Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective wall. To the south, the King's powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens.
This was the first fantasy book I have read ever! I really enjoyed and didn't let the size put me off, well I did read it on my Kindle so I couldn't actually see the size but still you get the idea. I will be reading the next in the series, I am currently doing so at a snails speed, but it has opened my eyes to other book in the genre, already I have picked up The Name of the Wind to read. This is what I love going into a book and having not read the genre before I find that I sometimes really like it. Anyway enough rambling lets get on with the review!
I always had the assumption that fantasy books where all about the world building and that I would get confused easily by it, however what I found with this book was that it was the characters that were driving the novel and the events were events that I could relate to, though obviously not every single event.
The characters were an interesting bunch, while we had serious characters like Ned we also had fun characters like Tyroin. Though I don't think any character grew as much as Dany, she must of only been 14 when the book starts and yet she goes through quite a lot. She does come out of it a stronger person though and I enjoyed reading her chapters as we got to find out about the countries away from the Seven Kingdoms.
I don't want to talk about the plot much as I think anything I say will give spoilers and I don't want that as I want everyone to read the book! Although it feels like a lot happens not a lot actually does, it sounds weird saying that now when the book is so long but I feel like not a lot goes on, alot could have been left out and I don't think it would of altered the plot much, however I do feel that everything was there for a reason, whether we find what it was there for in the next books is another matter altogether.
One thing I will say is that I actually think I benefited from seeing the HBO show before picking this book up, I felt like I was able to know all the characters and know what the looked like and keep up with the events as they were happening. Although I am currently reading A Clash of Kings now I am not watching the show until I finish the book and am finding I am keeping up with everything so maybe it's just me.
I would recommend this book and am still surprised that people haven't, if you have seen the show this book will be a bit of an easy read however if you haven't seen the show still give the book ago, you won't be disappointed.