In the faraway land of Westeros trouble is brewing. The king’s Hand has died and now he travels down to Winterfell to ask lord Eddard Stark to be his new Hand. Robert, the king, and Eddard are old friends, still Eddard is doubtful to take the job. After a sudden turn of events Eddard finds that he must take the job and go to the King’s Landing to be the Hand of the king. Soon he finds out that nothing is quite as it seems and it will be hard to keep the Seven Kingdoms united.
Inadequate is probably a word I would use to describe my short synopsis of the book. But there is just so much going on there, so many different storylines to follow. So I thought I would just follow the storyline that, in my opinion, is the easiest to explain and gives most insight into the basic story of the book.
The amount of different plotlines was very high and though this was slightly overwhelming in the beginning, it kept the story very alive. Every chapter was named after the character it follows and each of the characters delves into a different storyline. This does make for a slightly frustrating read at times because sometimes you just have to know what happens next in that certain situation, especially without having to wait a couple of chapters to find out. But this frustration never lasted long because I found all the plotlines interesting.
But I do admit to looking forward to chapters focussing on certain characters, yes I admit to having favourites. I think most of the readers will have this, because not all characters will suit you quite as well as some others. My darlings were Arya, Jon, Ned, Danaerys and Tyrion. Sometimes Bran, but I wasn’t very into the dreams he always has. I’m not saying I dislike the other characters, I just liked them less well.
The writing is just amazing. I always find it to be rich in description, though rarely too descriptive to my liking (certain descriptions of knights and their armour did sort of dwindle my focus). I really feel that the writing just pulled me into the story that extra bit more than the plotlines alone would have. It gives the reader such a vivid image of the world in which all these events are taking place.
Another strong point in the book is the fact that people die. This might seem odd of me to think this a good point. But I have my reasons. This is a story about war, people fight, there is treason. A lot of bad things happen. It would be strange if the author skirted around killing off people. It would just not feel right, it would feel surreal. Sometimes I do think “why did he/she have to die” but that just comes with it. I really prefer this feeling to the confusion I would feel at reading a book about war without casualties.
My only sore point with this book was the start. I have to say that I had a hard time getting past the first fifty pages. This was partly because I wasn’t able to read it in one go, but also because there is just so much name-dropping. So often names were just casually thrown into the conversation and I couldn’t help myself slightly freaking out whether I had read over this name earlier, whether it was important and mostly who this person was. I just kept having these little storms in my head trying to remember names I’d never seen before and this really kept me from being pulled into the story. I dealt with this problem by just printing out an overview of the important family trees. If the name wasn’t on their, I just read over it and let it be. After I had started using this tactic, the reading went a lot quicker and became infinitely more enjoyable.
And yes, I am already reading the second book, A clash of kings!