Review and personal opinion. Spoliers.
We are told the story through the eyes and minds of several different characters, I found these wonderful and insightful, especially compared with the TV episodes, we are able to get inside the characters heads and know what they are thinking. This novel is gritty and brutal, no one is safe in this book, shown especially when Bran catches Jamie and his sister Cersi having a “moment” with one another which leads Jamie to push the 8 year old Bran from the window of the tower he just climbed.
This fantasy book isn’t for the lighthearted, like I said before, it’s brutal, dark and disturbing, but is worthy of anyone’s time. Something that I found I highly enjoy about these books is the political side and how this all comes together. While reading this novel I began to realise that no one is necessarily good nor evil, they simply do their duty and what is right by them.
Although we occasionally hear about dragons and magic (which are what you would expect of a fantasy novel) they are always pushed to the back, there is much more realism here than you would possibly think, which is not a bad thing I can assure you.
Another aspect which jumps out to me is how strong women characters are within this series, all in their own way, one I found to be more surprising than the rest. It took me until over half way in the book at least to realise how strong Sansa Stark truly is, especially after the beheading of her father Ned. Although she clearly hates the situation she is in she manages to work through it – after debating whether to push Joffrey from a height that is, and she will stand her ground if she must and do what is necessary to survive.
The way the book is held together and the way in which George R.R. Martin keeps you informed of what is happening to who and when is amazingly put together and never seemed like a difficulty to read and was thoroughly enjoyable and engaging and I find myself talking and thinking about Game of Thrones more than anything else.
I would encourage anyone to read this series as you (I hope) would not regret it, and I am now just moving on to the second which is still at the same standards of the first if not higher and plan to carry on reading the rest of the books whenever I have the time.