Sometimes I am just so behind the times. I guess you just can't keep up with everything. But honestly, I have not read "Game of Thrones" til I heard HBO was making it a series. I guess that makes me somewhat shallow, but well that's just the facts folks.
It's not even that George R. R. Martin was unknown to me. I love his stuff. I think he's an excellent author and editor and his work with the Wild Card books was great. So, why didn't I read this earlier? Honestly, I was burned out on traditional fantasy novels. They blended too easily into Tolkien crap and after awhile I was just blind to the genre.
That's my bad folks. Let me tell you, Game of Thrones, RULES as work of literature. It is the type of novel I have wet dreams of writing. Why? Not for it's background which is fairly standard, but for the writing of the characters and the plotting. There are fantasy authors who can think of better fantasy words in their sleep, but they couldn't ground them with near the reality as Martin does here. This place feels real, the characters act like real people.
Granted like real people being really screwed over by life, but that's the breaks in a world where everyone gets involved in a struggle for control. Initially, it starts as something as a mystery. Why did the old Hand (the person charged with doing the King's will) of the King die, and what does that mean? Stark, a ruler from the north becomes the new hand to find and becomes neck deep in plotting and counter plotting. Not without personal cost either, not a quarter into the book and one of his sons is pushed out the window. That's just the first of many set backs for the characters of this saga, and there are more than enough villains for everyone.
I understand there are five more books to this series (one not yet published), and I can only imagine the carnage to come. I also know I am going to get every one and read them obsessively. I have fallen in love with this series without reservation. Definitely read this before watching the HBO series!!