By Gabriel McDaniel

A Game of Thrones, the hard-hitting book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, is a gritty introduction to the world of Westeros and Essos. In A Game of Thrones, we are introduced immediately to a world that shows that we aren’t in a fantasy world of brave and noble knights or damsels in distress. This world is immediately shown as a grim place that reminds us of the real world be during the Medieval Era, and what happens from the beginning will shape a new perspective of how a fantasy story should unfold.

The character development in just the first few chapters is phenomenal. Characters are established with personality, and then the book will take those personalities and build on them, making characters that we originally hated become our favorites. Overall the character development in this book is a rollercoaster of emotions, as betrayal and the seedlings of plots are set up and executed, only to be brought down by the ruthless players of the great game of thrones. This constant unpredictability from the characters will leave anyone on the edge on their seat.

In A Game of Thrones, there are many different plotlines which run simultaneously.  We jump from character to character and we get many references to each plot in the other plots. Sounds convoluted right? It can be at times, but the way the plot is carried out will be very straightforward, or at least it seems that way. All that can be said is to pay close attention and even within the plot and viewpoint of another character you can decrypt inner subplots and if you take the time you can see characters who don’t have chapters forming their own plans. The plot is complex but is clear at the same time as mysteries begin to form through the coming of winter.

In the end, A Game of Thrones is a story that deserves a read, but only for a reader who enjoys a dark story. Bad things happen, but this book is one of the most beautifully written books out there in the fantasy genre. A story that equals that of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Volumes, with an unpredictable story, and an even more unpredictable threat to our characters, A Game of Thrones is a serious book that I recommend highly if you enjoy the kind of dark grittiness that comes with George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.