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REVIEW: "A Game of Thrones"

On October 16, 2012

I will be the first to admit I’m a book snob. If a book doesn’t pull me into the story within the first page and a half or so, then I generally won’t read it.

So it goes without saying that I love books that begin with a pick-up line. I’m talking classic beginnings, like “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife.”

It just doesn’t get better than that. For all of you who don’t know, that’s from Pride and Prejudice.

I am such a fan of first lines that when I picked up George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones,” the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, I was not sure if I’d like it.

The prologue begins, “’We should start back,’ Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. ‘The wildlings are dead.’”

Fairly lackluster. However, the first few pages fill out the boring beginning with the promise of a tale of harsh times, cold times.

I was very lucky to stumble upon the series. I would have picked it up eventually, but I was sitting in a class this past spring semester when a young man in my class and I somehow began talking about fantasy books. He told me about the series and, after discussing books, and then a couple weeks later after he decided he didn’t want to read the books, he gave me the first four.

A Game of Thrones is written from a variety of people’s points of view and can, at times, be difficult to follow because of that. The book begins in a land of summers which last decades, and winters that last even longer.

The book series has become a hit on HBO, and seems — from the two episodes I’ve watched — to follow along. However, the book begins slowly.

Because the story is told from different points of view, the character development sometimes seems sporadic. It took me about a month to get page 500. In a normal book, it would take me three days or so to get that far.123

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