Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: A Game Of Thrones (audiobook)

Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: George R.R. Martin
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Genre/Date: Fantasy/1996
Audio Length: 33 hours, 50 mins
Source: Audible Purchase
My Rating: 5/5

This is a fantasy series I have heard a lot of great things about, and I'm very happy that I began it. It was hard to begin another lengthy audiobook, but this production was fascinating and very difficult to put down. I liked it so much that when I was about four-fifths through it, I decided to begin all over again, just to make sure I understood all the characters and their families and histories. There is much to grasp here, and I knew I wanted to continue with the next book soon. Also, when I first began the audiobook, I had a difficult time understanding the narrator, Roy Dotrice. He has a distinctive yet somewhat gruff voice. But I grew to love his interpretations of the various characters, in particular the female ones. Now I think he is the perfect narrator for this book!

The winter is coming! And the seven kingdoms should be preparing for it. They have had many years of summer and only the old ones remember and tell the stories of winter. Instead all are focusing on who will be the new king and have power over the seven kingdoms. They are not realizing what is happening up north. The children of the forest and the undead with blue eyes are returning. This is where the armies should be amassing. Instead the Lannister family have seized power after King Robert Baratheon has been suspiciously killed by a boar. The Stark family of Winterfell are comprised of: Lord Eddard; his wife Catelyn Tully formerly of Riverrun in the South; Robb, the eldest of their 5 children at 14; Sansa the eldest daughter at 11 and betrothed to Prince Joffrey Lannister, a pretender to the throne; Arya, a spirited 9 year old girl (one of my favorite characters); Bran at 7 who succumbs to the treachery of Jaime Lannister; and the toddler Rickon. But not to be missed is Eddard's bastard son Jon Sno, just months younger than Robb, who is a Eddard's son by a mysterious woman no one ever talks about. Jon has gone to the wall protecting the seven kingdoms from the north to be a brother of the Night's Watch. Meanwhile, across the sea in the land of the barbaric Dothroki there is the only survivor of the Targaryen family, Daenerys, whose brothers and father, King Aerys, were killed years ago and their family's throne wrenched away by Jaime Lannister. She is from the family of dragons who no longer exist, but may return. She plans to come back from exile and reclaim the throne.

This story reads very much like historical fiction because the details are very accurate to what could have happened in the the middle ages in Britain. However, the magical parts add another level which is fascinating with the inclusion of dragons, the undead, the children of the forest, the trees with faces, and the dark magic.

This story relates each important characters' perspective, even through the eyes of a child, and it is done masterfully. I enjoyed all the varying viewpoints and would be sad to leave one part of the story, only to once again become intensely engrossed in another part of the story. This was a wonderful listen and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

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