I started listening to it for the second time, I actually took notes of who was who, how old they were, what houses they belonged to, etc. and that really helped to get past the difficult beginning.

The characters are very well developed and Roy Dotrice is very good with the voices for each character. Although one of the characters (Tyrian Lannister, for those who have read it) seemed to develop a Welsh accent as the book went on!

The book switches points of view between the main characters, and usually when that happens, I have favourites and unfavourites, but that wasn’t the case in this book. There was never a moment when I thought – oh no, not this character again.

There are some unexpected moments, but I shan’t spoil the book by revealing any of them here.

As fantasy books go, it was a refreshing change from the “underdog prevails” type of plot, and there was little evidence of a talisman whose power needs to be unlocked.

All in all, it was a most enjoyable read.